History was made and a Brexit deal has finally been reached. But with Boris Johnson agreeing to things he said he would never do and the DUP as always saying ‘No’, is this really the end of the story?
On this week’s Floating Voter podcast, former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, joined INM’s Kevin Doyle and Philip Ryan, as well as EY’s Simon McAllister to look at the deal from a political and economic perspective.
“There has been a huge amount of switching in one week,” said Bertie Ahern. “Boris has made three big concessions, including the line down the Irish Sea which was previously anathema. But the DUP have been consistent at least, they went bonkers after the 2017 agreement and are similarly against this deal.”
“Leo Varadkar has played a good game. The only thing is the time-limits on the backstop. I do feel sorry for Theresa May. The difference is she didn’t have the skills of being able to sell it. I assume the huge effort they will do is square off the DUP between now and Saturday.”
For businesses, Simon MacAllister says the uncertainty is still there despite the deal.
“In the private sector there is very low readiness for Brexit, particularly a no deal Brexit. I don’t think life will just go on. It is just a backstop we’re talking about. Businesses are still where they are from last week, not sure what they’ve to plan for.”
Ultimately though, and despite the DUP’s opposition, Bertie believes this is a good deal for Northern Ireland and if stability can come about then you can expect a border poll in the next ten years.
“I would expect to see a border poll in the next decade. There probably would have been one if there had been a stable executive working. It will be over 30 years since the Good Friday Agreement and it would be hard to believe that you wouldn’t get that vote. If Northern Ireland handles this right they will do very well but they have to get political stability for a sustained period.”
For more episodes from the Floating Voter, visit the show page at: www.independent.ie/podcasts/the-floating-voter/
The Floating Voter is in association with EY Ireland.