Englands' difficulty is Irelands' too

Englands’ difficulty is Irelands’ too

Its over fourteen months since the Brexit referendum.  We’re now well into the first phase of negotiations but far away from any real understanding of what Brexit will look like and how negotiations will go.  In fact its worse than that.

The British government attempts at putting shape on its position has been rubbished as “magical thinking” in Europe and despite the Irish governments initial polite acknowledgement it didn’t take long for its real view to come out with Irish EU vice president Mairead McGuinness taking the having cake and eating it phrase a stage further.  They want their cake and eat ours, she said.

Perhaps Fintan O’Toole in the Guardian put it best when he recognised the beginnings of a blame game by the British. And this latest phase of talks has been kicked off almost dismissively by the EU with Michel Barnier saying that Britain will have to start “negotiating seriously”

Just at this juncture and weeks ahead of Party conferences UK domestic politics kicks off.  Janen Ganesh in the Financial Times  talks witheringly of the “daily humiliation” of Therese May.  Meanwhile Labour, by deftly shifting its position has decided there is new Brexit ground to be fought in the hope of dividing the Tory’s and possibly forcing another general election.

Add it all up, confusion in England’s negotiating position, hardening of the EU line, the scent of blood in UK domestic politics, and Barnier’s clock keeps ticking.  The cliff edge could be closer than you think.