You’ll recall the huge bailout the UK delivered to Ireland? Circa £7billion in 2010? Ireland still paying interest on it? How times change.
James Forsyth writes in the Spectator
“The negotiations will probably end this week. Varadkar doesn’t want to negotiate. Varadkar was keen on talking before the Benn Act when he thought that the choice would be ‘new deal or no deal’. Since the Benn Act passed he has gone very cold and in the last week the official channels and the backchannels have also gone cold.
“Varadkar has also gone back on his commitments, he said if we moved on manufactured goods then he would also move but instead he just attacked us publicly. It’s clear he wants to gamble on a second referendum and that he’s encouraging Barnier to stick to the line that the UK cannot leave the EU without leaving Northern Ireland behind. [Or perhaps the EU is giving Varadkar his orders!]
“There are quite a few people in Paris and Berlin who would like to discuss our offer but Merkel and Macron won’t push Barnier unless Ireland says it wants to negotiate. Those who think Merkel will help us are deluded. As things stand, Dublin will do nothing, hoping we offer more, then at the end of this week they may say ‘OK, let’s do a Northern Ireland only backstop with a time limit’, which is what various players have been hinting at, then we’ll say No, and that will probably be the end.
“Varadkar thinks that either there will be a referendum or we win a majority but we will just put this offer back on the table so he thinks he can’t lose by refusing to compromise now. Given his assumptions, Varadkar’s behaviour is arguably rational but his assumptions are, I think, false. Ireland and Brussels listen to all the people who lost the referendum, they don’t listen to those who won the referendum and they don’t understand the electoral dynamics here. If this deal dies in the next few days, then it won’t be revived. To marginalise the Brexit Party, we will have to fight the election on the basis of no more delays, get Brexit done immediately.”
As to how the Government would then deal with the Hilary Benn “Surrender” Act, the source explains “The Act imposes narrow duties. Our legal advice is clear that we can do all sorts of things to scupper delay which for obvious reasons we aren’t going into details about. Different lawyers see the ‘frustration principle’ very differently especially on a case like this where there is no precedent for primary legislation directing how the PM conducts international discussions… Those who pushed the Benn Act intended to sabotage a deal and they’ve probably succeeded. So the main effect of it will probably be to help us win an election by uniting the Leave vote and then a no-deal Brexit. History is full of such ironies and tragedies.”
Leavers might ask, where is the tragedy in the votes of 17.4million people, after over three years, delivering what was actually voted for and promised in writing? If the establishment gets a bloody nose, so be it, and enjoy it! As the former Labour MP Bryan Gould
considers the antics of “those MPs who have contrived to frustrate the will of the people” he concludes “Those whose response to defeat for their viewpoint in the referendum has been a rearguard action using these guerrilla tactics do not seem to realise that the difficulties they have helped to engineer in the way of the UK leaving the EU make the eventual departure even more certain”.