Monday, 22nd January 2018
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Tis the season to be jolly?”

Whilst out and about over the last weekend, I was stopped on several occasions to be asked about the mess that is Brexit. I suppose, being so vocal on the politics of Ireland, makes me an ideal person to stop and quiz when it comes to all things governmental in the UK, GB and of course Scotland.

Unfortunately it does appear that the political glitterati, on both side of the Irish Sea, are crafted from a very similar gene pool.

On Sunday last, due to frost and snow my unicycle stayed snugly wrapped under the duvet. I therefore had time to watch David Davis MP (The Tory baddie) squirming on Andrew Marr’s BBC show. He was asked probing question, after probing question on the lies spouted by the leave side, during the Brexit referendum. Like all well schooled representatives, he wiggled out of answering any direct question with a straight answer. Time and time again he was fudging the reply and deflected nearly all of the arrows being shot at him. According to the UK Government, Westminster is still in the driving seat at the negotiating table and they are sailing the "Good Ship Lollipop” in the right direction.

What about that £40-£50 billion (some say £100 billion) divorce settlement? A separation that wasn’t going to cost a single penny? It would be "No deal”, if there was any hint that the EU were going to force through a bad deal. Does the rhetoric sound familiar?

As they say "A week is a long time in politics”.

Scroll back a few more days. There was a deal on the cards and pens were poised ready to sign on the dotted line. A shame then that nobody had bothered to call and inform "Mrs

Merton”, up in the North. She immediately circled her DUP wagons, rolled out the same old Unionist patter and told May, Leo and Juncker "The computer says NO!” All hell broke loose. People were scurrying around dark corridors, slamming doors and trying desperately to find alternative words, in their "Oxford Thesaurus of English”, to keep the Unionists at one side.

To justify the lack of movement, a scapegoat would have to be found.

Ireland would be that sacrificial lamb. An open, free-flowing border would be the proverbial square peg in a round hole. To allow the UK public the chance to get involved in this debate, Channel 4 went out with pen, paper and a map of

Ireland. They would ask people to draw the border that had scuppered the Brexit negotiations. Low and behold no-one could. Did they really expect some poor victim, from the middle of Sheffield, to know where this line should be drawn? Of course not, but it did make good TV and allowed many column inches, in newspapers both sides of the divide.

There were cries of foul play and demands that the "Empire Strike Back”. With lightsabers drawn, there would be much infighting and even the odd few admitting to "Using the force”, to find a wording or two, that suited all sides. Then out of the blue, after much lamp rubbing, the Genie appeared and a wording was penned that suited North, South, East and West.

Even Sky’s very own comedic "Anchor Man” Adam Boulton, managed to have a last minute snipe at Ireland, when interviewing Simon Coveney. The media well and truly had their knives sharpened. They would be prepared to sever every limb, of any politician who was thrown their way. It was like feeding Christians to the lions at Rome’s Flavian Amphitheatre.

Whilst all this politicking continues to rumble on, we the ordinary members of the public just want to see progress. This political points scoring needs to stop and solutions need to be found. Alas, finding common ground for ALL members of a political party, never mind cross-party, is the Holy Grail.

You couldn’t really write a better script for Brexit. It is an unjustifiable race to the bottom. We know that locally, representatives

"Pretend” to work together, when their real motive is to get more votes than their competitor. It’s the same in the UK! Irish and UK politics, one big pantomime? "Oh yes they are!”


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