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Collie

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Collie last won the day on January 31 2017

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  1. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Probably a bit less brief than that (and less tongue in cheek). You can narrow it down to the last 110 years or so with a particular focus on 1968 - today. Should help one understand why the NI backstop is so important to today and the future. Again, what is wrong with giving the people of NI a choice of which customs union they wish to be part of?
  2. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Again, I suggest you follow Bertie Ahearn's advice and do a crash course in Irish history. The Good Friday Agreement is more important than Brexit and the EU are committed to protecting it. The backstop (for NI) was a negotiated legal agreement between the British government and the EU (December 2017). The British backstop is a construct for the Tories to keep the DUP happy. One solution is to give the people of NI a choice of which customs union they want to be part of, the EU or a post hard Brexit Britain.
  3. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    I wonder who he could have had in mind Brexiteers need ‘crash course’ in Irish history, says Ahern Former taoiseach suggests British children should be taught the subject to help combat ignorance Brian Hutton Updated: about 19 hours ago Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has suggested British children should be compulsorily taught Irish history to combat the “sheer ignorance” in the UK exposed in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. In a stinging rebuke of some leading Tory Brexiteers, Mr Ahern said they needed a “crash course” in the events that led to partition on the island of Ireland and the foundation of the Republic. During a speech to mark the centenary of the 1918 general election – a seminal moment that led to independence – he also said he believed the “downgrade” of school history lessons in the State was “ill-considered”. “It is important that we commemorate our past and that we also learn from it and, in this context, I want to say that the decision to downgrade history in our secondary schools and to make it a non-compulsory subject [at Junior Cert level] was short-sighted and quite frankly ill-considered,” he said. “I know that the current Minister for Education [Joe McHugh] is revisiting this decision and I hope he will recognise that our young people learning about the suffering and loss and sacrifices that have taken place to give this country its nationhood emphasises the imperative of building for the future a just and peaceful island for everyone.” In the talk at Wynn’s Hotel in central Dublin, Mr Ahern added: “In this regard, I am tempted to say that the compulsory teaching of Irish history should also be included on the syllabus in Britain. “One of the many major disappointments of the Brexit debate is the sheer ignorance – and sometimes arrogance – of the realities of Irish history and Irish political affairs, as expressed by some Brexiteers.” Related Brexit: Ministers deny May government is preparing for second referendum Sinn Féin could have ‘neutralised’ DUP’s Brexit veto by taking seats – Bruton Brexit: May’s deal could get through parliament if EU makes assurances – Hunt Mr Ahern said he could think of “a few former Eton and Oxford students” who had been “contributing vocally if not sensibly to the Brexit debate, who could do with a crash course in the lessons of Irish history”. The former taoiseach, a central figure in the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998, warned the UK’s decision to leave the EU must not be allowed to “unravel” the peace accord. “Nobody here needs reminding that our generation has borne witness to the tragic results of a conflict that has cost thousands of lives and caused colossal damage and disturbance to the lives of many more people, holding back the natural progress of a whole society and indeed an entire island,” he said. “It has been in human terms one of the most costly history lessons, one that we should have been able to steer clear of or at any rate cut short.” The significance of the Good Friday Agreement should never be underestimated “and to use modern parlance it was a game-changer,” he added. Mr Ahern said the ratification of the deal by “Irish people North and South” was the first concurrent act of self-determination in Ireland as a whole since the general election of 1918. Architect The former Fianna Fáil leader also used his speech to pay homage to ex-SDLP leader John Hume, architect of the peace process. “The idea for concurrent referendums, North and South, and to build democratic consensus around the Good Friday Agreement belonged to John Hume and I was very glad to help implement this idea,” he said. “John was always an astute politician with a huge intellectual depth and someone deeply read in Irish history. He saw the dangers of militant Irish nationalism being irreversibly wedded to a long expired and disputed mandate, given in the 1918 general election. He wanted to empower a new generation to write and shape their own version of history. “And for John Hume and for me, this had to be underpinned by a fair and honourable accommodation between unionists and nationalists based on partnership, co-operation and mutual respect – in relationships within Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain.” Mr Ahern said it was “right that we never forget our history and we remember, a centenary on, those who fought for or campaigned to vindicate the Irish people’s right to self-determination.” “But it is this generation’s duty to ensure that we leave a lasting political framework on this island, which will mean no one will ever again have to fight or die for Ireland’s sake and that all of the people on this island can live in peace, prosperity and harmony,” he added.
  4. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Brexit uncertainty hits London financial jobs Professionals who changed jobs in November received an average of 21 per cent. Michael O'Dwyer about an hour ago Job vacancies in London’s financial services sector fell 39 per cent in the last year, according to data from professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley. Businesses are stalling on committing to major projects due to uncertainty created by Brexit, the firm found in its London Employment Monitor for November 2018. Job supply in the financial sector was also down as the number of professionals seeking jobs fell by over a quarter compared to November, 2017. “Brexit has taken a considerable bite out of banking jobs,” said Hakan Enver, Managing Director at Morgan McKinley. It is “stunning” that the financial services industry, which contributes £119 billion (€) a year to the UK economy, “barely gets a mention” in the 585 page UK-EU withdrawal agreement, he added. A number of London’s financial institutions have moved part of their operations and staff to cities such as Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt to preserve passporting rights and access to the single market following the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU. Meanwhile, London professionals who changed jobs in November received an average salary increase of 21 per cent, the Employment Monitor showed. “What is apparent is that the lower flow of individuals searching for new employment isn’t deterring institutions from offering a premium to secure their services,” said Mr Enver. Separately, almost three quarters (74 per cent) of 6,500 British professionals polled, told Morgan McKinley that they favoured a second referendum on Brexit. Asked how they would vote in such a referendum, 75 per cent said they would choose for the UK to remain in the EU. Just 3 per cent said they favoured the existing deal negotiated by prime minister Theresa May while 22 per cent would opt to leave the EU.
  5. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1834197740022719&id=413132078795966
  6. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    What about the people of NI? Why not let them decide their own fate? Would that not be democracy? The UK is not one but rather a union of four countries (a bit like the EU is a union of 28 countries). I think you need to familiarise yourself with the GFA (as does Karen Bradley btw). Hong Kong was once part of the UK too. It can a model to end the dispute about the backstop for Britain, allow Britain to leave without threatening the hard won Good Friday Agreement. The backstop is a negotiated legally enforceable agreement for NI (December 2017) but not for Britain.
  7. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Think you need to read my comment again. NI can remain part of the UK and the EU (the ROI don't want the €12b annual bill). The EU will allow this. A majority of people in NI don't want to leave the EU or a return to a hard border on the island. Btw, the Good Friday agreement allows for NI to leave the UK when a majority wish to do so. Something a hard Brexit will accelerate. I tend to look for practical resolutions in a conflict. Not sure I'd want to be your wingman.
  8. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    No, NI can remain part of the UK, just with the border in the Irish sea. They get the best of both worlds and can be the Hong Kong of Europe. Suxh a proposal would get a strong majority vote in NI and even Unionist business would like this. The DUP do not represent the majority of people in NI.
  9. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    ANALYSIS If May loses, Brexit could be delayed or even abandoned Analysis: It seems if May wins tonight’s vote by any margin, she will stay put Denis Staunton London Editor Follow Updated: 18 minutes ago Video Image Theresa May’s defiant statement outside 10 Downing Street, promising to fight “with everything I’ve got” to keep her job, set out the case she will make to Conservative MPs ahead of tonight’s confidence vote. A leadership election now would mean that her successor would not be in place until at least the middle of January, too late to renegotiate the Brexit deal in time for a parliamentary deadline of January 21st. This could mean extending the Article 50 negotiating deadline so that Britain would not leave the European Union as planned on March 29th. Delaying Brexit could mean abandoning it, she warned, if Parliament takes control of the process and triggers a second referendum. Hardline Brexiteers within the European Research Group (ERG) failed last month to win the support of the 48 MPs needed to call a confidence vote. May’s decision to postpone the vote on her Brexit deal changed the arithmetic, prompting more Brexiteers and some Remainers to conclude that she lacked the authority to deliver a Brexit deal that can win a majority in Parliament. Related Irish Ministers told not to comment on Tory confidence vote Theresa May: ‘I will contest leadership vote with everything I’ve got’ Tory leadership vote: Who could replace Theresa May if she goes? If May wins tonight, she is immune from a challenge to her leadership for 12 months, a factor that could play against her in tonight’s ballot. Many MPs who declined to move against her by triggering a confidence vote would, none the less, like her to leave office shortly after Britain leaves the EU at the end of March. And Conservatives are united in their determination that they should not go into another general election under her leadership. The ERG’s leaders have deployed the DUP against the prime minister, warning that the unionist party will withdraw its support from the government unless the Conservatives choose a new leader. For their part, the DUP have long been plotting to remove May and her defeat tonight would help to burnish their reputation for ruthlessness at Westminster. For the ERG, May’s successor must be a Brexiteer and if she loses, the group will stage a mini-hustings to choose a candidate - probably Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab or David Davis. MPs choose two candidates who then go before the broader party membership and the Brexiteers fear that splitting their vote could allow two former Remainers to go forward to the final contest. Within the cabinet, home secretary Sajid Javid and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt are former Remainers who have swung behind Brexit since the referendum. Both publicly expressed support for the prime minister this morning, along with other ministers with leadership ambitions. May’s opponents need 158 votes to topple her and some of them acknowledge that they will struggle to reach that number. That’s why Brexiteers have this morning suggested that, if the prime minister fails to win the vote by a wide margin, she will have to step down. They point to the precedent of Margaret Thatcher in 1990, when she won 204 votes to Michael Heseltine’s 152 but was forced to resign. But five years later, when a third of Conservative MPs voted against John Majorin his “back me or sack me” confidence vote, he remained in office. If the prime minister’s statement outside Downing Street this morning is anything to go by, if she wins tonight’s vote by any margin, she will stay put.
  10. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Yes, I agree. I think she will emerge stronger and will be safe for 12 months. Still doesn't resolve a very divided nation though. The solution is to sacrifice the DUP and NI (and let's face it, nobody in Britain really cares about it) with a border in the Irish sea. I don't agree with May's politics but she has some tenacity and staying power which is admirable.
  11. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    I don't think the UK have any respect left on the world stage after the last 2 years. The majority of MPs disagree with Brexit and think it will be bad for the UK. The EU will not move further, they have already made concessions. The ROI (& EU) will not move on the backstop and the vast majority of the people in NI don't want them too (even DUP supporters). Think you need a new referendum with a single transferable vote among the 3 options. And each country's vote should apply to them (ie if NI or Scotland vote remain again they should be free to do so with any border put up within the UK). Can't see the 2nd part happening but a people's vote is a growing possibility.
  12. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    I love it when people tell me what I think. No hatred for anything English (deepseated or otherwise). I have family and many friends who are English and enjoy good relations with the vast majority of English people I meet. My comment was a direct response to one of your colleagues about the French "para-military police force" (his words not mine) and how the British would never do that. I suspect the people of London, Birmingham, Guilford, Warrington etc would share my views (and the vast vast majority of Irish people) about paramilitaries, as evidenced by a 94% yes vote in the ROI to amend the constitution to approve the Good Friday agreement.
  13. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    Interesting. Post-Brexit Britain may not want to pay for Northern Ireland English voters overwhelmingly want their money spent in England, not in the North Paul Gillespie Sat, Dec 8, 2018, 05:00 A bus with students from anti-Brexit protest group ‘Our Future Our Choice’ demonstrates outside Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne The UK exchequer provides a £10.8 billion (€12.1 billion) annual subsidy to Northern Ireland and pays £8.6 billion net each year to the European Union. The two figures show a striking disproportion between the UK’s internal and external obligations just as the Irish backstop becomes the defining issue in its future relations with the EU. The disproportion is mostly unknown to the British public who voted 52/48 per cent in 2016 for Brexit based in good part on the belief that the cost of EU membership is far higher than it actually is and that its intrusion on UK policymaking is similarly large. Given the immense strain Brexit is putting on the UK’s internal unity, this disproportionate funding is a really serious matter. The latest Future of England Survey organised by researchers in Edinburgh and Cardiff universities asked voters in each of the UK’s nations whether they prioritise a hard Brexit over a hard border in Ireland. Richard Wyn Jones, one of its authors, summarised the findings: “An overwhelming majority of Conservative voters in England would prefer to see Scotland become independent and a breakdown of the peace process in Northern Ireland rather than compromise on their support for Brexit. But it’s not just Brexit. Half of English Conservative supporters want to stop Scottish MPs from sitting in the British cabinet altogether.” Related Second referendum will see the British holding hands as they jump over the cliff MPs criticise May’s Brexit plan as ‘failing to offer clarity, certainty’ Brexit: Tory MP backtracks over food scarcity in Ireland In other notable findings, voters typically expect higher levels of policy alignment with Europe post-Brexit on issues such as roaming charges and food hygiene standards than within the UK. English voters say by 62/38 per cent they want money raised in England to be spent there and not in Northern Ireland. That view is held by 73/28 per cent among Conservative voters whereas among those voting Labour it is 22/78 per cent. ‘Union’s demise’ Wyn Jones concludes: “Strident protestations of faith in the future of the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from Theresa May and her leading ministers cannot hide the fact that the union is under huge stress as result of Brexit. Ironically, that threat is posed at least as much by those who would regard themselves as unionists as it is by those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who actively wish the union’s demise.” The surveys reveal what Wyn Jones calls a “devo-anxiety” among English voters. It reflects in part an English nationalism both resenting and seeking greater voice in the devolving UK. That nationalism can be overstated as an independent force but it undoubtedly drives much of this disenchantment. Leave supporters in Northern Ireland value a hard Brexit over the peace process and a soft border by 87 per cent, illustrating their DUP base. But for the DUP to put such store on avoiding a border down the Irish Sea, given the fraying of popular unionism at the base of Conservatives in England, risks bringing these diminishing solidarities and radically disproportionate UK transfers to Northern Ireland out into the open in future UK-level bargaining. Intra-UK solidarity is much stronger among ordinary Labour voters in England than among Conservatives. What that would mean for a possible Labour government arising from Brexit remains to be seen: could it outweigh or counter-balance the Labour leadership’s sympathy for Irish nationalism? Overall non-Conservative voters in England support the UK’s union much more than Tory-Brexit ones. Economic price That union would probably have more chance of survival, renewal or civilised voluntary disintegration if Brexit is softer or reversed in a second referendum. This survey bears out the view of commentators who say the end of the UK is more likely to come from the secession of an England no longer prepared to pay the political or economic price of union than from Scottish (or Northern Irish) voters who still have other options. The Brexit convulsion brings the Irish Question right back into mainstream British politics more intrusively even than during the Northern Ireland Troubles culminating in the 1998 Belfast Agreement. One has to go back 100 years to the December 14th, 1918, general election after the first World War won by unionists and Sinn Féin in Ireland to find it so prominent – and resented. Lloyd George is widely respected in the UK for having eliminated Ireland from internal British politics by the 1920 partition and the 1921 Irish Treaty. Now that it is back, can one imagine future red buses going around England after the economic shock of a hard Brexit with the slogan: “We send NI £204 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead. Vote Leave”? here Brexit Deal or No Deal: countdown to Brexit continues as the March 29th deadline fast approaches. See more here. Re
  14. Collie

    The (all new) Brexit Thread

    I think if you ask a lot of the people in NI, they will tell you that Britain does have a "para military" police force and it was common to see it on the streets of Belfast, Derry etc for 30 years.
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