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And what would the rUK be like in relation to the EU? September 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics, Politics of Scotland.
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Another day another poll, this time tilting towards the No side. Whether that’s a ‘swing’ back as the Guardian puts it is very much open to question. Let’s hope they don’t withdraw the sort of kind of offer of Devo Max – eh?

Anyhow one has to wonder what the result of a Yes vote would be in regard to the rUK and Europe. Would it strengthen euroscepticism in a sort of bloody minded, feck ‘em, we can go it alone, we don’t need any of them, or would it soften coughs in relation to going it alone? Just on that, where would the rUK stand in relation to other EU states in terms of size, etc? Well, rUK GDP would be approximately 10% less than that of the UK as is though the rUK will rank about 6th in the world economically.

This piece here points to some basic aspects of the situation.
As does this.

Some useful detail squirrelled away there even if one disagrees with the overall thrust:

The White Paper spells out Scotland’s precise demands. The RAF would be asked to hand over one squadron of 12 Typhoon fighters for the new Scottish air force. That may not sound much – until you remember that the RAF only has two squadrons of air defence jets. So the rebirth of an independent Scotland would deprive the RAF of 50 per cent of its strength in air-to-air combat.
Scotland would also demand two frigates from the Royal Navy. Again, that may not sound much – until you remember that the Navy only has 13 frigates. Along with six destroyers, that means Britain possesses 19 big warships. So Scotland would demand 10 per cent of the core of the surface fleet.

And as does this from the BBC.

Just in terms of population the rUK would have close to 58m people as against 63m people in the UK. The nominal GDP of England is $2.68 trillion dollars, Scotland ¢235 bn, Wales $85.4bn and Northern Ireland $37.33bn. Or to put it another way, current UK GDP is approx $2.435 trillion dollars, the rUK will be $2.19 trillion dollars.

Even apart from the central issue this has to be one of the most fascinating political events of our time, not least for the questions that it throws up.

Questions, though, that are not being addressed it would appear in Ireland, or rather this state. As Arthur Beesley notes in the IT. He makes a fair point, it would be arguably wrong of the government to make a statement for or against the process, for a myriad of reasons, whatever one’s views on the issue. But this is intriguing:

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan shows no evident appetite for public discussion of the matter. According to his department, there has been no Cabinet memorandum on the Scottish question since Flanagan took office. It was the same during Eamon Gilmore’s time.

And there’s this:

In a statutory assessment last April of risks facing the State, Scotland was disposed of in a single sentence. This document cast the referendum in the context of a promise by British prime minister David Cameron to hold a referendum on European Union membership in 2017 if he secures re-election next year. “If the so-called Brexit option is taken, it could introduce profound uncertainty into Anglo-Irish relations. Similarly, the outcome of the Scottish referendum on independence could introduce an element of instability into Northern Ireland.”

Yes. Indeed.

Speaking of matters military, this is sort of an eye-opener…

And over in the UK… August 31, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in British Politics, European Politics.
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Is this editorial from the Guardian on Tory defector Douglas Carswell just a little too gushing…

Unlike some Eurosceptic Tories, Mr Carswell is not a one-trick pony. He is an independent libertarian-minded MP who argues the need for radical political reform in the digital age and who has championed banking reform too. But it is his implacable Euroscepticism that made him switch to Ukip and which he highlighted in his resignation statement.

Well, libertarian-minded, yes, perhaps… he’s no end of enthusiasm for ‘direct democracy’, ‘recall of MPs’ and stuff like that.

And while it’s heartening to hear about his appetite for ‘radical political reform’ and indeed ‘action to clean up Westminster politics’… could it be that this paragon of virtue also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Carswell#Parliamentary_expenses_scandal Sure could!

European Election 2014: Sweden and the United Kingdom July 9, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

As Liberius notes…

[here's] the final part of my series on the European election, covering Sweden and the United Kingdom with a listed overview of the results to conclude. The Swedish results gave me a chance to crowbar in some music, enjoy!

A genuine resource, and many thanks to Liberius for compiling it.

European Elections – Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain July 3, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.
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From Liberius, an update to the ongoing and very useful overview of the European Elections available here. As Liberius notes:

Part seven of my series, covering Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. This part is the penultimate part; part eight will include the results discussed in the entire series presented as a list.

Any old European Parliament group will do… June 24, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

And as CMK notes in comments, Brian Crowley has been expelled from the FF parliamentary party!

Ireland South MEP Brian Crowley is no longer a member of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party.

The long-serving Cork politician lost the party whip as a consequence of his decision to depart from the Alde group in the European Parliament to join the Eurosceptic European Conservative and Reformist group.

Can’t really say I’m surprised at the news that Brian Crowley MEP for Ireland South, and member of Fianna Fáil, has jumped from FF’s EP Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group to the Conservative Reformist group led by the British Tories. Crowley has always been a more conservative figure than some might have thought.

Entertaining too to see FF slowly push back as it began to realise just how problematic this actually was, moving from a relaxed enough position on it to one where FF chief whip Seán Ó Fearghail acknowledged that Crowley’s actions constituted ‘major difficulties’ for them.

And so it does. Bad enough to be beaten back to one MEP representing them from Ireland, but to see the one remaining MEP go on a solo run is worse again (and have to effectively jettison him). Does this damage Martin’s authority? Sure it does, but political parties are voluntary associations and there’s little he can do. Eject Crowley and he loses him – probably for good. Sit tight and nothing changes, but Crowley remains a member of a group which Ó Fearghail admitted that ‘FF had absolutely nothing in common’. That’s probably pushing it, but it has to be a bitter pill to swallow to see Crowley joining a Tory led group.

Interesting to see this comparison made:

“If you take this course of action, then you move on,” said one TD, who did not want to state his position before today’s meeting.
“It would be like someone here joining the technical group and it’s not dissimilar to Lucinda [Creighton]leaving the Fine Gael parliamentary party but remaining a member of the party.”

Of course the issue of groups is fairly fluid in the EP but there are limits to that fluidity and Crowley appears to have reached them.

As to FF more broadly, well, yet another example of how the party is unravelling at the seams. It’s not a major crisis, it has little functional effect upon domestic politics in this state, but it contributes yet another small example of how things are not as they were. The seemingly near-invincible political machine that dominated the Celtic Tiger years is now a smoking hulk shifting hither and yon across the political landscape with no clear direction in mind and with some members of the crew happy enough to hang on by a fingernail.

You know, I’d almost have some sympathy for Martin.


European Election 2014 – Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg June 23, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Here’s part five of Liberius’s series on the European Elections.
As Liberius notes:

Hungary and Lithuania were skipped due to a lack of interesting results and Ireland was skipped due to the fact that I’ve doubt I could add to what is already know to all about our own elections that were covered so well here at CLR.

A very useful overview of matters in the rest of Europe.

European Election 2014 – France, Finland, Germany and Greece, June 17, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Here are parts three and four of Liberius’s series on the European Elections.
As Liberius notes:

Part three of my series the European elections. Initially this was supposed to be Finland, France and Germany, however the French section became too long and I elected to make it the third part in it’s own right. So this part covers France alone. Multi-state parts will resume with part four.


Part four of my Series on the European elections 2014, this time covering Finland, Germany and Greece.

European Election results: Cyprus, Czech Republic and Denmark June 11, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, The Left.

Many thanks to Liberius for this:

The second part of my series on the European elections for anyone that’s interested. This one covers Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

Well worth reading… June 6, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, European Politics, Irish Politics, The Left.

…from doctorfive posts on Irish Water and another on hospital closures and privatisation.

And from Liberius posts on the European elections examining Austria, Belgium and Croatia. And Liberius promises more to follow.

European Election results – Ireland and Europe – And so we continue, Day 3 of Election results May 25, 2014

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

Just thought it would be handier to pull this side of the elections into a single thread…

Monday morning and in Dublin there’s a recount scheduled for 2pm so that it can be determined which of himself or Childers will take the seat. I’d almost put good money on it being the latter, but we shall see. Just on the thought of that, isn’t it telling that the GP has become once more a repository of votes? The implications of that are worth working through.

Elsewhere the count resumes this morning. Slow isn’t it all?

And let’s take the opportunity to congratulate Brendan Young of Community Solidarity in Celbridge-Leixlip LEA, hard fought hard won.


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