[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.
[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.
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.
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.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Chinese tourists and business persons, elderly population, not maintaining social distancing, and the delay in imposing full lockdown — all these factors made Italy the first Western country to be badly affected by the COVID-19.