300 million to none?

300 million to none?

A number of thoughts occur following the recent announcement by the Irish Government of a 300 million euro Brexit loan scheme for Irish business.  The loans, backed by the European Investment Fund, are for future working capital requirements to fund…

Will we need food patrols on the border?

Will we need food patrols on the border?

The debate on the border has focused on how Northern Ireland might be kept in ‘the’ or at least ‘a’ customs union with the EU. This still leaves the question of how the agri-food industry north and south would have…

Things that will never happen on the Brexit border

In a Radio Ulster look-back interview this morning former First Minister Peter Robinson admitted that on the basis of the economic case, he would have favoured the UK remaining in the EU. However, ‘we are where we are’ and he…

Smart or not?

Smart or not?

Compare the present Irish border with what is outlined in the the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee’s  Smart Border 2.0 report and its clear that a future border arrangement, with or without a political agreement, will be anything but frictionless. Commissioned by…

Brexit will have structural impact on Irish economy

Brexit will have structural impact on Irish economy

The Brexit debate has focused largely on the threats to goods exports and particularly to agri-food if we end up trading with the UK on the basis of World Trade Organisation tariffs. But as noted in a recent article, we…

Time not certainty

Time not certainty

Here is the text of the agreement between the EU and UK  following the St Patrick’s weekend negotiations.  On Ireland, the UK confirmed it would accept the “backstop” solution of aligning with EU regulations to prevent a hard border with the…

Lines are now drawn.

Here is the full text of the European Parliament withdrawal agreement and already it is clear that it will produce a defining point in these negotiations opening as it does the prospect of Northern Ireland remaining within the customs union and single…

Brexit's promise of a packet of crisps

Brexit’s promise of a packet of crisps

Things are moving towards some sort of crunch as various Brexiteer positions implode under the weight of their own contradictions or fall apart under painful contact with the brick wall of reality. Last week’s Chequers meeting seems like a very…

Jeremy Corbyn rides to the rescue

Jeremy Corbyn rides to the rescue

Met Eireann has a severe weather warning out for Wednesday 28th February. It may in any event be a day we will remember for a long time, perhaps even the day the light was turned on at the end of…

Who will say - “We shall not be removed” from Europe!

Who will say – “We shall not be removed” from Europe!

There is no political mandate to change the status of Northern Ireland by taking it out of the EU. So where are the calls for peaceful democratic resistance to defeat this ‘monstrous conspiracy?’ Exiting will take with it rights and…