Region Archives: EU

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A Passport to Nationalist Insurrection?

I recently discovered Jamie Bryson, and as with the discovery of any hidden gem, I’ll confess I’m rapt. It’s not yet clear to me whether Jamie believes everything he says or whether he’s simply realised that hyperbole is a sure fire path to notoriety. But after his latest offering, I’d have to say the balance more…

“….a need to develop a coherent, clear and warm relationship between people in the two jurisdictions”

As delivered by Fine Gael Minister Joe McHugh TD in Glenties tonight at the MacGill Summer School. Edwin Poots was in the audience (see Gerry Moriarty’s report tonight), with Mary Lou McDonald (abreviated), Katy Hayward, David Gavaghan and moderated by Denis Bradley: A few years ago I travelled to Stormont with around a dozen Fine more…

European Parliament

EU Parliament votes down a proposal for Special Status

Some news from the European Parliament yesterday European Parliament today overwhelmingly(374-66) rejected call (from group SF sits in) for special designated status for Northern Ireland. pic.twitter.com/Z3xnVDNMmp — Sam McBride (@SJAMcBride) July 5, 2017 A comprehensive defeat for the proposal, but the an analyst who watches this, told me this; Looks like a classic EPP-S&D-ALDE deal, more…

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Should the Republic of Ireland Stay in the EU?

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett has written a detailed report for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange entitled After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? He argues that Ireland should seriously consider whether or not it stays in the European Union, and he appears to favour an Irish exit. The issues raised by Bassett certainly deserve serious deliberation. more…

The Case for the Republic of Ireland to Leave the EU

Former Irish diplomat, Ray Bassett, has written a 41-page analysis for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange, entitled: After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? The huge choice facing Ireland is whether, given the circumstances, the country can live with the likely post Brexit arrangements and so stay a full member of the European Union; or more…

Merkel

Germany approves Same Sex Marriage

Interesting development in Germany today as the Bundestag approved by 393-226. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel was opposed to the bill herself but still allowed a free vote for her Christian Democratic Union representatives in the Bundestag. Explaining her opposition to the bill she said;  “For me, marriage in German law is marriage between a man more…

Steven Agnew

The collapse of the Executive, two Assembly elections, a General Election, a new Taoiseach, Trump and the decimation of the Conservative Commons majority.

Steven Agnew is the Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland. It’s a year to the day since the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. It’s been remarkable but often disconcerting. The Green Party campaigned to Remain within the EU with great effort and energy. A year later, we haven’t shifted more…

Leo

For Leo A Week is a Long Time in Politics

Eoin Neylon was President of Ogra Fianna Fail from 2014-2016, he has taken a look at the week in Irish Politics “A week is a long time in politics”. This quote is often attributed to former UK Labour PM Harold Wilson. It’s a quote that was likely ringing in the ears of Leo Varadkar this more…

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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…

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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…

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‘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…