How the Irish backstop emerged as May’s Brexit nemesis

Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britains exit The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union blared like an air-raid siren in Government Buildings, the quadrangle of Portland stone and Wicklow granite in central Dublin that houses the taoiseachs office. Officials summoned politicians, diplomats, business leaders, farming groups, academics and others to the complex off Upper Merrion Street. The guests climbed a beechwood staircase with a stained glass window, My Four Green Fields, representing Irelands four provinces. At the improvised summit all agreed that Britains exit from the EU would present an unprecedented threat to Irish interests. They agreed to meet monthly to brainstorm discussions which led to a task force, a …

Pro-EU parties to use European elections as ‘soft referendum’

Lib Dems, Greens and TIG will not form pacts as they look for surge in support for remain Pro-EU parties, including the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Independent Group, will not form pacts or alliances at the forthcoming EU elections, hoping to use the poll as a soft referendum to show a surge in support for remain. If no Brexit deal is passed by parliament, the UK will be required to hold the poll on 23 May. The Lib Dems, the mainstream party hoping to capitalise most on anti-Brexit discontent, has almost finalised its manifesto and plans a huge operation of ground campaigning targeting remain voters. We want to use the momentum from the locals, which very few other …