John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister
John Bruton was the Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Republic of Ireland from 1994 to 1997. He helped transform the Irish economy into the “Celtic Tiger,” one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He was also deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, under whose terms a conflict of allegiances dating back to the seventeenth century was resolved.
Latest articles from John Bruton
World is a Dangerous Place Now. Think Things Through Carefully
[John Bruton] Ambiguity is often the enemy of peace. The First World War arose from ambiguity in the pledges the powers had given to one another in the event of attack. If the pledges had been clearer, the risks might not have been taken.
Ireland’s Coming Gas Shortage !
[John Bruton] The potential crisis of natural gas supply is simply accelerating a wider underlying electricity supply problem in Ireland.
EU Must React to UK’s Intent to Ditch Provisions of Northern Ireland Protocol
[John Bruton] The best approach for the EU will be to gradually turn up the heat on the UK so as to give them time to learn that actions have consequences, and the price could be very high.
What Lessons are to be Learned from U.S.’s Afghanistan Exit?
[John Bruton] The experience in Afghanistan and similar experiences elsewhere suggest that there is a strong temptation on USA’s part to turn inwards and reduce commitments to the defence of other countries, including the European ones.
What Lessons are to be Learned from Article 16 Row?
[John Bruton] The more disharmony there is between the UK and the EU, the greater will be the political problems for both parts of Ireland.
More about John Bruton
John Bruton also served as the European Union Ambassador to the United States (2004-09).
While Prime Minister, John Bruton presided over a successful Irish EU Presidency in 1996 and helped finalize the Stability and Growth Pact, which governs the management of the single European currency, the Euro.
John Bruton was first elected to the Irish Parliament (“Dáil Éireann”) in 1969 at the age of 22 as a member of the Fine Gael Party, becoming Party Leader in 1990 and leading it into government in 1994. He previously served as Ireland’s Minister for Finance (1981-1982 and 1986-1987); Minister for Industry & Energy (1982-1983); Minister for Trade, Commerce & Tourism (1983-1986); and was Parliamentary Secretary (Junior Minister) from 1973-1977. He has also been opposition spokesman on Agriculture and on Education.
Currently, John Bruton is Chairman of IFSC Ireland, a private sector body set up to develop the financial services industry in Ireland. He is a member of the board of Ingersoll Rand plc, and of Montpelier Re plc. He is also a member of the board of the Centre for European Policy Studies. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations in Washington DC, and a visiting fellow at the European Institute in the London School of Economics.
UK’s Sovereignty over Northern Ireland Partially Sacrificed under EU-UK Deal
[John Bruton] The latest EU-UK agreement gives the UK more sovereignty over the island of Britain, but loosens a considerable measure of its sovereignty over Northern Ireland.
What does the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Mean?
[John Bruton] The new agreement between the EU and the UK would eventually shape up a system for ensuring fair trading and uninterrupted mutually beneficial business between the two in a post-Brexit Europe.
U.S. Presidential Election: Biden Ahead
[John Bruton] Joe Biden is doing better among women and the young than Hillary Clinton did, but losing ground among Catholic voters. It appears that policies matter more than the candidates’ own identity.
‘No-Deal Brexit’ Still Possible
[John Bruton] Deal or No-Deal, the EU and the UK will gradually draw further apart, as will Ireland and Britain. Irish people will need to pay much more attention to politics in Paris, Berlin and Warsaw, and a little less to the English speaking world.
Brexit Issue in the EU Summit
[John Bruton] Nobody wants a disruptive “No Deal”. But a poorly drafted, last minute, Agreement that, within a year, breaks down in a multitude of legal disputes would be no use.
European Commission’s Independence must be Preserved
[John Bruton] The weakening of the institutional independence of the Commission is very damaging to European integration and to the interests of smaller EU states. This should be of concern to the European Parliament.
German Court Sets a Wrong Precedent for Other EU Member States
[John Bruton] By undermining the European Court of Justice, the German Court is providing a precedent that could be used by semi authoritarian governments in some EU states, who do not like some EU decisions on matters like the rule of law, academic freedom, or media pluralism.
BREXIT Heading for the Cliff Edge
[John Bruton] The Conservative Party, which is driven by a narrative around re-establishing British identity and is quite insensitive to economic or trade arguments, wants Brexit done quickly because it fears the British people might change their minds. That is why there is such a mad rush. It is not rational. It is imperative!
European Union: Economy, Politics, Democracy, COVID-19
[John Bruton] If the EU is to survive as a political project, it needs to create a European democratic constituency that complements the democratic constituencies to which national leaders appeal. The EU needs a political heart to sustain its economic body.
How will the EU Tackle COVID-19’s Economic Slump?
[John Bruton] Article 122 of the EU Treaty already makes provision for the EU to give aid to help states suffering from “natural disasters and exceptional occurrences” beyond the control of a member state or states. COVID-19 meets this criterion.
What should G20 do to Fight COVID-19?
[John Bruton] Now that lives, and not just livelihoods, are at stake, an even more vigorous program of action from the G20 is needed.
UK Backing Away from Commitments Made to EU
[John Bruton] A fraught negotiation between the EU and the UK is looming, as Boris Johnson seems to be backing away from legally and politically binding commitments he gave to the EU last October.
Ireland Needs Experienced People (not Amateurs) in Office to Deal with 2020 BREXIT Negotiations
[John Bruton] Republic of Ireland needs experienced people in office to navigate the challenges of 2020, which could be the most consequential year for the century. It wouldn’t be in Ireland’s interest to entrust the 2020-Brexit-negotiations to well intentioned, but inexperienced, amateurs.
Ireland must Work with EU Partners to Protect Itself
[John Bruton] Ireland can and must learn from the work of other EU members and, on a case by case basis, take part in joint initiatives in areas like cyber security, threat intelligence, maritime surveillance, drone surveillance, etc.
Brexit is Far from Done. It is Entering its Dramatic Second Act
[John Bruton] Can a chaotic “Crash Out” Brexit in December 2020 be avoided?
Brexit: The Era of Easy Decisions is Over
[John Bruton] The EU’s strategic weight in the world will be reduced by the absence of the UK, as the EU is losing a relatively young, diverse and creative member state.
Problems with Boris Johnson’s New Proposals on Irish Backstop
[John Bruton] A ‘Northern Ireland only’ backstop would not protect Republic of Ireland’s trade with Britain which is more valuable than trade across the border with Northern Ireland.
Ukraine’s Election and its Prospect for EU Membership
[John Bruton] Ukrainian leaders are using the goal of EU membership as the spur to get their voters to accept uncomfortable reforms.
Trump Administration’s Mideast Policy
[John Bruton] Trump Administration’s Middle East policy is increasing the risk of unintended conflict between the US forces and Iranian forces & loyal militias. The policy is also making a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict impossible and a one-state solution more inevitable.
New Way Forward on Brexit
[John Bruton] How might a New Way Forward on Brexit be uncovered if the Existing Deal is not Accepted?
Brexit Testing UK’s Parliament Sovereignty
[John Bruton] Parliament, not the monarch, and not people by referendum, is sovereign — a principle not contained in a written constitution, but it is longstanding in the UK constitutional system.
Problem Lies with Brexit Itself
[John Bruton] New barriers – including the fact that the UK will be (after Brexit) having different standards, trade arrangements and tariffs than the EU – will bring delays, extra bureaucracy, and eventually bankruptcies, in their wake.
European Commission’s Paper for “No Deal“ Brexit
[John Bruton] European Commission’s Paper sets out the preparations necessary for Brexit without a deal.
Harder Brexit Means Harder Resolution of Irish Border Problem
[John Bruton] The proposals the United Kingdom government is making for its future relationship with the European Union will run into a number of obstacles in coming days.