Tag Archives | Republic

Arlene Foster spoke no empty words. The road to renewed cross community cooperation may run through Dublin and Brussels

Arlene Foster’s demarche surely marks a truce or even peace  between the Irish government and the DUP in the squabbles over Brexit. It will also  consolidate Dublin’s  improving  relations with Westminster. All this is welcome. Neither wants a hard land border on the island or trade barriers between the Republic and Great Britain. It was more…

Ireland and the border has emerged as the current acid test. In their own interests, Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin should give Theresa May space to pass it

The current British position is admirably described by James Forsyth in the Brexit leaning, Conservative supporting Spectator. I can do no better than to quote it at length. It covers a viewpoint that cannot be dismissed by ardent Remainers like me.  Whatever the mood music, it will be taken seriously in the chancelleries of Europe. more…

Domestic political turmoil renders the Brexit negotiations even more unpredictable. This time it’s not London’s fault

Compared with some other key leaders, Theresa May’s position is  looking remarkably stable for a change  as she flies into Brussels today for what’s being billed in London as crucial meetings with EU leaders including Council president Donald  Tusk. The Westminster lobby is reporting that she’ll be taking soundings over whether a British offer of more…

Another leak against the Brits, but Theresa’s not for budging

Another leak to RTE, another bout of Irish pressure, accompanied by Irish Times columnist Stephen Collins joining a chorus of “ contempt” for British tactics and urging his government to stand firm. The (British position that the) Border issue should be dealt with in phase two of the Brexit negotiations dealing with future trade rather more…

Gerry Adams and Robert Mugabe have something in common

How ironic that the eras of Mugabe and Adams are drawing to a close at roughly the same time. Both are men of blood. Both remained in office for unhealthily long periods of time, reflecting the essentially undemocratic nature of their political machines and their origins in armed insurgency. It now turns out that neither more…

A crunch on the border is not in Ireland’s interests

“What we want to take off the table, before we even talk about trade, is any idea that there would be a hard Border, a physical Border, or a Border resembling the past . . . Then we’d be happy to move on to phase two.” “The UK insists that the issue cannot be tackled more…

Brexit is in a mess, but not irretrievably

Want to know where we really are on Brexit? In  three words, in a mess. Can we get out of it?   Possibly at the eleventh hour, 10 pm on Friday 19 March 2019, just like the Good Friday Agreement in fact. Nothing  is agreed until everything is agreed. As so often – like the Stormont more…

Real work to restore the Executive has yet to begin. For the public to make an impact, proposals and pressure from the governments are essential

As a comparative outsider I’m struck by how most commentators are obsessed with speculating about political positioning and identity narratives. This has produced numbing negativism and  despair  rather than the energy needed to approach the daunting but practical problem of trying to restore the Executive.  Being case hardened and calloused, they endlessly refine their own explanations for more…

Latest findings on a border poll

From the British- Irish Parliamentary assembly meeting in Liverpool, as reported in the Sunday Times (£) Both Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland who tend not to vote — in either Westminster or assembly elections — would reject a united Ireland in the event of a poll, according to research presented to Irish and British more…

The Brexit crunch may come as soon as Christmas. The British case should be taken more seriously

Many commentators on the Brexit negotiations, including Irish ones scarred by the diktat of the 2010 bailout and understandably opposed to the whole idea, talk as if the EU Commission’s  stance is not only immutable but deserves the status of Holy Writ, while the British position is purely faction-ridden and pathetic. The contrast is too more…

Signs that plates are shifting over Brexit?

While not exactly a flood tide, the case for Irexit made by economist Ray Kinsella has become a trickle of two. With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with more…

Some bold solutions, several welcome “principles” on dealing with the Irish border. The British paper in full is a serious document

The British paper on the border is at last the meaty  document  long called for. It makes a several  bold and practical suggestions for a seamless border  but leaves much up in the air, laying down “ principles” for future negotiations. Many of these  go far beyond the Irish border issues to the heart of more…