Sunday, 1 April 2018

Brexit: and Devon and Ireland

The MP for East Devon voted to remain in the EU - if reluctantly:
BLOG: The EU Referendum. My Personal View. | Hugo Swire

He has since moved to where his heart lay:
All Brexiteers now? Brexit, the Conservatives and party change | SpringerLink

And just before another vote, Sir Hugo had predicted another surprise win:
BLACK DOG: Sacked Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire's Trump card  | Daily Mail Online

One could call the East Devon MP 'pragmatic' - an example being that back in late 2016, Jacob Rees-Mogg had "rejected the claim by former minister Hugo Swire that there was a “fault line” within the Cabinet about the UK's relationship with the single market":
Jacob Rees-Mogg on Radio 4: Leaving the EU is the simple bit | PoliticsHome.com
Brexit Watch: At-a-glance day-by-day summer briefing - BBC News 

And after last year's unhelpful election he said of Chancellor Philip Hammond (who he worked with in the Foreign Office): “He’s got bottom. He was very good to work for. He is an homme sérieux. I liked him very much and he would calm things down.”:
The humbling of Theresa May - New Statesman

And following last year's election, the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland were brought in to support a minority government. Here are Sir Hugo's reflections at the time: he had been, after all, a minister in Northern Ireland: 


Monday, 3 July, 2017

On a personal level, I was a Minister in Northern Ireland under the first Cameron Government and I got to know and like the First Minister Arlene Foster well. I would count her as a friend as I do many of her colleagues. The DUP under her is now much more socially progressive. It no longer represents the bigoted and sectarian anti-catholic sentiments of the Rev Ian Paisley. Arlene is not even a member of the Orange Order. In Belfast the DUP is increasingly reflective of the population that votes for it, which includes thousands of non-churchgoing Protestants. Arlene is an Anglican like Theresa May and a Lawyer, she has Catholic and gay friends and drinks alcohol. I have shared a glass or two with her myself over the years. She is patriotic and pro-monarchy like most Conservatives. She sees her place within the United Kingdom as her key to survival. She is a thoroughly decent woman.

Where the party actually differs from us Conservatives, here in the UK, is that it is actually much more to the left in some of its views than we are which should make Mr Corbyn happy. Its manifesto opposed the Conservative policy of removing the triple lock and introducing means-testing for the winter fuel allowance. Both these now look as if they have been removed from the manifesto. It also wanted to be exempted from the BBC licence fee and air passenger duty. It actually has a spending mentality rather than a saving one, which in part, is due to years of conflict and trying to haul itself back on its feet again. Remember the money they have gained will go across the previous warring communities and hopefully help further bridge the divides. Even Sinn Fein will have some say over its expenditure if and when the Assembly is up and running again.

Scotland and Wales and yes, even the South West, have complained about the unfairness but none of these regions have been through the decades of hell as Northern Ireland has so they need to cut some slack on that one.

As I said, I do not doubt the nervousness people feel about us doing this deal; it is well reflected throughout my social media and the letters I am receiving. But the savaging of the DUP in the media is somewhat excessive and at times looks like borderline racism. Members of Sinn Fein escape similar scrutiny. Calling members of the DUP ‘dinosaurs’ ‘anti-women’s rights’ ‘climate-change deniers’ ‘Orange bigots’ is unfair and unhelpful. After all you would never say any of these things about Muslims, many of whom share similar views. Therefore, is attacking white Christians acceptable?

So let’s give the DUP a chance. Yes, they have been dealt a lucky hand and are making the most of it, but would we really prefer a minority government led by Mr Gerry Adam’s good mates, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell? Would we want Sinn Fein coming back to sit on the green benches to prop them up? No thank you!

BLOG: DUP DEAL | Hugo Swire

This week, the leader of the DUP was invited to the West Country by East Devon's MP - as reported in the Belfast Telegraph: 

Brexit the biggest challenge to UK in modern era: DUP's Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster

By Adrian Rutherford

March 30 2018

Arlene Foster has said delivering on Brexit is the biggest challenge facing the government in the modern political era.

In a speech in England yesterday, the DUP leader pledged to work closely with Parliament to ensure the UK’s exit from the European Union was “sensible and beneficial” to Northern Ireland.

She also told how she “cares for neighbours in the Republic of Ireland”.

Yesterday marked a year until the UK formally leaves the EU. As the Prime Minister was embarking on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, Mrs Foster was the guest speaker at the Devon Conservative Association. She was invited by East Devon MP Hugo Swire, who served as a Northern Ireland Office minister.

Brexit the biggest challenge to UK in modern era: DUP's Foster - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

With a few more details the day after: 

Foster tells Conservative Association meeting 'I care for neighbours in the Republic'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with DUP leader Arlene Foster (Brian Lawless/PA)

March 29 2018

DUP leader Arlene Foster has told a Conservative Association meeting in England that she 'cares for neighbours in the Republic of Ireland' and wants to see a Brexit solution that works for everyone.

Mrs Foster was the guest speaker on Thursday at the Devon Conservative Association. She was invited to address the gathering by East Devon MP Hugo Swire who also previously served as a Minister in the Northern Ireland Office.

Foster tells Conservative Association meeting 'I care for neighbours in the Republic' - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Here's a broad and very full interview with Hugo Swire on his ministerial roles:
Ministers Reflect | Hugo Swire

Finally, here are some different views on Ireland from East Devon:
Couples in Northern Ireland deserve equality - and our support (East Devon Liberal Democrats)
Northern Ireland border plan has "more holes than a colander" (Devon and Cornwall Liberal Democrats)

No comments: