Updated: 05/12/17 : 05:52:22
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Foster trips up fanciful footwork

Commentary: Eugene McGloin

ANY TWO-BIT negotiator will tell all and sundry who want to listen that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

Ditto, any Government or institution saying today, Tuesday, they had an agreement yesterday on ONE element of the UK leaving Europe? I rest my case.

They didn’t have an agreement, that is 101% clear today in all the spin about ‘renege’ etc etc.

Deep Seated

Nothing is broken today that wasn’t broken yesterday and the day before. All is there to play for. 

It is a nonsense for Europe and for any government to claim there must be (immovable) agreement etc on ONE issue before they move to the next stage.

Such stymies and sine qua non — ie ‘without it we can’t and won’t move on’ — are not the spirit either of mutual negotiation.....or of mutual respect.

Of all parties, you would expect Fine Gael to have learned the lesson from its own history of the deep-seated problem(s) sowed within piecemeal solutions.

1. The problem on the ‘British side’ is that no two seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Apparently no size fits all, yet.

2. The problem on the ‘Irish side’ is that no one seems not to be singing from the government’s generic hymn sheet. Apparently one size fits all, already.

Cool Jets

All sides, in Europe or Ireland north and south, need to cool their jets.

It is in the long-term strategic interests of this State, and beyond, that the UK does not leave the European Union without a deal.

Publicly and expressly we need to see and hear a much better quality of generosity towards the opposing side.

Either Side

Meanwhile, the (new) Border beyond, say, Ballyshannon on the road to Belleek or Enniskillen will be a European frontier, ideally.

Brussels needs to give us better detail on how that frontier would operate. 

We don’t have that type of detail from them. Manned? Automated? 

Either way it would be 101% illogical for any militants on either side here to be suggesting future attacks on such a frontier.

The positive, everywhere, is to make that European frontier effective but fairly seamless.

The much-quoted Good Friday Agreement expressly intended that there would be no change in the status of those living in the north without their majority express prior consent.

The UK decision to leave Europe was never within the express thinking of those who framed the Agreement but it was clearly there, unenumerated.

Yesterday’s agreement yesterday clearly invaded parallel space on the other side.

How was it left to Arlene Foster to be the one to see that ‘fanciful’ and ‘fancy’ are not synonyms for ‘fairness’ or ‘skill.’

How/why did Dublin and Europe (and London?) not see those same defects in the past 72 hours?

Sinn Fein was marginalized for decades by the same sides. How did they, too, not see and say yesterday that the emperor has no clothes.

Commonsense compromises will be needed on all sides, starting today. 

The sooner we begin to see those, the better for all of us.