Archive | May, 2012

The Eurozone, The Fiscal Treaty Referendum & future directions of EU Ireland & UK

27 May

After watching Mike Smyth on BBCs Sunday Politics show ( (the NI element) where in answer to questions about the Irish EU Referendum campaign and likely outcomes, there are several points I think are worth wider consideration.

1) Consequences of a YES vote: in line with the views of Dr Alan Ahearne ( expressed on Newstalk’s Breakfast show on Friday 25/05/12 ( where he said that in order to survive the Euro MUST have Banking Union, Fiscal Union & Political Union, which is in line with ex-premier of Greece Papindreou’s ideas ( i.e. MORE EU NOT LESS. Thus a YES vote will tie Ireland to ever closer ties to the Euro and EU with all the implications for among other things our Corporate Tax Rate.
An inescapable consequence of this ever closer union will create problems for the 32 Counties project in that with ever closer union within the EU will put distance between the two jurisdictions on this island. Especially since the UK (especially the electorally crucial ‘middle England’ voters) are becoming MORE eurosceptic (indeed Cameron may have to promise an EU membership referendum in order to stay Tory leader). Such a referendum would (especially in England) give a NO to EU result which would create huge border issues on this island and have implications for business and migration. Today the Tories are talking about Greek migration but it is equally plausible given EU economic issues that one could change Greek to Irish. (The issues different referendum voting patterns would create in terms of the regions, e.g. in the event of either/& Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland voting FOR as opposed to ANTI, or conceivably the South West which has close economic ties to France through Plymouth votes to stay in, I’m not going into in this post but the divisiveness shouldn’t be underestimated).
2) Consequences of a NO vote: and again my thinking has been prompted by the thoughts of Messrs Ahearne & Smyth is along the lines of Ireland is NOT Greece because Ireland has a viable Plan B: namely leave the Euro project and come back into the £ Sterling ambit. Note I am NOT arguing that the UK economy is in better shape than the Eurozone or that Cameron & Clegg’s austerity programme isn’t as damaging as the EU inspired one, merely that unlike Greece, Ireland does have this option, and there HAS been a huge positive UK publicity drive in the last year, Queen’s visit (and the apology she was ‘forced’ to make), various high level Ministerial visits and now the Olympic Torch.
None of this is set in stone it is purely a view from where I sit.
The big question would be what price the Tories and the City would demand – Financial Services, Corporate Tax Rates, Inward investments, Northern Issues?

Work, Wages, and the now-mythological 8 hour day—More Hours, Less for Ours

23 May

Work, Wages, and the now-mythological 8 hour day—More Hours, Less for Ours.