Courage mes enfants. Westminster will back away from the precipice and start learning the hard lessons of deadlock from next week

Three outcomes seem more likely than not after Theresa’s May’s appearance before the EU summit. One,  that EU leaders will confirm a shorter than requested extension to the Article 50 deadline but will make no substantial change to the withdrawal package. Two, next Tuesday and Wednesday, MPs will find ways of defeating her deal while endorsing the extension to 22 May as required.  No Deal by any name will not happen next week. Three, with no agreement reached, the EU …

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Despite the coyness at dinner in Phoenix Park, Brexit should be no barrier. We cannot escape the urgent need for a resumption of close British-Irish relations

However they’re phased and whatever the context, close British Irish engagement on both Brexit and rescuing the GFA are essential. Who with any wit can doubt it?  Brexit provides no excuse. Indeed, it’s one of two pressing reasons for close encounters, the other being the Stormont stand-off.  Dinner in  Farmleigh House  may have been in Theresa May’s programme of displacement activity as she mulls over Labour’s offer to talk and runs down the clock, but at least it  displayed  dim …

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Did Peter Robinson blunder into the border poll debate too early?

Coming late to the Peter Robinson speech at Glenties and its aftermath, I’m struck by two elements of it, one of which has been hardly picked up. In the text I was offered, the discussion of a border poll which overshadowed the rest of it didn’t appear at all. Tommie Gorman of RTE has explained. I chaired the Friday evening session (27 July) in the Glenties Highlands Hotel where Peter Robinson was the guest speaker. The references to a united Ireland …

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