Even as the UK Supreme Court made their BREXIT ruling today, Enda Kenny was gearing up to make an explicit pitch for British-based financial institutions to re-locate on to these shores.
He will tell a major summit in Dublin that Mrs May's decision to opt for a 'hard Brexit' means Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU with "a stable, predictable and certain business environment", according to the Indo this morning Dame Enda's speech to the European Financial Forum in Dublin Castle is aimed squarely at attracting direct foreign investment away fro the UK to here and British people could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at it. Article 50 has not yet been triggered and even the noisiest opponents of BREXIT in the EU have stopped hurling insults in favour of a wait and see policy.
Enda though is courting favour at home by telling us that Ireland is ready for BREXIT and we have a plan so there's no need to worry. I despair of Enda and when I look behind him and see the likes of Big Phil Hogan and little Leo, not to mention Pascal O'Donoughue, the despair only deepens. That these kind of people are speaking for us is all wrong. Even an idiot would know that now is the time to keep the powder dry. We don't actually have BREXIT yet and even when the kicking and gouging starts and they argue over what it might look like, it's unlikely to unfold in one big bang. Perhaps wise heads in the UK & EU might begin by looking for a win-win for both sides. By beginning on that kind of optimistic note then negotiators could horse-trade a bit of this for a bit of that and so on. So in light of the current lull, Enda's attack on the UK appears misplaced and very premature.
Of course BREXIT is now the small brother to Trump and what that could mean for all of us. BREXIT hasn't happened yet but Trump certainly has. To his credit, Finance Minister Baldy Noonan has been camped in Washington since before the inauguration pumping the flesh of the various new players in power in the US. This morning from the heat of battle, he is quoted as saying that, "He does not think changes to US tax law will adversely affect Ireland." Given what the lad's been up to you'd have to suspect he got that first hand. Whether or not the bold Michael choreographed events back in Dublin or not, "The EU commissioner for economics has, (coincidentally), said that Ireland's treasured low corporation tax is not under threat and that Brussels fully respects our tax sovereignty." Speaking to reporters in Dublin this morning, Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said no member state can be overruled on tax sovereignty. Mind you, this is the same French lad who hinted darkly that Ireland would take a kicking over Apple at the time.
So judging from the above, a bit of a picture emerges doesn't it? Noonan's making deals in Washington to keep the Yankee money here. The EU is also formally giving this policy the green light if Moscovici is to be believed. But then Enda goes on the offensive publicly to steal existing business from London to Dublin. In reality I think what Noonan is doing is absolutely right given our economic dependence on existing foreign direct investment from the huge multi-nationals situated here. Getting EU agreement to a critical aspect of that at this early stage is some serious diplomatic footwork after the outrage aimed at Apple and our Revenue boys and girls. But Enda's solo run today in Dublin Castle is amateur and clumsy by comparison. Senior representatives from the China Investment Corporation (CIC) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, among others, will be in the audience today to hear Enda tell them why staying in the UK presents them with a serious business risk that a move to Ireland would solve. The Financial Services Centre in Dublin is already a substantial player and so much of what is needed is already in place.
If I were to make an educated guess, I would say Noonan is making sure we hang onto what we have and the EU appears to be backing him in this regard. Our home grown doom-mongers are predicting a massive fallout from the UK leaving the Union and figures like twenty-billion a year leaving the Irish economy must have sent shivers up the Kenny spine. So he's donning the salesman's suit, wrapping the green flag around him and mimic-ing an actual Statesman up at the Castle today to try to get us a few extra bob to compensate. There's nothing wrong with that in theory but surely the timing is discordant. There is no need right now to piss off Theresa May and the House of Commons. Like his plan for an all-Ireland forum on BREXIT, it was the right idea at the wrong time so nothing came of it. And on a side note, even as Michael Noonan is doing the business with Trump's lads, little Leo is back in Dublin insulting the incoming President and dismissing talk of inviting him over here. To a little snot like Leo, someone like Donald is wholly inappropriate.
I do hope Noonan an gets back soon and muzzles those morons.