Corbyn Opposed the Backstop Because it would Trap UK in a Customs Union

Corbyn has given an interview to BBC News Northern Ireland in which he explains his fears about supporting the backstop were because it would trap the UK in a customs union with the EU… Only problem with that defence is membership of a customs union is currently Labour Party policy…

mdi-timer 19th September 2019 @ 6:01 pm 19th Sep 2019 @ 6:01 pm mdi-comment Comments
Coveney Casts Doubts on Ireland’s No Deal Plans

The wobbles among the Irish political class over Varadkar’s uncompromising stance on the backstop are continuing to grow. Now former Irish Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton has penned an article defending opposition spokesman Tommy Dooley – who caused a major stir last week after lashing out at Varadkar’s “arrogant” Brexit approach and accusing him of a “failure to engage in basic diplomacy”. Creighton, who was a key figure in the ‘Yes’ campaigns in Ireland’s two Lisbon Treaty referendums, writes:

“The idea that the government’s stance is beyond criticism or scrutiny is quite ridiculous… That an opposition TD was forced to delete a tweet simply because it criticised the Taoiseach and the government’s handling of Brexit and British relations is a cause for concern…

“It is almost impossible to find a dissenting voice which dares to suggest the framing of the backstop in the withdrawal agreement might not in fact be in Ireland’s best interests…

“Such a mass closing of minds to alternative opinion is deeply worrying. I say this as someone who broadly agrees that the backstop is the optimal way to avoid a hard border and protect the Good Friday Agreement. However, to choose to ignore the risks inherent in the EU and Irish position is plainly wrong. We need to face up to them.”

It comes after Patrick Coveney – brother of Tánaiste Simon Coveney and CEO of Irish food giant Greencore – warned that Ireland’s no-deal contingency plans for smooth goods transit across the UK land bridge might not work in practice. Will the younger Coveney heed the warning of his older brother and shift his position on the backstop…?

mdi-timer 5th August 2019 @ 4:30 pm 5th Aug 2019 @ 4:30 pm mdi-comment Comments
Varadkar “Afraid” of No Deal

Varadkar and the Irish political class rapidly waking up to the realisation that they are no long negotiating with a complete pushover. Time to come back to the table Leo, without the backstop…

mdi-timer 1st August 2019 @ 2:36 pm 1st Aug 2019 @ 2:36 pm mdi-comment Comments
Boris Lays Down Backstop Law to Varadkar

Boris has finally had his much-anticipated first phone call with Leo Varadkar, it wasn’t just for a catch-up about the cricket. Boris repeated his core position that the UK will be leaving on October 31 “no matter what”, and the UK will be quite happy to negotiate a deal with the EU but the backstop must be abolished. Boris also reiterated that the UK will never put physical checks or infrastructure on the border. The two leaders “agreed to stay in contact”, Boris even got an invitation to Dublin…

Irish public opinion is already beginning to turn against Varadkar’s aggressive approach, the Irish Government has repeatedly clarified that it won’t be putting up border checks either even in the event of no deal. Varadkar increasingly needs a way down off the ledge constructed by Robbins, Barnier and Coveney…

mdi-timer 30th July 2019 @ 1:27 pm 30th Jul 2019 @ 1:27 pm mdi-comment Comments
Ireland Starting to Turn Against Varadkar’s Brexit Approach

While Boris got a nice boost from the weekend’s polling, all is not as rosy for his EU counterparts. Irish support for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Brexit policy has sharply dropped. Less than half the public now support their leader’s pugnacious approach…

It’s a big fall from January when a poll asking the same question asking the same question found 60% backed Varadkar. This has now fallen by 17 points to 43%, with dissatisfaction rising by the same margin. If Boris’s No Deal threat doesn’t make the Taoiseach buckle, domestic pressure will come to bear ever more strongly…

The Irish commentariat are also increasingly questioning Varadkar’s approach. Over the weekend Business Post columnist Colin Murphy argued the backstop has “been a disaster for Ireland”, Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs, warns that the “first duty of those who oppose tribalism is to acknowledge the tribalism of one’s own side”, while Eoghan Harris blasts:

Unless we bin out fraudulent backstop, Boris Johnson will crash out of the EU, leaving our economy in ruins and our relations with England, our nearest neighbour, in rag order”.

Tectonic plates slowly starting to shift…

mdi-timer 29th July 2019 @ 12:00 pm 29th Jul 2019 @ 12:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Coveney Begins No Deal Blame Game Already

The new PM hasn’t even been announced and Irish Deputy PM Simon Coveney is already trying to pass the buck on no deal, sticking to his line that the backstop is the only game in town so it’ll be the fault of the Brits if a deal doesn’t go through because of it. Never mind the fact that his government has already published plans for checks away from the border if there’s no deal…

mdi-timer 21st July 2019 @ 1:45 pm 21st Jul 2019 @ 1:45 pm mdi-comment Comments
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