Former Taoist teacher John Bruton says UK trade war will have ‘extreme impact’

John Bruton, a former Taoist teacher, said the UK-EU trade war would have a «very severe impact» on Ireland.

Mr Broughton said the trade war was his «number one concern» for Ireland at the moment, and while it hadn’t happened yet, «it could happen soon».

Mr Broughton was addressing a Cambridge webinar series on the future of the island of Ireland on Monday.

The former Fine Gael leader also said he believed the country was «a good distance from Irish unity».

Mr Broughton said the state was facing a «very fundamental moment» this week as the UK considers triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He wondered if the UK government’s ultimate goal was to «permanently destroy» the protocol and create a «huge hole» in the confines of the European single market.

“What I think Boris Johnson has discovered is that Brexit is working to get votes, the tougher you are with the EU, the more popular you are in certain sections of the English public… It has been rewarded for being politically tough thus far, so it will continue to be. in doing so until it suddenly becomes clear that he is no longer being rewarded for it.” Mr. Proton said, on a very simple level, that’s part of it.

«However, on a deeper level, there is likely to be in some areas of the United Kingdom and especially in England, a desire to essentially destroy the European Union, and to divide the European Union because the great British and English strategy over the past five hundred years has always been to maintain division in Continent of Europe, not allowing any ability to unite on Continent of Europe and keeping the Continent apart.”

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Mr Broughton said Irish politics is going through an «extraordinary phase» at the moment, with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael joining forces. He said the coalition appeared to be working «remarkably» with very little friction, adding «I would never write off the possibility of this current government being re-elected in Ireland».

When asked about Irish unity, Mr. Broughton said: «I think we are very far from Irish unity. I think the important unity in Ireland is the unity of mutual respect between the traditions that are on the island.»

«These two loyalties will not disappear,» he added. “I don’t think a border ballot voting for a united Ireland by 51 to 49, similar to the famous Brexit referendum, in its proximity would give us stability.

I don’t think the minority, if the unionists find themselves in the minority, will settle for Dublin rule.

«I do not believe that the public opinion in the Republic of Ireland is prepared to make the sacrifices of lives as well as money which would be necessary to maintain unity if there was a minority so bent on abandonment in the north-east of the island who would not accept it.»

Mr Broughton said he would «of course» like to see a united Ireland but did not think it was a practical vision in current or expected circumstances.

“I think we need the realists in Ireland and I think the unionists also need to deal with the fact that they may be British in their loyalty but Irish in their geographical position, they are Irish and they need to connect with us on the island of Ireland.”

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«We’ve had a lot of identification policies in place, we need practical ones,» Mr Broughton added.

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