Dail takes note of the nature of Sinn Fein’s bargain basement ‘win’ in the #EUReferendum…

It’s a bit of a red letter day when Slugger gets read into the record of any of our legislatures. So far we’ve made it into the Seanad, and the House of Lords, now we’re in the official record of the proceedings in Dáil Éireann. This snippet (and it’s exchanges) is worth sharing: Deputy Brendan Howlin: The people of Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the European Union. The largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, failed to register for … Read more

If Brexit means Brexit, the UK Can’t Block an EU Army

“This is not going to happen. We are full members of the EU and we will go on resisting any attempt to set up a rival to NATO.” Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon’s response to proposals for an EU army discussed at the Bratislava summit ‘informal gathering’ of EU Heads of Government (minus Theresa May), reported in The Times yesterday cannot be, if Brexit means Brexit, anything other than a denial of reality. If government statements are honest, then the … Read more

Could the Danish model be applied to the UK?

Nationalist leaders have been wandering around trying to find possible ways to keep Northern Ireland within the European Union. There has also been considerable debate about an all island forum to examine possibilities. If we are going to look at something, Denmark might offer something for the UK and the Irish government to consider. Ulrik Pram Gad has penned an interesting article for the LSE as to how his own country’s experience might be useful for Northern Ireland and Scotland … Read more

So what, says Gregory, “the clock cannot be turned back to last Thursday…”

I have to say Gregory Campbell is right. The clock cannot be turned back to last Thursday. The people have spoken (the b@st@rds). Here’s Stephen Nolan grilling him on Leave’s magnificent bait and switch on the electorate in the poster above… Sorry to keep repeating it over and over, but here’s Paul’s salient ‘Why Referendums Should Be Banned‘.  They are NOT elections, so that conveniently no one on the Leave side can be held accountable for any apparent promises made, … Read more

Your detailed guide for tonight’s #EURef’s runners and riders…

More good stuff for tonight… Further to Brian Hayes’s outline, here’s another fantastic resource from Slugger’s own electoral expert Nicholas Whyte… APCO’s Guide to Referendum Night from APCO Worldwide And more broadly there’s this from the Press Association. Don’t forget to tune into our live blog from 11 onwards, music, jokes, colour, and maybe a wee bit of politics on the side. A cut-out-and-keep guide to some of the key results to watch out for on #referendum night #EUref pic.twitter.com/cvvk22LjrU … Read more

What exactly do your confidential briefings tell you about post Brexit border controls Theresa?

For my part, I don’t believe much of the hype about the effects of the UK pulling out on the EU. That’s not to say that there won’t be any. But my own view is that, as with technology, we overestimate such effects in the short term but underestimate them in the longer run. So I don’t believe in the three-match accumulator leading to the inevitable break-up of the UK being touted by two Irish commentators I hold in the highest … Read more

Paisley: The only solution for those of us who believe in democratic accountability is to Vote Leave

The European Referendum campaign, on both sides, has focused largely economic issues and immigration. Those are important and valid issues which deserve to be fully debated, but they are not the only factors people should weigh up when deciding how to cast their vote. Even the most ardent Europhiles are usually forced to admit there is a democratic deficit in the European Union. They will usually accept too that public awareness of the European Union institutions is low, but of … Read more

The potential impact of #brexit upon the Totality of Relationships

Recently, in a conversation with an old school friend, who is very much a nationalist and supports a united Ireland, told me that while he was voting for remain, if he were of a more cynical bent he’d be voting tactically for Leave, and speculated that there would be nationalists who would do so. I’ve noticed a lot of other people making similar comments, here on Slugger, on social media and in social circles. This led me to do something I … Read more

Ashcroft focusing on the final week reveals nervousness amongst #EUref voters…

Interesting observations from Lord Ashcroft’s final focus groups: The closeness of the race is “the reason I can’t make my mind up. It’s a lot of responsibility, and I really want to get it right.” Still, most people were determined to do their democratic duty: “It means I’m more likely to try and make a decision. If one side was running away with it, I might let it pass me by;” “I usually think, if you haven’t got an opinion, … Read more

#EURef and seeing sense on the matter of national sovereignty…

A Chartered Accountant by professional qualification, Robert Jenkins has over 30 years’ EU-related business experience. He has also been active in Conservative politics, and is the author of Tony Benn, A Political Biography. The UK’s EU Referendum is fundamentally about national sovereignty, but there is little understanding about the EU and how it affects this. This contribution provides a fresh understanding of these issues. This is a short summary of my more detailed report Sense About Sovereignty (PDF). The UK’s conferral … Read more

EU Referendum and the count process

We are now just a few days away from polling day and I thought it would be useful to put up some information about the count process in Northern Ireland for the EU referendum. Unlike other referenda that have been held in the past, Northern Ireland will count through the night and in 8 different centres across the province. You can see the estimated declaration times for the rest of the UK here, but I have compiled the Northern Ireland … Read more

#EURef in grave danger of setting down its own “poisonous foundations”?

I’m struck by this optimistic note from Ruth Dudley Edwards… Narrow-minded nationalism is being left behind. We have slowly evolved “a more civilised discourse” and we are much better people for it. She argues that Ireland has become a much more civilised place because it has committed itself (if not always in the slow, patient Scandinavian style) to conversation more than confrontation. The contrast with Britain just now could hardly be more stark. Of course, Britain is, as Ruth points … Read more

“Eurozone as it currently stands is not immutable, or inevitably dying…”

If anyone is still listening to experts for remain, here’s one worth paying attention to before the drop… It’s Simon Wren-Lewis responding to the brilliantly written and honest outline by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard I covered in yesterday’s Report of why he’s for leaving: The fact that democracy was overridden in Greece so cruelly was not the result of actions of unelected bureaucrats, but of elected finance ministers from the other union countries. One reason these finance ministers refused to write off any debt was … Read more

Remain must look to more trusted and well-regarded figures to get #EURef over the line

Shortly before polling day in last year’s Marriage Equality referendum one of the Irish national daily newspapers ran an opinion piece by a marketing/messaging expert evaluating the Yes and No campaigns to that point. Though he had several criticisms of those of us on Yes side and even suggested that the Yes campaign was putting the outcome in unnecessary doubt, the subtext to his article seemed to be: this would have been a whole lot better if he had been … Read more

Labour and Europe: a brief history

The recent narrowing of the polls in the EU referendum has prompted much soul searching by the Remain camp. This may all be unnecessary as exactly the same was seen in the Scottish referendum before Remain’s victory. However, for the meantime Remain is rattled. Much of their angst seems to be coming from the revelation that substantial numbers of traditional Labour supporters are going to back Brexit. This realisation has come with much complaining that Labour is being too metropolitan … Read more

UPDATED #EURef extention: In NI, it doesn’t exist..

And there’s another digital divide. After last night’s big TV event with Nigel Farage and David Cameron there’s been such a rush to get registered to vote in the 23rd June Referendum that the deadline has been extended until tomorrow night. According to the Telegraph… Of the total 525,000 who registered on Tuesday, 132,000 were aged under 25 and a further 170,000 were aged 25 to 34. There were 51,600 applications made by those aged over 55. How did they get that … Read more

However #EURef goes, parties will have to do a much better job at listening…

Okay, so now we have an election out of the way, we have a referendum (at this point, please do read Paul Evans’ widely read critique of Referendums for context here). And, sadly, if inevitably, we are already drowning in Bullshit. It is by no means a one-way street. Both sides are at it. The mere calling of a Referendum means that any subtlety and/or the normal trade-offs are out of the window. It’s a populist bonfire instrument which forces campaigns to search … Read more

Soapbox: Brexit isn’t about cutting ourselves off from the world….

Sammy Morrison is a TUV Press Officer and an assistant to Jim Allister. Here he challenges Ferdinand Mount’s cautionary tale about the motivations of Brexiteers, and argues that Brexit could liberate the UK to fulfil its potential in the world in Europe – and beyond. Ferdinand Mount cannot hide his contempt for those campaigning for Brexit telling us that it is “tempting to regard ‘Brexosis’ as a mental disorder”. He repeats David Cameron’s warning that Brexit could lead to World … Read more