Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes, that is a separate exercise that needs to be done. But in the closing months and weeks of the A.50 process there will be great pressure to come up with some kind of a face saving agreement. Something that creates some hope of being built on after Brexit and which shows that both sides weren't being entirely bloody minded.  But yes, it would be a stretch, but I wouldn't discount it.  The UK badly needs Ireland as an ally within the EU even if it can deliver little in the immediate A. 50 period.  It also needs a re-wind of the Troubles like a hole in the head. This is an area where UK, Irish and EU interests can intersect with relatively few implications for whatever else can or can not be agreed.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2017 at 08:39:19 PM EST
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