After Brexit for the ROI January 20, 2017Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Interesting piece by Charlie Flanagan, Minsister for Foreign Affairs in the SBP at the weekend where he gently takes those like Tom McGurk to task for ‘misconceptions’. His says he completely disagrees with McGurk’s description of the ROI ‘having an almost impossible task’. He believes that:
Brexit itself may be complex, but the government’s objective is simple – to secure the best deal we can for Ireland and our people in the context a wider EU-British agreement. We have a sound understanding of our priorities, namely: protecting our economy; safeguarding the GFA; maintain gin the CTA with Britain; and mapping a positive direction for the EU with Ireland at its heart.
And he continues ‘this last point is key. Some writers seem to favour following Britain out of the EU ourselves, this would be nothing short of reckless gambling with our future and would be profoundly against our economic and other interests.’
And he underlines this by noting that our exports to the EU are worth more than double those to the UK. There’s another aspect too, that the UK itself appears to be in some flux (McGurk in the same issue notes Scotland and independence). Those processes appear to have quite some way to run.
Intriguingly he mentions the House of Lords report (which McGurk recently saw as the single most important document on Brexit, conveniently ignoring that it didn’t come direct from the British government)… ‘recommending that Ireland and Britain should sign a bilateral agreement. While EU member states cannot sign bilateral trade or other agreements on an individual basis, our unique relationship with Britain is recognised by our EU partners, and it may be that we will have some arrangements with Britain post-Brexit that will not apply across the board’.
Well let’s hope so.
Another intriguing point is this:
It is also a myth to say that our only close ally i the EU is Britain. this is simply not true. On many occasion we have been on opposing sides within the EU. While of course Britain leaving the EU will be a loss, over the past 40 years we have built closer relationships with all EU members states and developed alliances with EU partners across a range of policy areas… including agriculture where France is our main ally…
It is odd, and I’ve drawn attention to this before, how anglo-centric the views of so much of those who argue an Irexit seem to be. It’s almost taken as read that ‘of course we’d follow the UK’. There may be, five, ten, fifteen years down the line, good reasons to reassess our position. I think it unlikely even then that there would be a pressing case, but such analyses are useful. But to start from the point it is a near inevitability is curious.