Meanwhile, In Dundalk


From top: Michael Barnier and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, Mr Barnier and moderator: Áine Lawlor at an event called “The Brexit Negotiations: State of play and future direction” this afternoon

This afternoon.

Dundalk Institute of Technology, County Louth.

The All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit: Fourth Plenary Session featuring the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier.

He said there can be no Brexit withdrawal agreement without a “backstop” option for the Irish border,

Mr Barnier denied claims from Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), that he has been “aggressive” towards Northern Ireland unionists in the Brexit talks.

The DUP leader said earlier that Mr Barnier did not understand the dispute and was not an “honest broker”.

In response, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said he was not ready to engage in “polemics” with Mrs Foster.

He said he had not approached the negotiations in a “spirit of revenge”

Barnier warns of no Brexit deal without border backstop (BBC)

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47 thoughts on “Meanwhile, In Dundalk

  1. realPolithicks

    Typical dup nonsense, everytime they don’t get what they want they accuse the other side of “not being an honest broker” or not understanding “their” side. These jokers are not interested in negotiation but will only accept what they want, it must be impossible to get anywhere in talks with them.

  2. ReproBertie (SCU)

    Barnier is not an honest broker says Arlene “ash for cash” Foster.

    Incredible realisation there from the head of the DUP that the EU’s chief negotiator has the interests of the EU at heart. Next week, Arlene calls the pope a Catholic.

  3. ahjayzis

    The DUP haven’t a leg to stand on. They’re not the majority in Northern Ireland and Brexit was resoundingly voted against. She’s not even First Minister, she’s a leader of a tiny, minor UK political party speaking directly against the wishes of her region as expressed in the referendum and subsequent election. He should completely ignore her like he would the BNP.

    To “understand” political unionism’s culture, Barnier needs to understand these people have no interest in democracy and no value for citizens who disagree with their extreme nationalism. They’d rather see NI children eating from bins than to be sundered from the country that can’t fupping abide them.

  4. realPolithicks

    That’s the part that is so sad and pathetic, they cling to their “union” with countries whose politicians and people don’t give a rats ass about them.

  5. Bull Duggan

    Barnier come to pat the heads of the loyal Irish lapdogs,forever willing to do the EU’s bidding.
    Fact is the last time there was a proper poll a majority of Catholics in the North said they preferred to stay as part of the United Kingdom.
    Varadkar is making a fool of himself chasing the SF vote with his anti-Brexit agenda.
    There will be a deal between the UK and the EU and,just like before Christmas,the Irish will do as they’re told by the Luxembourg drunk Juncker.

  6. John f

    The situation with Northern Ireland is complicated by the DUP propping up the Conservative government in Westminster. Were that not the case I would expect that English would happily start ridding themselves of northern Ireland by keeping the North in some form of customs union with the South. Northern Ireland is a financial black hole for them and an endless source of problems.
    But with the political wing of the old Testament (the DUP) propping up the Conservative government, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. The Irish government could well regret letting the EU use us as a stick to beat the British with in these negotiations. As things stand there will be no agreement reached and WTO rules will take effect. Instead we should have entered into bilateral negotiations with the British the day after the referendum result was announced.
    This country has the most to lose from a hard BREXIT situation. Like the “leave” side have always (rightly) maintained no deal is better than a bad deal. As things stand right now a “no deal” situation is quite likely.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      “Instead we should have entered into bilateral negotiations with the British the day after the referendum result was announced.”
      Did we shelve the bilateral agreements we had, or were they cancelled? I havent found a record of them being cancelled. (serious question)

      1. Listrade

        There can’t be official bilateral discussions, Brexit is between the EU and UK. States can’t make separate arrangements as UK isn’t officially free to do so yet.

        There is fairly frequent “unofficial” discussion, but Ireland is not in a position to strike its own deal.

        1. ReproBertie (SCU)

          As the UK was shut out of the EU27’s Sasamach discussions much of the early meetings between Ireland and the UK consisted of the UK asking what was being said and Ireland repeating that they couldn’t say. This was followed by the EU asking Ireland what they had told the UK. The meetings were a total farce.

          1. Listrade

            I’m not going to judge because the UK sounds like me after a works night out that I didn’t go to

    2. ReproBertie (SCU)

      As an EU country we could not enter bilateral talks. The negotiation is with the EU and that was made very clear to everyone involved. Also made clear to everyone was that we will not accept a hard border and that means the EU will not accept a hard border.

      Seeing the disaster that’s coming members of the Unionist community are questioning the value of staying in a post Sasamach UK rather than being in a united Ireland within the EU. The DUP’s intransigence on the customs union will ultimately backfire on them.

      WTO rules would cripple Britain’s economy and they’d still need to meet EU regulations to trade with the EU.

    1. ReproBertie (SCU)

      Exactly. We’re using the EU to protect our cross border trade from the incompetents running Sasamach.

    2. GiggidyGoo

      Are thy using the Brexit situation to get rid of us out of the EU too do you think? Stealth?

      1. ReproBertie (SCU)

        The last thing the EU wants is for Ireland to leave. That’s why they are facing down the repeated nonsense coming from the UK. The UK would love Ireland to leave as it would make their decision look less foolish as well as weakening the EU’s position.

          1. ReproBertie (SCU)

            Aside from the obvious things like access to our fishing waters, Ireland leaving would weaken the EU, thus strengthening anti-EU sentiment in other EU countries, and weaken their position in the Sasamach negotiations. We may be small but keeping us inside and happy is crucial.

            Of course us leaving the EU would be an economic disaster for Ireland. The EU is a much more important trading partner that the UK and, lets be honest, do we really want this government to have to negotiate trade deals with the EU? Besides companies are now opening here instead of the UK specifically because of the uncertainty of Sasamach.

          2. ReproBertie (SCU)

            In a nutshell, it’s more about the optics of a strong, united EU than anything specific to Ireland. That’s why the UK are trying to run down the EU on social media and MSM and trying to convince Ireland that we are lowly serfs to Merkel or Brussels. Discord among EU states aids them.

          3. Cian

            There is one small advantage to the EU if Ireland were to leave. Money.
            All of the large multinationals (Facebook, Apple, Google) would leave Ireland and move operations into another EU country.
            All of the tax avoidance that Ireland has helped will be gone – and the EU can tax these companies properly.

            But yeah – if we leave it makes the EU/Euro a lot more fragile and could start an exodus of other countries out.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          Just asked ReproBertie this…. What advantage is it to the EU to have ireland as a member? Maybe you can answer?

          1. Listrade

            It’s the collective gain, you either buy into that or you don’t. Not a judgement, just how it is. The model of free trade, free movement of labour, etc. It’s far from perfect, but that’s the model.

            Ireland is a net contributor now and gives more than it takes. That bill may go up post Brexit, but depends on final details of the divorce bill.

            Would the EU miss Ireland? Dunno. There’d be some hit as with Brexit due to exports to EU that feeds other industries. But as stated above, the EU system is not about individuals, it’s about collective power. Like the Borg.

          2. Cian

            To simplify Nigel’s question. Why would the EU want us out at all (either by stealth or not)

  7. Bull Duggan

    Ireland jumped last time Merkel called – to the tune of 56 billion big ones.
    There’s no reason to doubt Ireland won’t jump even higher this time.
    We’re being played like idiots.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      We had two Wallies at the helm then – Kenny and Noonan. We have the same now – two replacement Wallies. Varadkar and Daffy.

      1. Cian

        I’m pretty sure it was FF at the helm when the banking crisis hit, and the banks were given the blank cheque.

  8. SOQ

    What is quite interesting in all of this is how FG and SF are now a lot less hostile to each other than they used to be. New people at the helms obviously help but there is also the way in which, albeit for different reasons, that they are now both working towards a common goal.

    As for the DUP, they would cut off their nose to spite their face. They had an opportunity to become a serious player in the UK but instead, demanded bribes. It lacked class on so many levels and will be remembered long after Brexit fails.

  9. Niallo

    Savor the delicious irony of brexit discussions being held in Dundalk…

    And now the weather, “well Ron, I predict hails of bullets and explosions sweeping across the newly re-established border in all directions as the poo hits the fan, probably best to pack a flak jacket, i’m outta here”

    1. SOQ

      If you were a member of the LGBT community you left Dundalk ASAP and if Pride last year was anything to go by, very little has changed.

      SF hypocrites to the core.

  10. Catherine costelloe

    We have opinions in the Republic and strong ones too in respect of N.Ireland. But the majority of us did not suffer from the terrible murders, violence and bombings and bereavements as did the population of N.Ireland. The suicide rate there is higher than the 3, 300 that lost their lives during the troubles. Much healing to be done there . I hope the political parties do their upmost to put peoples welfare first.

    1. Shayna

      You would think? Despite the notion of democracy being in motion, sadly that’s not the case. Parliament in London effectively vetoed the majority vote of the electorate in The North following the Brexit Referendum. Ironically, @90% of London voted to Remain.
      Wordage, such as “Creating a hostile environment for immigrants” – from The British PM isn’t helping.
      David Cameron’s legacy is Brexit. I think it could conceivably be viewed as disastrous as Tony Blair believing there were WMDs in Iraq.
      The British Government clearly still don’t have a definitive exit strategy. If the British PM had a back-bone, she’d offer a 2nd referendum on exiting the EU, (now that the Great British Public are aware of the potential imminent disarray) before it’s too late – or is it, in fact too late? I wonder did anyone in power consider Ireland? I’m thinking not!

    2. Cian

      The suicide rate on the whole island is very high.

      The rates for NI are higher than the Republic by about 15%.

      Much healing needs to be done on both sides.

  11. Bernie

    Former senior Ulster Unionist ‘Lord’ John Kilclooney, is in hot water again, for another racist tweet regarding Leo V. After Arlene’s ‘bad manners’ comment, he tweeted, “Typical Indian”. He withdrew his previous ‘Indian’ tweet from a few months ago, but says he won’t be withdrawing this one!! Unbelievable but run-of-the-mill behaviour for the Unionists, I sincerely hope that he’s made an example of. These draconian asses cannot be allowed to encourage racism.

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