Tag Archives: Republic of Ireland

Blair, Blair…






Two things stand out from Tony Blair’s comments around his visit to the European People’s Party meeting in Dublin last weekend. Both are puzzling.

First, Blair has suggested in response to the possibility of a “hard Irish border”, by which he should surely be honest in saying a hard EU border, that:

If the UK and the Republic were able to agree a way forward on the border, then we would have the best chance of limiting the damage. It is in the interests of us all, including our European partners, for this to happen.

The issue here is that now Article 50 has been triggered how exactly does Mr Blair think the Republic of Ireland can do this outside the EU negotiating team. Maybe he had a chat with Mr Barnier, who also attended the EPP meeting, and agreed this possibility?

Abstractions of reality





We are becoming used to claims that the UK might have to pay a very hefty bill in order to leave the EU.

In contrast, one and a half years ago a consultancy report (K Hubner and KLC Consulting August 2015, “Modelling Irish Unification”) claimed that Irish unity could be something of a money-making exercise – one consequence of unity would be that incomes would rise in both Irish economies in the 5-10 years after unification.

Hubner’s were conditional forecasts – KLC made certain assumptions and then forecast how the economy might respond. As the report itself concedes, “The models are abstractions of reality, embodying many assumptions”.

The sensible thing to do, therefore, is review KLC’s assumptions. Four in particular are problematic:

EU offers instability to North, or South, or both.





Indications from the EU leaders’ summit (now not including the UK) suggest they are minded to allow a post-Brexit Northern Ireland a seamless transition back into the EU if that Northern Ireland were part of a united Ireland.

At first sight this might appear radical.