Tag Archives: EU

Last night.

3Arena, Dublin

U2 in the first of four Dublin performance of their eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour, featuring support for the European Union.

It drives the kids crazy.

Leon Farrell/RollingNews Pic 5 via RTÉ

FIGHT!

Earlier: Hooey

Oh Border, Where Art Thou.

By Keith Phelan & Billy Kemp

Keith writes:

This video composed from 17,117 satellite images traces the path of the 499km Irish (and soon to be UK/EU) border….

Go home.

Following his filthy display of ‘continental charm’ at the Aras…

Jean Claude ‘On the juice’ Juncker, perpetually partying President of the European Commission, continues his ‘lost weekend’.

On our dime.

Hic.

Jean-Claude Juncker seen stumbling and in wheelchair at Nato event (Independent.co.uk)

Previously: Hands Off

Belgian MEP Phillippe Lamberts has told Sky News the UK Government has agreed to a “Special Situation For Ireland”

This morning/afternoon

According to two well-placed sources, the text that negotiators have been working on intensively over the past five days, spell out that the UK will agree that on either side of the border there would be no divergence on EU single market and customs union rules after Brexit.

This has long been the Irish Government’s preferred solution for avoiding a hard border.

The text says that the UK has agreed that the Good Friday Agreement will be protected.

All better

UK to make Brexit concessions over NI (RTÉ)

Britain Concedes (The Guardian)

RollingNews/Sky News

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield is a lecturer in the School of Physics in NUI Galway director and compere of Bright Club in Ireland, the co-organiser of Soapbox Science Galway, and an established improviser and comedian.

Dr Fairfield writes:

I’m a physicist and a science communicator, and I’ve had a lot of unique experiences in my life as a result of those passions.

But I never expected to be detained at UK border control for three hours, and eventually denied entry and sent back to Ireland, just for doing science communication.

You see, although I have lived and worked in Ireland for the past six years, I have an American passport and no special privileges in any other part of Europe.

And I have been all over Europe as part of my job in Ireland: to attend research conferences, be hosted as a visiting researcher in another lab, speak on panels, and give public lectures and science comedy performances as to engage the public with science.

I came to Europe as a postdoctoral researcher and am now a lecturer at NUI Galway, running my own research lab and a plethora of public engagement events.

Mobility is a critical issue for physicists. We may need to travel for a conference, to visit collaborators, or even to move abroad to start a new career stage

But when I showed up in Cardiff to do a science comedy show as part of a festival, I was stopped at the border. I was not going to be paid for my performance, and had paid for my own travel out of pocket.

However the border agents considered the festival ticket and parking pass that I had received (for an event I was to speak at) as a form of payment in kind.

This is equivalent to saying that invited speakers at a conference are paid if their conference registration is covered, and nothing I (or the festival organisers who were phoned) could say convinced them otherwise.

Throughout this process I was left alone for long stretches, told not to use my phone, and all my travel documents (from both the US and Ireland) were taken off me. It’s a process that is designed to make you feel powerless, and it works.  Finally I was fingerprinted and photographed, served with refusal paperwork, and sent back to Ireland.

There is now a black mark in my passport indicating I was refused entry to the UK.

This is especially ironic given my next planned trip to the UK will be to collect the IOP’s Mary Somerville Prize – a significant public engagement award that I am honoured to receive for my efforts to communicate science to the public.

And yet apparently I am not allowed to do public engagement activities, not just for free but at my own expense, in the UK.

Mobility is a critical issue for physicists. We may need to travel for a conference, to visit collaborators, or even to move abroad to start a new career stage.

Recent political developments such as Brexit and the travel ban in the US have been rightly criticised by researchers around the world for failing to account for how necessary the free movement of people is to science today.

Early-career researchers who can’t obtain travel visas easily are at a heavy career disadvantage. This is why mobility was a core issue of the recent March for Science.

To me, this is also indicative of how toxic our conversations about immigration in general have become. The border patrol officers I dealt with were as kind as they could be to me, but they were tasked with enforcing a system where all immigration is considered negative. Never mind that immigrants are often young, hard-working, and full of ambition.

Never mind that immigrants drive social change, spark innovation, bring new perspectives, and in fact draw less on social safety nets than citizens do (both because of their demographics and often because they aren’t allowed to).

Never mind that in science, many researchers move internationally, often multiple times, and in fact a huge number of Nobel Laureates are immigrants themselves.

The narrative we hear about immigration often seems to have a Schrödinger’s Cat quality to it: immigrants as lazy welfare cheats, who are also stealing our jobs.

We should respect just how much immigrants contribute, scientifically and otherwise, to the countries they have chosen to call home.

I hate that this disrespect starts at a very early stage: the recent story of the Afghan girls’ robotics team who were initially denied entry to the US for a robotics competition is heartbreaking. I was glad to see the decision reversed, as setbacks to girls in science and engineering are plentiful enough already.

I’m an immigrant, a physicist, and a science communicator, and I’m working hard to make the world a better place. Ireland has been welcoming, for me at least, so I’m doing a lot of that work here.

But if other countries want talented young people to come enrich their societies, they should actually make that possible. Otherwise we’ll go somewhere else.

Science shouldn’t stop at the border (Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, Institute of Physics blog)

Thanks Neil Curran

Nat King Coleslaw writes:

So LEAVE.EU calls him an “Irish Diplomat” when, according to Aidan, he’s the “ex Irish Ambassador to Canada and is not currently involved in any govt department, civil service or political group”

So (as Carol Cadwalladr suggests) who’s bankrolling him to get “Irexit” moving?

Anyone?

Ex-ambassador Roy Bassett on Ireland’s links to UK and EU (BBC)

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No return.

Liam writes:

Northern driver (spotted in Dublin today) fudging the whole nationality thing by having EU instead of GB on the number plate. May not be Brexit-proof…

Anyone?

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-15-25-47

That low.

A new Structure of Earnings Survey by Eurostat finds:

The proportion of low-wage earners among employees amounted to 17.2% in 2014 in the European Union (EU). This means that they earned two-thirds or less of their national median gross hourly earnings.

The proportion of low-wage earners continued to vary significantly between Member States in 2014. The highest percentages were observed in Latvia (25.5%), Romania (24.4%), Lithuania (24.0%) and Poland (23.6%), followed by Estonia (22.8%), Germany (22.5%), Ireland (21.6%) and the United Kingdom (21.3%). In contrast, less than 10% of employees were low wage earners in Sweden (2.6%), Belgium (3.8%), Finland (5.3%), Denmark (8.6%), France (8.8%) and Italy (9.4%).

Read the report in full here

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From the Health at a Glance: Europe 2016 – State of Health in the EU Cycle report.

EC Rep Ireland tweetz:

Irish teenagers almost at the top of the class for daily consumption of fruit and veg…

Take that, Dr Eva

Yay.

Read the report in full here

Thanks Fact Checker