It may be because I have been unwell of late but nothing irritates me more than this government refusing to tell the truth. Whether they like it or not, we are going to have some kind of a border on this island. So they need to start spelling out what form it will take and, if necessary, have a debate on how it should operate so as to be as inoffensive as possible. This should be seen to be an EU border, because that is what it is, and whose primary function is to protect the Single Market. Customs officials should have EU uniforms. There should not be a harp or a Union Jack in sight. We need to know what is going on and we need to know now.
The Taoiseach then needs a severe reality check. By his unimaginative approach to the backstop he has alienated the British, our long term allies, and expended a great deal of political capital with the Europeans. This precious commodity may well be required to protect our corporate tax regime. Boris has already said he will reduce the UK rate to match the Irish rate. Why did Leo do it ? Some naïve concept of burnishing FG’S republican credentials ? Snuggling up to Sinn Fein for electoral purposes ? That sure fell flat after the Locals. Bashing the Brits in a populist manner ? Certainly. As a result he left himself little wriggle room. Now the ballgame appears to have changed. Boris has said he will not countenance the backstop and just to make matters more difficult he has displayed a woeful ignorance on all matters pertaining to Ireland.
What this government now faces is a potential catastrophe on November 1st if the UK crashes out. There is no point in a blame game and no point in harking back to May’s deal. It is dead. It failed to pass parliament. We need to concoct some kind of a compromise on the border linked to transition and reviews etc. In other words a classis fudge which allows Boris off the hook as much as ourselves Maybe, just maybe, if an initiative like this was handled properly it might just do something to repair Fine Gael’s crumbling credibility. The Blue Shirts may not realise it, but they are in deep trouble. Their fiscal irresponsibility is staggering. Over the National Broadband and the Children’s Hospital they look like they have been casting billions to the winds. People realise this will mean cuts in services. Health, Housing and Ministers out of their depth. Micheal Martin will be the next Taoiseach.