Posted on 15th June 2019

Slane Castle

Well Metallica came and went.  What can I say.  Magic, absolute magic, and that performance will live in the memories of thousands for many years to come.  As to what I follow that up with, that is another day’s work.

It is hard to focus on the world outside after a head rush like that but here goes.  Bar a mishap Boris Johnson is going to be the next British Prime Minister.  His enemies are doing their best to undermine him, paint him as a buffoon, cast him as a scoundrel, but make no mistake, Boris is very clever and he knows this is his one great chance to get to No. 10 and he will do his damnest not to screw it up.

Now this is where it gets really difficult for us.  I have held the view for some time that Leo in particular had taken far too strident a position on the Backstop.  If Enda Kenny had remained Taoiseach, he would have adopted a more flexible approach, giving the government room for manoeuvre if circumstances changed.  Lo and behold, that is exactly what has happened.  Boris Johnson has vowed to take the UK out of the EU by the 31st October with or without a deal.  On balance I tend to believe him but he has at least said that it would not be his preferred option.  Therefore, as soon as he becomes P.M. I would expect him and his team to head to Brussels to try and negotiate a deal.  Now when this happens, as it will, our government need to be ready because the pressure will really be on.  This is not Maybot we are dealing with but a super charged Boris, thinking that this is his moment of destiny.  Suppose he chooses to focus on the Backstop as the key to unlock a deal.  Then, will France and Germany turn to Ireland and ask the Taoiseach to re-examine his position ?  Will Micheal Martin, who has throughout this process adopted a more nuanced position, come up with a different strategy to deal with changed circumstances ?  This is all uncomfortable stuff but we need to openly debate all of this before it comes barrelling in on top of us.

As far as I am concerned, the governing consideration is defending the national interest.  If the U.K. is to depart the E.U. we don’t need them to crash out.  They are our major trading partner and a country with which we have many links.  They lent us money during the banking crisis and were our friend when within the E.U. family.  We need to see them leave with a deal.

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