Will the UK go Rogue on Northern Ireland?

Introduction As we have left the EU, the “trivial” task of negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is done. It is now a legally binding international treaty, including the Irish Protocol. We now move onto the far more complex future relationship talks. It always seemed impossible that the talks could be concluded successfully within the 10-month… Read more

A fond Farewell to the UK from an EU27 Citizen? – part I Origins

Introduction As regular readers of the Blog will have noticed, I am both Irish and a scientist. As such, I often have a different view on things to the average Brit. My University College Dublin (UCD) contemporary, Fintan O’Toole’s analysis of England in his acclaimed book Heroic Failure has been said to deliver a few… Read more

Backstops and Broomsticks

Introduction Coming up to the Halloween deadline has Boris Johnson (BJ) managed to sweep all before him, pull a fast one on the EU and pull a unicorn out of a pumpkin? Has he finally understood that the Irish border was the wicked problem in the Withdrawal Agreement? The one that couldn’t be finessed or… Read more

NI Politics comes to England but is it a Trick or a Treat?

Introduction Growing up in Dublin, Halloween (Oíche Shamhna – the night before Samhain 1st Nov.) was a significant event, particularly for children. Dressing up in ghoulish costumes, making turnip lanterns, playing particular games, going around neighbour’s houses asking “help the Halloween party” was all part of the fun. Fireworks, in particular, “bangers” were set off…. Read more

Westminster: Most Similar Country Ireland? – A new EU Regional Productivity Analysis

Introduction An interesting paper “The big European sort? The diverging fortunes of Europe’s regions” has been published by the Centre for European Reform (CER). Such papers are of great interest at PP. The paper analyses regional productivity. As a single metric productivity is one of the best, but as Charles Adams says, in order to… Read more

The European Elections: the UK Electoral Map and Parties

Introduction Previous posts discussed the UK European election voting systems and the make up of the European Parliament. Here the UK situation is discussed, in terms of constituencies and parties. Parties that have been included have a likelihood (or a decent possibility) of gaining seats in the election. The Constituencies   Figure 1 from Democratic… Read more

Lessons from the Local Election results

English Results   The English election results were disastrous for the Tories, loosing 1,334 seats. Expectation management was that they may loose 1000 seats, which was considered the worse case scenario. UKIP also had a terrible night, loosing 145 seats. The main beneficiaries were the Lib Dems gaining 703 seats, the Greens 194 seats and… Read more