EU negotiations on UK vote: Eye on the ball

IT is all too easy to allow the froth of day-to-day, passing excitements distract us from the real issues that have the capacity to reshape our world. On our immediate horizon, there are few events, if they were to go the wrong way, with the capacity to have an impact on our lives and our economy like a vote in Britain to quit the EU.

Yesterday EC president Donald Tusk warned of “challenging negotiations” as he published a draft settlement ahead of a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. The proposal was sent to senior officials representing the EU’s 27 other member states yesterday morning. Its publication opens two weeks of intense negotiation, ahead of a summit in mid-February that could decide Britain’s future in the EU — and our relationship with our largest trading partner.

At the moment, and for the next few weeks at least, our politicians’ priorities lie elsewhere but it must be hoped that the permanent government — our civil service mandarins — are doing all they can to ensure the best outcome for Ireland, the EU, and Britain too.


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