Northern Ireland

At Cardiff Brexit talks NI politicians' minds are elsewhere

Theresa May arrices at Cardiff Brexit meeting Image copyright PA
Image caption Theresa May attended the Joint Ministerial Committee meeting before travelling to Dublin for talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Theresa May's thoughts on her day out in Cardiff must go unrecorded. She preferred not to share them with us.

For that we may blame Donald Trump, after all compared to executive orders from the Oval Office, Brexit seems easy.

Questions about hard borders have nothing on questions about borders being closed to Muslims.

If the prime minister had been reconsidering her vow of silence the reporter who shouted "will you be holding hands with Nicola Sturgeon" probably convinced her.

The meeting should have been in Belfast

This latest meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council should have been in Belfast, but had to be switched to Wales after the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed.

Would a Belfast meeting ever happen now? Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland's former first minister said "yes".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Head-to-head: The JMC meeting was held at Cardiff City Hall

But will it? She sat at the meeting beside her new Sinn Féin counterpart, Michelle O'Neill.

It is likely to have been businesslike rather than warm - they do not share a position on Brexit, or much else at the moment it seems.

A day away from assembly canvassing

And important as this meeting was, it was a day away from canvassing for the assembly election, which is likely to drive them further apart before they try the healing game on the other side.

Brexit will have to wait.

Related Topics

More on this story