Region Archives: EU

LEWEB 2014 - CONFERENCE - LEWEB TRENDS - IN CONVERSATION WITH EMMANUEL MACRON (FRENCH MINISTER FOR ECONOMY INDUSTRY AND DIGITAL AFFAIRS) - PULLMAN STAGE

The French Elections and the Macron phenomenon…

‘Brenda from Bristol’ probably summed up the mood to this year’s general election when stopped in the street by a TV reporter. ‘Oh no, not another one!’ [i] In Northern Ireland we are used to annual or even bi-annual elections but even our electoral activity pales in comparison to the poor people of France who more…

The DUP are in pole position to remove the threats both of a hard border and a border poll

Brexit ‘s revival of  the spectre of a hard border and the support  of Ireland’s partners for a united Ireland  with consent within the EU was the perfect formula for the complete polarisation that has duly happened at Westminster level. Nationalism is now without representation at Westminster for the first time since 1966. The SDLP’s more…

A_Message_from_President-Elect_Donald_J._Trump.webm

Fishing at the Edge of the Rubicon

During the course of this General Election campaign, the tectonic plates of international relations have slipped, dramatically. The G7, the borderline disastrous NATO summit, and Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change, add up to most dramatic rift in the Western Alliance for decades – all in the space of more…

Why is Colum Eastwood pulling his punches on a border poll?

There is no point in denying the appeal of a united Ireland within the EU, even if the threat of a hard border turns out to be exaggerated for its malign effects on trade, integrated agriculture and ease of movement and Theresa May’s team returns from Brussels in triumph. It transcends narrow nationalism and reflects more…

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)

‘The Germans are bad, very bad’ – President Trump…

As part of his continuing programme of How to lose friends and alienate people, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Trump at the G7 meeting as saying: “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S. We will stop that.” A particular target seems to be BMW, from more…

It’s easier to get rid of a hard border

Vincent Boland has written a major piece for the FT magazine (£) entitled “Dividing Line: Brexit and the threat to the Irish Border“. The article is all more absorbing for being written for the casually interested globalised audience that is the FT’s typical readership. Boland doesn’t deal in economic statistics or confusing politics but on more…

Conservative manifesto very warm on the Union, cool and correct to the Republic, no mention of special status in ” a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement”

TORY LAUNCH: Here I concentrate on those matters of specific interest to Northern Ireland. Remember that while manifestos tend to be mainly broad brush, they convey a sense of direction. The rhetoric of this one is modern British Unionist, as would be expected with the Union under threat but it avoids Rule Britannia jingoism.

“Cars being stopped and searched is not going to happen”

Whilst the BBC quote, at length, the concerns about a post-Brexit border of “a former customs officer in Donegal” whom they interviewed on Radio Foyle, the Irish Revenue Commissioner’s lead official on the topic has been speaking at a conference on Brexit in Dublin organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.  From the Irish Times more…

Westminster parliament

Has Britain (or indeed Ireland) got Government Talent?

I was struck by the new French President speaking about those to be recruited to his government: I will choose them for their experience, their competence, what they have done and not for what they represent or their political weight… Gosh. There’s a thought. Leaving aside whether you think he is a good or bad thing, more…

“So let nobody speak of a progressive or anti-Brexit pact either…”

In Saturday’s Irish News, Newton Emerson with some impertinent points about electoral pacts in the forthcoming General Election on June 8.  From the Irish News Sinn Féin has ordered the SDLP to stand down, although sadly not to dump arms, in North Belfast and Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Let nobody call this a nationalist pact, more…

Tony Blair assures EU that May is sincere about a frictionless border; sees need for small amendment to the GFA

Am I on my own in becoming weary of  yet another of the great and  good  speaking in general terms about the future of the Border?  Tony Blair, addressing a European People’s Party gathering in Co Wicklow  was at pains to  declare his confidence in Theresa May’s sincerity over wanting a “ frictionless “border, even more…

For Brexit, British and Irish citizens’ rights are not yet guaranteed. Interchangeable rights for all should be the aim

The issue of reciprocal citizenship rights after Brexit is turning out to be more complicated than at first thought. It extends well beyond confirming the status quo to embrace work and pension rights for new immigrants from the EU as well as the 3 million existing residents.  Even when an EU citizen’s rights in the more…

Can Sinn Fein tell us if the EU protects workers rights or not?

On May Day Sinn Fein were pontificating on workers rights along side their anti Brexit rhetoric,it is worth remembering: In the book Identity in Northern Ireland: Communities, Politics and Change by Cathal McCall, my own MP for Mid Ulster, Francie Molloy, states “We wouldn’t be happy with.. a United States of Europe..Irish identity would be lost” and more…

Labour Party in Northern Ireland

Like the Samurai, Labour faces the verdict of the machine guns

There’s a scene in the Tom Cruise epic, ‘The Last Samurai,’ where the main characters – noble samurai (as the film title suggests) – charge the battlefield against the Western-trained forces of the Japanese Emperor. One by one, these brave warriors are cut down by machine-gun fire. Their swords and bows and arrow useless against more…