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Here’s something you won’t read every day… February 14, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…in the Phoenix, and is it entirely serious? The proposal that the Republic of Ireland requires a much more high-powered and high-profile team to engage with Brexit. Those names?

Former Taoiseach John Bruton was for years the EU ambassador to Washington and his understand of EU matters at the highest level is unparalleled among Irish politicians.


Bertie- Ahern, was in situ for the introduction of important EU treaties i.e. Amsterdam, Lisbon and Nice.

And surely there has to be a tongue in cheek when this is suggested.

Peter Sutherland whose other credentials include the post of EU commissioner, director general of the WTO and chairman of Goldman Sachs International.

Granted the Phoenix notes that;

They all have image problems derived from long political and financial careers, but a Brexit team including those three would posses a combined and impressive knowledge bank as well as the ability to play an Irish hand with confidence.

Though perhaps the suggestion is made simply to underline how meagre the current resources are in these dealings;

They would certainly gain the attention of EU and British power brokers in a manner that Kenny’s posing at photo opportunities with such as Theresa May and others never will.


1. GW - February 14, 2017

A group of people guaranteed to set the interests of banksters and corporate tax evaders a long way in front of the citizens of Ireland.

One hopes there are civil servants trying to ensure that the issues of the border have priority within the EU negotiating team. There’s little chance that the Little British side will give them much thought.


Michael Carley - February 14, 2017

Wondering about precedents, I had a look at a map. The EU has land borders with Norway, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Andorra, and special (national) arrangements with San Martino and the Vatican.

Which of those do we think is most likely to provide the model for the EU’s new land border, that with the UK?


Ed - February 14, 2017

I think you can add Morocco to that list, I think Spain’s little enclaves on the North African coast count as national territory.


Michael Carley - February 14, 2017

Right you are, and I was thinking that if we look at maritime `borders’ you could add most of North Africa.


sonofstan - February 14, 2017

I was in Andorra over the summer. The ‘border’ is no more visible than the one on the way to Newry though apparently there are random customs checks on the way out since it’s one big duty free for both sides of the Pyrenees.


Michael Carley - February 14, 2017

I was there a few years and found it a dreadful hole. I was questioned on the way out, but there’s only so much swag you can carry on a motorcycle. There were three lads in a car being brought in for a chat about the contents of the boot.


Michael Carley - February 14, 2017

And now I think of it Andorra would be like the Vatican and San Marino in that it has a national-level deal on its existence and operation, just with two countries rather than one.

Northern Ireland making a Brexit for capitalism with Andorran characteristics?


2. irishelectionliterature - February 14, 2017

I suppose the question has to be asked, what exactly do we want from Brexit negotiations.
The Border and what will happen the free movement of people and goods on the island is massive.
There are so many other things though too.
It makes sense to have as high powered a team as possible, one that is as independent of government as possible (especially given a change of government will probably happen within the next year.) Whilst I’d be loathe to give those mentioned any say, if there is one thing Bertie can do is negotiate deals.


An Cathaoirleach - February 14, 2017

I agree completely with you.

Daniel McConnell in the Irish Examiner pointed out, after the Taoiseach met the Polish Prime Minister, that the Poles were opposed to any special post UKexit deal for Ireland. As there are up to 1,000,000 Poles in the UK, you can see her point.

The Visegrád Four countries can, by voting together, block any arrangement. And as the interests of Romania & Bulgaria are broadly aligned to theirs, it is probable that they too would not support any special arrangements.

The most experienced possible team is required.


6to5against - February 14, 2017

I could live with Bertie’s involvement too. But not the other pair.

Sutherland is the very epitome of the neo liberal, a group who amongst many crimes seem to have a particular fondness for embedding pro – corporate policies into international agreements. He shouldn’t be anywhere near a deal.

Bruton has similar associations but he has always struck me too as being a bit thick, and with an absolute inability to negotiate anything. He came close to destroying the peace process, brought down a govt through ignorance and managed to be the only FG er ever to fail to strike a deal with labour.

Bertie is what he is, but he seems broadly free of any conscience or ideological conviction and as IEL says, he is capable of striking a deal if nothing else.


shea - February 14, 2017

don’t know about independent of government or why it would be a strength. Who do they take direction from, how is the success or failure of their mandate measured in real time. We could end up with the mess collins and griffith came back with.

Agree the issue is massive though.

Brexit has two angles for this state. lobbying for our best case scenario and planning for our worst case scenario. At the moment most public comment seems to be on the former.


3. Jim Monaghan - February 14, 2017

I would see merit in a team of economists. Ones who could evaluate the various trade offs. E g in our original deal we gave on fish and gained on agriculture. Enlightened self interest should be the guide. I think Bruton is probably the most ideologically rightwing of the trio, and I would think Trumpist.


CMK - February 14, 2017

Economists? Irish economists? Jeez, they’d be worse than these three amigos. We’re stuck with Dara Muprhy and Enda leading the Brexit negotiations………..

Liked by 1 person

Jim Monaghan - February 15, 2017

Perhaps I should clarify. Like everywhere else the deal would be signed of by the Dail. and government. The Dail should state the priorities.The role of the economists is to tease out the actual impact of each point in a proposed deal. Reduce the unknowns, so to speak. Whether we like it or not, change is coming. This means that we will probably have to restructure our economy away form being a tax haven. But which sectors should we bet on. At the moment we have little in the way of economic impact assessments. (Throw the money at useless airports, cargo cult rubbish). Is our education system up to scratch. (No it isn’t). I listened to some of a very vapid and wasteful conference on Brexit and I despaired. One idiot (from a children’s quango) blathered on “what about putting children central” as if this meant anything.
We have a paralysed government (maybe better than one which is not, such is the cretinism about). Brexit and Trump could mean a return to unbridled protectionism. As for our Left. Their response seems to be “Leave the Euro, EU, etc. restores public wages to pre recession levels, get Apple to give the 13 billion (which belongs not to us but to either where the tax was avoided or to the poor workers of the Congo and China).Better to have the blunt truth told to us and prepare. Hard times are coming.


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