Thursday 26 April 2018

Don't place your hopes in Hollande's soothing noises

Merci, François. The French president came to Dublin yesterday making all the right noises.

In contrast to the dour realism of Angela Merkel a couple of weeks back, François Hollande told us what we desperately wanted, and needed, to hear: Ireland was entitled to "a special place" in the negotiations on the UK's departure from the EU.

The German Chancellor had played down the idea of specific guarantees around trade and the common travel area - and seemed to suggest that Ireland's relationship with the UK was little different to that of Germany or many other EU countries.

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