The news headlines were dominated in the latter part of the week by the missiles strikes on the Syrian regime by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. I've already commented on that here. I will cover that topic in the next Weekly Review when I can assess the fallout in Westminster and potentially even in the US Congress.
The 8th Amendment referendum campaign is gaining momentum on both sides. The odds have almost continually tightened since I punted on No in January at 15/2. At this stage I am leaning towards it passing albeit by a tight margin. I won't elaborate further now as I plan to do an extensive preview in the near future.
Jim Daly, the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, caused a small furore within Fine Gael when he claimed he had no ideological objection to a future coalition with Sinn Fein;
“I have no ideological objection to Sinn Féin being part of a government,"....... "I just think, on a policy platform, it would be very difficult to agree a programme for government between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin"......"But, look, politics is the art of doing – and who knows?”
However, these comments were quickly rebuked by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar;
“The Government will not go in with Sinn Féin under any circumstances. It's not a consideration. It's not a desire, it's not a circumstance being considered,”
I can not see this happening after the next election. If current trends continue, it is conceivable that Fine Gael will be much closer to a majority than they are presently. A coalition would be damaging to both parties while they are politically incompatible currently. I have long thought a Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein coalition is feasible if the numbers add up but at the moment I don't think that potential coalition would have 50%+1 of the Dail seats.
Setting aside the Syria strikes it was a quiet week with some jockeying for publicity over the Brexit vote. This seems to be a lost cause at this stage. There will be major votes in the future in parliament on the final Brexit deal and these may have a serious impact on the UK's future economic and political trajectory.
However to continually campaign for another Brexit referendum seems unhelpful and will distract from domestic issues that need to be addressed as well as complications that still exist in the UK/EU negotiations over the final arrangement after the UK leaves.