Region Archives: EU

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…

LeFigaro1

2017 French Presidential Election

The French people are choosing today between Centrist, Emmanuel Macron and the Front National’s, Marine Le Pen. Both candidates went through to the second round two weeks ago. Some key things to look out for this evening Results will be in at 7pm our time. An exit poll will be published by the main networks projecting more…

“Brexit has become a central question in the identity conversation and that is dangerous”

In a commentary  “Brexit and Northern Ireland” on the EPC discussion paper( see below) the  legal academic Chris McCrudden  asserts the primacy  of the Brexit question and laments the  “ tone deafness” of the UK government to  Northern Ireland’s interests. But while he rightly sees the need to set priorities in the interparty talks, he doesn’t more…

Irish Brexit paper reveals the EU will likely seek to shackle the UK

The Irish government have just published their Brexit paper entitled “Ireland and the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union – The Government’s Approach”. It makes interesting reading. Notably as predicted – the Common Travel Area will more than likely be retained with the paper stating the CTA is not dependent on EU more…