“It has unleashed Britain’s demons and given Ireland a halo. Ireland seems modern just as Westminster’s system of muddling through makes Britain seem like a Victorian relic.”
Several multinational tech companies with operations in Ireland have also unveiled plans to deepen their investment, though some say Brexit has little to do with it.
Microsoft, which has operated in Ireland since 1985, will employ 2,200 people after its latest recruitment push, mostly at its campus in Leopardstown, about seven miles from central Dublin.
Cloistered with his aides in a private meeting room of Dublin Castle, the capital’s seat of political power since 1204, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, with a measured tone that betrays the enthusiasm of his words, argues that there’s nothing precarious about Ireland’s economic position, Brexit or otherwise.
Coveney-who is at once Ireland’s deputy prime minister, its minister of foreign affairs, and its chief negotiator in Brexit matters-says Ireland is in “Expansion mode.” He is overseeing a massive buildup of Irish embassies and consulates that he calls a Brexit-aware response to the global community’s “Overreliance on the U.K.,” adding: “We’re doing it at a pace that hasn’t happened since independence.”
The push so far includes Irish embassies in Amman, Bogotá, Kiev, Manila, Monrovia, Rabat, Santiago, and Wellington, as well as consulates in Cardiff, Frankfurt, Jaipur, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Vancouver, and a pan-cultural hub in Tokyo called Ireland House.
The ascent of Ireland as a global player and the subtle shift in power between it and the U.K. isn’t going over well with some in Britain-namely, the Brexit supporters who remain in Parliament.
Seated along the cosmopolitan corridor of Dublin’s Capel Street-amid Brazilian, Chinese, and Eastern European grocery stores; Korean barbecue joints; Filipino lunch spots; Malaysian greasy spoons; Moroccan cafés; and sushi bars-Niamh Bushnell, the Irish government’s onetime commissioner of startups who now heads up nonprofit consultancy TechIreland, believes Ireland is poised to benefit from Britain’s momentary mania.
The orginal article.
Ignacio Molina, a senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid, agrees Brexit has disfigured the image of British politics as “Moderate, pragmatic and dependable”.
According to Molina, the “Systemic failure” of Brexit has called into question the very idea of “The great British democracy. It’s a project that hasn’t been thought through. Even with Trump, there’s a strategy. But with Brexit there’s no strategy and no plan. It’s the most un-British thing there is!” Sam Jones.
The journalist Pierre Haski sums up Brexit bafflement: “Did electors really vote Brexit to allow the haughty aristocrat Jacob Rees-Mogg or the demagogue Boris Johnson to challenge Theresa May or for Jeremy Corbyn to get into Downing Street without saying what he will do about Brexit?” It was a genuine question.
Jean-Marc Puissesseau, the president of the company that runs the Calais port – also working hard to avoid Brexit chaos – says there were signs of Brexit years ago.
Growing awareness of the political paralysis wrought by Brexit may have had one unexpected spin-off – a rise in support for EU membership here, where recorded levels of Euroscepticism have often matched, or even surpassed, those in Britain.
In the days after the Brexit vote, Britons would remark that the Germans must be positively swimming in schadenfreude, after we had caused so much trouble in the EU. But among the people I spoke to – government spokespeople, supermarket cashiers, diplomats and taxi drivers – the overwhelming emotions were sadness and disappointment.
Even in their Brexit bewilderment, Germans still love holidaying in the UK, savour our lively parliamentary debate and obsess over the royals.
A professor of risk assessment tells me the path to Brexit was long clear in Britain’s difficult relationship with the EU. “I think it is time Britain left now,” he says.
The orginal article.
Now Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is encouraging drug companies to stockpile extra medicine in case supplies cannot get onto the island after a no-deal Brexit.
On Thursday, the French minister for European affairs warned that British trains and planes might not be allowed into France without a deal, while the governor of the Bank of England told the cabinet that a no-deal Brexit would wreak havoc rivaling the financial crisis of 2008.
Many Brexit fans call threats of a no-deal doomsday a bluff, an attempt to scare voters with exaggerated worst-case scenarios that won’t come to pass – a propaganda project to instill fear not hope.
Within hours, her Brexit secretary, David Davis, resigned; a day later, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson followed him out the door, damning May’s proposal as “Brexit in name only.” Hard-line Brexiteers such as Johnson argue it is better to leave the union with no deal than be vassals to Brussels.
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at the University of London and one of the authors of a recent briefing paper on Britain’s food security, said a no-deal Brexit would be “Very risky indeed.”
“The wild ideologues who fantasize that a no-deal Brexit would be great? They are fat cats and rich usually and don’t realize that food has very, very fragile status, because it’s conventionally so efficient,” Lang said.
Jason Aldiss, managing director of Eville & Jones, a company that supplies official veterinarians for slaughterhouses in England and Wales on behalf of the British government, said a true no-deal Brexit would be enormously disruptive.
Britain braces for an exodus of E.U. doctors and nurses feeling hurt by Brexit.
The orginal article.
Once the formal Brexit negotiations with the E.U. began, last June, ministers and officials bemoaned the absence of a leader’s voice.
As Prime Minister, May immediately established two new government departments: Dexeu, to manage the Brexit process; and the Department of International Trade, to explore economic opportunities outside the E.U. Dexeu was given offices at 9 Downing Street, the former premises of the court of the Privy Council.
During her short campaign, May had coined the phrase “Brexit means Brexit,” to indicate that she would honor the result of the referendum.
In May’s first six months in Downing Street, she intimated a form of Brexit that would give the U.K. looser bonds with the E.U. than Iceland and Turkey have.
A photograph from the second day of the talks, at the European Commission’s headquarters, showed the E.U.’s negotiating team, led by Michel Barnier, a former French Foreign Affairs Minister, facing David Davis, May’s Brexit Secretary, and a pair of British officials across a pale-green glass table.
“Look through the papers. Look in the government and the politics, it is only about Brexit,” Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coördinator and a former Prime Minister of Belgium, told me in his office last month.
“Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Can you imagine a country that, for years, the clock stops?” Earlier in the week, Verhofstadt had been in London, pitching May and David Davis his own idea-an “Association agreement” with the E.U., loosely modelled on its relationships with Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein, which are members of the European Economic Area, or E.E.A. But it hadn’t gone well.
On the tape, Johnson fantasized about what would happen if Trump were leading Brexit: “He’d go in bloody hard…. There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But, actually, you might get somewhere.” In Parliament, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the saturnine leader of the Party’s hardcore, Euroskeptic wing, warned that May’s strategy would leave Britain as “a semi-vassal state” of the E.U. The Cabinet gathered in the great parlor at Chequers.
The orginal article.
On 1 February, the Labour MP Chuka Umunna formally announced the existence of the grassroots coordinating group, a regular Wednesday morning gathering of organisations, activists and sympathetic MPs. Two weeks ago, GCG members launched the People’s Vote, calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.
Launching in August 2016 with six staff, the campaign group aimed to “Seek common ground between voters on both sides” by advocating a Brexit so soft, one journalist dubbed it “The Mr Whippy of Brexits”.
“I said, ‘Look, I want to stop Brexit as much as anyone else, but the question is how?’ My very strong view was that seeking to divide the movement between whether you were pure no-Brexit or soft Brexit was totally unhelpful.”
One argument is that there was no form of Brexit on the ballot paper and that campaign promises have been broken.
“We think Brexit is being driven by elites,” says Tom Brufatto, chair of Britain for Europe.
Thousands of people have gathered outside the Art Gallery for the Great Northern March, one of several simultaneous Stop Brexit protests designed to show that opposition is growing around the country.
At Best for Britain’s barnstorms, activists are sternly told that things that galvanise remainers, such as flags and Bollocks to Brexit stickers, are counterproductive when it comes to swaying the unconverted.
The voices are diverse, but they all hit the same notes: new facts have emerged; the negotiations aren’t delivering what was promised; a people’s vote is a democratic necessity; Brexit is not inevitable.
The orginal article.
The slow-motion self-immolation that is Brexit continues for the U.K. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, Michel Barnier, the senior European Union official in charge of negotiating the terms of Britain’s departure, confirmed that British banks were set to lose their so-called E.U. passport, which currently enables them to offer services throughout the twenty-eight nations in the bloc.
“On financial services, U.K. voices suggest that Brexit does not mean Brexit,” Barnier said.
“Brexit means Brexit, everywhere.”
In the months after the Brexit vote, which took place almost a year and a half ago, “Leave” supporters used the fact that the U.K.’s economy continued to expand and create jobs to claim that the prophets of doom had been mistaken.
In September, May announced that Britain wanted to push Brexit back two years, until 2021, and said that it would abide by all the E.U. rules during the transition period.
At the end of last week, Donald Tusk, the E.U.’s President, said that, if Britain wanted talks to begin a new trade agreement that would preserve its access to the huge European market, it would have to make concessions in a number of areas, including the settlement of Britain’s financial obligations to the E.U.; the legal protections that would be afforded E.U. citizens living in the United Kingdom; and the future of the border between Northern Ireland, which is leaving the E.U., and the Republic of Ireland, which isn’t.
In his speech on Monday, Barnier, a former foreign minister of France, appeared to broaden the E.U.’s demands, strongly hinting that, if Britain wanted a favorable trade deal, it would have to abide by European regulations in many areas, even though it would no longer be a member of the Union.
The country is still in the grip of Brexit madness, and, sadly, there is no relief in sight.
The orginal article.
“After Brexit, no one is trying to help now. They’ve given up. Nobody on the Continent really cares that much about Britain anymore. Even worse, people feel the country will fall into the hands of Jeremy Corbyn and that will do more damage than Brexit itself.”
More chilling, perhaps, is the impact on countries less rooted than Britain once appeared to be.
The European country considered the most outward-looking and globalized is fractured by the backlash against the very model that made Britain strong.
There are many who see Britain as having suffered a sudden nervous breakdown, said Simon Tilford, an economist and deputy director of the Center for European Reform.
Rather than a vote for a global Britain and economic liberalism, Mr. Tilford said, Brexit was a vote for protectionism, and its political system now “Is deeply provincial and introverted at a time when Britain is supposed to be heading out into the world.”
Confused and divided, Britain no longer has an agreed-upon national narrative, said Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform.
“Global Britain, open Britain, generous Britain.” But now there is a competition between that narrative and the nativist one.
Mr. Grant, like others who have spent their careers watching British and European politics, predicts rough seas for Britain as it casts off nearly 45 years of intimate trade and legal ties with those annoying Europeans.
The orginal article.