There was little inclination for manners or international nuance in the British rush to leave the EU.
The surly and flat-out refusal to engage sensibly in areas of common interest threatened to do real damage between Brussels and London thanks to the post-Brexit hubris that took hold in both Westminster and Downing Street.
This negativity was most damaging to Britain-Ireland relations, with the fallout jeopardizing fundamental agreements in the North.
So it was encouraging to see a glimmer of hope on at least one front after UK Prime Minister Liz Truss’ mini-budget.
The acknowledgment of the need to recalibrate ties between London, Brussels and Dublin, which seem somewhat unlikely to have emerged from the wreckage of the economic meltdown, is a very welcome development.
UK and EU officials have signaled they are ready to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol impasse.
Whether that matters or is just playing for time will become clearer later this week when the two sides meet for technical talks.
However, given the diplomatic desert that has developed in recent years, any sign of disagreement will be seized upon.
A path that allows mutual concessions must be a far better path than one that harms each other. As the EU’s Daniel Ferrie put it, Brussels will take a “constructive” approach to the talks.
She was “committed to finding common solutions,” he added. Britain’s new Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker, also said he was “convinced” that London and Brussels “can reach a deal that works for everyone” if they enter into talks without preconditions and “in a spirit of goodwill”. .
The passionate Brexiteer went as far as to say he likes to eat humble cake to mend the fractured relationship between Britain and Ireland. His appetite can certainly be tested in this regard.
Mr Ferrie promised that the EU would commit to a common effort to bring predictability and security to the people of Northern Ireland.
Should London truly adopt an equally constructive approach, the much-needed momentum to resolve these critical issues can be restored.
Mr Baker’s apology for his earlier “wild” stance on EU talks can be interpreted as an icebreaker.
However, everything has to be weighed in a context where Ms Truss is still working full force on legislation to allow the UK to unilaterally tear up parts of the protocol next week.
Perhaps we have finally reached a point where common interests can be protected and common goals secured.
Wasting them would be a treason to anyone interested in the future of these islands.
Because as Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said, “We face so many global challenges that there is no need to cause further concern with an ongoing standoff over protocol.” A “reset” in relationships means all parties are trying have to; Only mutual concessions can break the deadlock.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/we-must-seize-any-chance-to-resolve-northern-ireland-protocol-deadlock-42037420.html We must seize every opportunity to resolve the Northern Ireland Protocol deadlock