From top: Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (pointing) and EU Chief Negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier (second left) visit the the border between County Monaghan and South Armagh, Northern Ireland; Tony Groves

Saddam Hussein once said “politics is when you say you are going to do one thing while intending to do another. Then you do neither what you said, nor what you intended”.

I think Saddam would be proud of the political machinations of Brexit.

Given the duplicitousness of current political events, I’m not sure this Brexit thing is going to be all that bad for Ireland. Even casual observers can see a border wall (just on the edge of the horizon) as a boon for struggling developers.

Tom Parlon’s Construction Industry Federation, can claim the checkpoints are housing units and Simon Coveney will add them to the thousands of phantom homes he’s conjured from the ether.

If Irish planning efficiency has taught us anything, it’s that we can get at least 15 construction tenders, 20 obscenely expensive architectural designs and a decade or more out of the planning process? Someone alert the Consultants!

We could have petrol stations running kid’s colouring competitions; draw your own border checkpoint. The winning entry could be brought to life by Dermot Bannon, in a cacophony of crayon and concrete; the entire block tastefully rimmed with barbed wire. I’m sure some minor celebrity could cut the ribbon in exchange for dual citizenship of both jurisdictions?

The War of Words between Theresa May and Jean Claude Juncker, rather than something Ireland should worry about, is a boon to Irish diplomacy. Nobody stands to benefit more from speaking out of both sides of their mouth than the Irish Government.

Who else can have claimed, not once but twice, that Ireland is to be treated as a “special case” by the European Union, while actually achieving no special deals?

Theresa May is claiming that the EU is trying to interfere in the British election. Juncker is claiming that English will no longer be spoken in the EU. Both are on a diplomatic war footing.

Ireland, meanwhile, is to remain (pun intended) neutral. And by neutral I mean turn off the lights and hope they both think we aren’t home until this all blows over.

Theresa May has laid out a plan, which is a plan to look at all available plans. She wants to explore all the options available while availing of none. Well slap me in the face with a retired judge, this is a job for Ireland Inc.

Sure isn’t Ireland Inc. the best country in the world for making world class plans, to be world class in something or other, by some far off future date?

We have panels of experts whose entire expertise is in delivering plans on the best way to hold a press conference, where plans will be unveiled to deliver new plans by 2020. Fail to plan, plan to fail, plan for your plans to fail, blame Brexit. Come on Ireland, we can do this!

There’s so much more positives to this Hard Brexit outcome. I mean, due to machinations of Banking, a financial passport is required to carry out complex financial schemes, such as rate fixing or insider trading.

Luckily our Central Bank is very experienced in looking the other way. It’s no wonder the City of London’s banks have identified Dublin as the brass plate, post-Brexit destination of choice.

I hardly think the Shadow Banking Sector, already the fourth biggest in the world and eight times the size of the Irish economy, need fear any constraints on rampant profiteering from Ireland Inc. Sure aren’t they “too big to fail.”

Enterprise Ireland could tempt more of these businesses with the tagline (once I get my royalty fee):

Ireland: Come for the Hard Brexit. Stay for the Soft Regulation

Besides, even if the banks and financial arms of the Multinational Companies don’t want to move here physically, we have brave volunteers across the country willing to allow them set up shop for little more than the price of a Brass Plate.

Sure isn’t there a house in Glasnevin, that has 124 “companies” operating from it. 124 companies in a small 3 bed house.

We are screaming blue murder about a housing crisis, yet one small suburban house accommodates 124 companies. Airbnb must be dying to get a look inside those doors.

The EU is talking about stretching the Brexit divorce out for years. They’ve warned the UK that the trade deal between the EU and Canada took nearly a decade to negotiate. Bloody EU amateurs, sure didn’t we have the Moriarty Tribunal start in 1997 and isn’t it still waiting to be acted upon?

Yes folks, Hard Brexit is going to be okey-dokey. With a little bit of creative thinking, we won’t have to do any more thinking. With a little bit of forward planning, we won’t have to make any more plans.

Because this is Ireland Inc. An open economy, and if Britain is getting into the business of becoming a closed economy, then Ireland Inc. is open to that as well.

Tony Groves is a full-time financial consultant and part-time commentator. With over 18 years experience in the financial industry and a keen interest in politics, history and “being ornery”, he has published one book and writes regularly at Trickstersworld


37 thoughts on “Brexit Wounds

  1. Otis Blue

    Great to see Big Phil back on home soil.

    He really completes the line up of mediocrity and sheer cluelessness in the photo.

  2. MKG985

    This would be funny if it wasn’t so serious! Tony, I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t agree that hurlers on the ditch are the best we can be.

    1. classter

      Exactly. So full of random errors.

      ‘Juncker is claiming that English will no longer be spoken in the EU’
      He didn’t say that, he said that English is lowly ‘losing importance’ . It was an off-hand comment before he went on to speak French.

      ‘It’s no wonder the City of London’s banks have identified Dublin as the brass plate, post-Brexit destination of choice.’
      Got a source for this too? I’m sure we will get some operations but from what I understand that Dutch have been more successful to date at hoovering up potential City of London offcuts.

      The idea that a handful of border posts will be a ‘boon for struggling developers’ is just silly.

        1. classter

          You can’t just make silly stuff up and call it satire.

          ‘Satire’ is not a get-out-of-jail card for pub talking.

      1. Listrade

        “‘It’s no wonder the City of London’s banks have identified Dublin as the brass plate, post-Brexit destination of choice.’
        Got a source for this too? I’m sure we will get some operations but from what I understand that Dutch have been more successful to date at hoovering up potential City of London offcuts.”

        Just on that point, no one has hoovered anyone up yet. The article that originated the Dutch myth (posted on here in fact) was an advertorial for the Netherlands. Companies are scouting out many European locations, but there are frequent scouting trips here by many with inquiries even getting down to capabilities of FM companies.

        1. classter

          I’ve heard the ‘Dutch myth’ from a couple of people who work in the City and have been involved in moves / planning for moves.

          All anecdotal which is why I asked Tony for a source for his definitive statement. Clearly he hasn’t got one.

  3. mildred st. meadowlark

    Very witty, as usual, Tony and enjoyable, but underneath the amusing analogies, is a vision of Ireland that we all recognise.

    However, I didn’t feel that the article addresses any of the concerns you raise.

    It’s odd. Not a bad article at all, but it feels like you’re missing a conclusion, or something…

    (I also am terrible at concluding, admittedly)

    1. witinacoffin

      Aunt Mildred indulges Uncle Tony’s “bottom” slapping at the Tarts and Vicars Party. To-wit, to-woo.

  4. dav

    “Ireland: Come for the Hard Brexit. Stay for the Soft Regulation” never a truer word was spoken – a government that fights for corporate tax evaders and vulture funds, while it does nothing for it’s homeless citizens

  5. Biggins

    Hey Tony, financial consultant is a fairly broad term, what is it that you do? In which areas lies your expertise? Have you been involved in any regulatory or advisory projects?

    1. Tony Groves

      While this isn’t the forum to address your question directly, I will say I was described as “the overly zealous banker who confirmed…for him…we’d lost the run of ourselves” by Shane Ross in 2008. Take this as my penance.

  6. Alex Francis

    You forgot about “pulling on the green jersey” and, or, indeed “the green jersey defence”. For pulling on the green jersey because you thought you were under instruction to, but weren’t.
    Top notch Tony.

  7. Owen C

    “It’s no wonder the City of London’s banks have identified Dublin as the brass plate, post-Brexit destination of choice.”

    Except the opposite is actually the case and most commentary on this issue has suggested that London-based banks are finding Irish regulatory requirements to be significantly higher/stricter than alternative locations.

    1. MKG985

      Yes, exactly Owen. Let’s pretend that the JP Morgan announcement today about moving from London to Dublin didn’t happen either. Right?
      Are you mad?

  8. classter

    To think Merceille was often criticised on these pages for being incoherent and playing fast-and-loose with the facts.

    At least Merceille usually had some sort of clearly discernible point to his pieces

    1. snapcracklepop

      I blame social media. Every thick is now a self – described expert. Drivel and snot punctuated by a hashtag. Not to mention the mangling of the English language.

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