Friday 20 October 2017

The scary truth is that we are on our own in this

Deep down, we thought that the British would save us from Brexit but that won't be happening

Election call: British prime minister Theresa May will be hoping to be in a stronger position
after the June election Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters
Election call: British prime minister Theresa May will be hoping to be in a stronger position after the June election Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Eilis O'Hanlon

There seems to be some irritation in Irish political circles at the British government's decision to go for a snap election; but it makes a deal of sense.

The EU is taking an increasingly hardline stance with Downing Street over Brexit - reportedly demanding, for example, that Britain pay for the relocation of EU agencies from London, which doesn't sound like the actions of people inclined to be generous - so why wouldn't Britain want the strongest possible government to take a hard line in return? The Tories currently have a small majority, and face a weak and divided opposition. There might not be a better opportunity to strengthen their hand.

Most criticism in Ireland has centred on the fact that an election in the UK inevitably means another visit to the polls by voters in the North; but Sinn Fein is making no secret of the fact that it wants another Assembly election anyway, and the Taoiseach insisted in his most recent call to Prime Minister Theresa May that there be no return to direct rule even if the two main parties in Northern Ireland fail to agree on a deal to restore power sharing, which implies Dublin's support for another election too.

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