How will they square the circle of unfettered access to Northern Ireland ports? Check it out on Tuesday

23 Feb

David Frost ( no, not that one, now deceased) According to the Sunday Times we will know the approach the UK will adopt for the next stage of EU withdrawal in a couple of days, now that the country has left the organisation and we are in the transition phase of less than a year.  The UK government are taking up a position of maximum distance from the EU procedures and laws quite different from the  erratic harder no softer … Read more

A way can be found between the EU rock and the GB hard place. But will Boris Johnson let us take it?

4 Feb

Katy Hayward We are literally at sea over what Northern Ireland’s special status with the EU will mean  in practice.   Our Brexit guru – or should I now say, our Guru on Trading Relations with GB and the EU Katy Hayward  writing in the Belfast Telegraph explains neatly why Northern Ireland is between a rock and a hard place    In  the past  Katy was keen to repeat assurances that  NI’s  different economic  relationship with the EU from GB  had … Read more

In the brave new world outside the EU, the DUP have no survival strategy for the Union

1 Feb

The quivering projection of Big Ben onto the facade of Downing St accompanied by its tinny recorded chimes while the Brexit deliverer skulked inside, said it all. Boris Johnson did not want to be visibly identified with the big moment in case it all goes pear shaped.  In former times retreats on such a scale were the result of war. That’s about best thing that can be said about Brexit; the worst is that it’s heading for a bigger reverse, … Read more

What is your goodbye song for Europe?

31 Jan

I am sure tonight as Big Ben strikes 11pm you will all be waving your Union Jacks and joining in a rousing chorus of Rule Britannia. But what song symbolises the UK’s leaving of the EU? For me it has to be this classic from the Queen of Country herself – Miss Dolly Parton: If I should stay I would only be in your way So I’ll go but I know I’ll think of you each step of the way … Read more

#BrexitDay-Nothing but damage

31 Jan

In Jan Carson’s The Fire Starters, there is a quote: “There is never enough silence to contain all our talking…….we continue to believe that across the sea, Europe (and also the world) is holding its breath for the next chapter in our sad story. The world is not waiting.” More than anywhere else in the UK, Brexit shifted the ground beneath Northern Ireland. It threw us down on different sides, sides that were also the battle lines that came before. … Read more

Michel Barnier speaking about #Brexit and the EU at QUB this evening (video + speech)

27 Jan

Making his third visit to Northern Ireland in the role of EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier addressed a packed audience in Queen’s University Belfast’s Riddel Hall this evening. Watch back the video of his lecture and read extracts from his speech.

Paraphrasing what I heard: the UK can no longer dip its hand into the EU sweetie jar as those treats are only for the 27 members. Anyone hoping for a softer edge to Brexit may think again.