Thursday 22 February 2018

Cameron put a sharp focus on equality between our islands

'Cameron took things on and did much good work. His stronger
legacy may be his implicit acknowledgement that there is now a relationship of equals between Britain and Ireland.'
'Cameron took things on and did much good work. His stronger legacy may be his implicit acknowledgement that there is now a relationship of equals between Britain and Ireland.'
John Downing

John Downing

David Cameron only visited the Irish Republic once - in May 2011 during the official visit of Queen Elizabeth. He tried to keep the Northern Ireland political parties at arm's length for most of his six-year tenure as British Prime Minister - only warming to the Democratic Unionist Party in late 2014. That was six months before the May 2015 general election, amid a realisation he may need their votes to return to Downing Street.

Yet there are good reasons for dubbing Cameron a "Friend of Ireland" and someone who left British-Irish relations in a better condition than he found them when he first took office in May 2010.

He was the first British leader to stress the equality of relations between the two islands after more than 900 years of sometimes very fractious relations. In fact there was little-noticed seminal moment in November 2010, which passed amid all the tumult of that time as Ireland was forced into the EU-IMF bailout.

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