Sunday 19 November 2017

EU and UK add to Kenny's fiscal woes

As if it did not have trouble enough, the Irish government faces the prospect of taking over the EU presidency in June with Europe having no agreed budget for its €150bn-a-year operations.

As the Taoiseach ruefully observed, that would leave the Irish presidency lacking authority at a time of deep crisis. All will be well if his optimism about agreement proves correct. Should no agreement be reached by February, Brussels would technically run out of funds.

Such an outcome still seems unlikely. However, while the Budget negotiations every seven years are always fraught, this one is certainly the most difficult since Margaret Thatcher demanded "our money back". Once again, the UK is at the centre of the difficulties.

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