Monday, 9 March 2009


The president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, takes his place to open the session. He rises to condemn in English the "utterly despicable" murders in Northern Ireland, "an attack on the basis of a free and democratic society."

What ludicrous logic motivates the killers? What real difference could it possibly make if a largely self-governing Northern Ireland were to be within the Republic of Ireland rather than the UK? We are both partners within the EU for heaven's sake. We are in many respects bound by the same laws and united by the same principles.

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