Sunday 25 February 2018

British pull together as our leaders bicker

'Calamity Kenny' criticised by own TDs for botched Brexit plan

Enda Kenny Picture: PA
Enda Kenny Picture: PA

Donal O'Donovan and Niall O'Connor

The response of British policy-makers to the Brexit vote is now being hailed as good enough to stave off a recession.

But our Government reached new depths of dysfunctionality last night as Fine Gael TDs openly criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny's handling of the crisis.

Analysts are saying the succession of actions by the Bank of England and the Treasury show they are "operating in a refreshingly joined-up manner" in dealing with the vote to leave the EU.

The British policy response includes releasing Stg£150bn in new lending for businesses and homeowners.

Interest rates will be cut later in the year to act as a further economic stimulus and encourage investment and spending.

Following those initiatives, analysts BI Economics expect "the UK economy is not headed for a major recession".

The activity in London is in stark contrast to the bickering in Dublin.

Read more: As Ireland dithers, UK opens new front in war for economic survival

Rather than focusing on Ireland's response, our Government is embroiled in squabbles on Brexit, abortion and water.

Fine Gael TDs are incensed at Mr Kenny after his capitulation to Independent Minister Shane Ross on a free vote on abortion and his botched handling of a North-South forum on Brexit.

Mr Kenny was labelled a "calamity" by party colleagues and humiliated in the Dáil as opposition leaders ridiculed him.

And party backbenchers publicly lashed Mr Ross as an "á la carte" minister after he ignored the advice of the Attorney General on the abortion legislation.

Read more: The tide is starting to turn on cross-border shopping as Sterling slides

Sterling plunged to new lows against both the dollar and the euro, sparking more concerns for retailers who fear a 'Brexodus' to shops in Northern Ireland.

In a further farce, former Senator Joe O'Toole resigned as head of a new water board five days after his appointment.

Read more: Pound falls to weakest level against the euro since late 2013

Irish Independent

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