Tag Archives: Brexit

Top: Taoiseach Leo Vardkar with Donald Tusk, President of the ERuropean Council in Brussels today

“That is ultimately a decision for them, however, and that may change. Countries can take positions, often very strong positions, they are often negotiating positions, and yet the final outcome might be more favourable.

While Britain says they intend to leave the customs union and the single market, they also say they want a Free Trade Agreement, and while many of the elements of a free trade agreement, while not being the same as the customs union, may not be that far from that.”

Taoiseach Leo Vardkar today following a meeting with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.


Varadkar says Ireland does not want UK to leave EU (RTÉ)

Pics via Donald Tusk

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



Sir Tim Barrow (left) gives UK’s letter of notification (article 50) to Donald Tusk President of the European Council today


This afternoon.

Brussels, Belgium.

Sir Tim Barrow, British ambassador to the EU, handed the written letter to European Council president Donald Tusk…The minute the letter was accepted, the notification to leave was triggered.

Britain now has two years to negotiate an agreement with the 27 remaining EU countries over its future relationship with the bloc.


UK Officially Starts Brexit process (BBCI

Pic: BBC


Bernard writes:

Thought you and your readers might like today’s Liberation front page. Headline is ‘We Already Miss You’ (or Missing You Already)…and the soldier is an Irish Guard (shamrocks on the collar).



Emma Cassidy writes:

Saw this in my [Brussels] office building last night. Who’d have thought it was so easy? The way Theresa’s going on, you’d think triggering Article 50 was complicated….And no, I don’t work in any of the EU institutions :)

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 15.39.48Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 15.40.19

Earlier today.

At the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Northern Down Independent MP Lady Sylvia Hermon (top) asks Michael Lux (above), an EU customs and international trade lawyer, about Northern Ireland’s future land border with the Republic of Ireland post Brexit.

During her questioning, Ms Hermon recalled the UK prime minister Theresa May’s visit to Dublin on Monday and her stating that both the UK and Irish governments want a “seamless, frictionless border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

She also asked Mr Lux if he had ever visited the south Armagh border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. He hadn’t.

Further to this…

Syliva Hermon: “I just understood, from your earlier evidence that you, in fact, referred to ‘officials at the Border, officials at the Border’. The difficulty is: we don’t have officials at the Border. And according to the prime minister [Theresa May], we are not going back to the borders of the past.”

Michael Lux: “Yes, but Ireland has to do so. What you do on your side, okay, that’s up to you. If you feel that you don’t need to control the goods which are entering Northern Ireland and have to recover VAT and customs duties and excise duties, you are, of course, free not to do that. But Ireland is obliged to do this.”

Hermon: “So, how could, how could the prime minister achieve a seamless, frictionless border? Is it achievable?”

Lux: “Well, it depends how you define the term seamless. If you define the term ‘seamless’, that there are no border controls, the answer is no. At least for the side of Ireland because Ireland is obliged to apply the [European] Union law.”

Hermon: “I think what I’m also asking is the fact are, will the UK be required to have checkpoints and checks on goods, commercial goods, people?”


Lux:If Northern Ireland remains in the customs union, then all these issues don’t arise. If Northern Ireland is no longer part of the EU customs union, then this is an official customs border of the EU and then Ireland is obliged to apply all these rules.”


Watch back in full here

Thanks Brian Sammon


PodcastCover Tunein

From top: Peter Lilley; William Campbell

Here’s How, the Irish current affairs podcast presented by William Campbell, meets UK Conservative Party MP and Brexit cheerleader Peter Lilley.

Sez William:

I mentioned George Eustace’s speech at the Farmers Club, where he talked about restoring powers over farming to Westminster, not to the Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh devolved governments….


Listen Here

Here’s How