Our politicians are embroiled in discussions about the implications of Brexit on both sides of the Irish Sea, but so far not a lot of concrete ideas have emerged. Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein have suggested creating an all Ireland national forum to consider the implications of Brexit. On Saturday, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the Irish government had confirmed such a forum would be set up.Maybe it would lead to something, but unionists would probably shy away and, at first glance, it looks like a talking shop.Stormont and Dublin ministers are discussing Brexit in their North South Council and an early meeting of the East West British Irish Council has been promised. Neither of these spin-offs from the Good Friday Agreement have proved especially dynamic. But if the UK does sever its EU links then their role could become much more important. As Professor Brendan O’Leary recently pointed out in a lecture at Queen’s University, the BIC already straddles islands like Jersey Guernsey and the Isle of Man which are not EU members. The Remain camp will no doubt continue to press for Northern Ireland to retain its EU status. However the opposition Nicola Sturgeon… Read full this story
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