Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen
- Electoral Commission to visit Brexit party offices over funding concerns
- Nigel Farage doused with milkshake in Newcastle
- Downing Street lobby briefing - Summary
- Lunchtime summary
Ray Bassett was one of the senior Irish diplomats advising Bertie Ahern’s government the during the run up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement peace deal for Northern Ireland in 1998. Bassett then served as Irish joint secretary to the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference in Belfast between 2001 and 2005, just prior to the signing of the second major peace deal between unionism and nationalism - the St Andrews Agreement. He also served as an ambassador, but after leaving the Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs stunned some of his former colleagues by turning against the EU and getting involved with the Eurosceptic Irish Freedom party.
Today Bassett claims that Irish/EU pressure leading to Theresa May not getting a deal she could sell will result in a real Brexiter entering 10 Downing Street. On his Facebook page the former senior Irish diplomat warns:
With the imminent ending of Theresa May’s leadership of the British Conservative party, and also [her time] as prime minister, the Irish government should reflect on the part they played in her, and indeed moderate Conservatism’s, demise in our neighbour. The likely prospect now seems that Boris Johnston will be the next PM of the UK, or Dominic Raab.
The failure to give the UK a reasonable deal in the withdrawal agreement politically killed off May and those around her. It was extremely short sighted to place all Ireland’s eggs in the Brussels basket. We needed a good deal for Britain, in our own interests, but the EU Commission needed to teach the deserting Brits a lesson. It was a repeat of the fiasco of the Cameron renegotiation, where our political establishment’s excessive Europhilia trumped the national interest. A sad day for Ireland.
Three in five British voters say politics in Westminster and Brussels is broken, according to a poll that finds pro- and anti-Brexit parties are running neck and neck ahead of the European elections on Thursday, my colleague Mark Rice-Oxley reports.
Here is the key chart.Continue reading...
20/05/2019 - www.theguardian.com