Derek Scally: It pays to court the Germans

A sustainable engagement with Germany is a timely investment in a changing Europe, and a wise insurance policy in an uncertain world

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan: she  wowed an audience with a speech in fluent German to open Dublin’s Goethe Institute

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan: she wowed an audience with a speech in fluent German to open Dublin’s Goethe Institute

Just 18 days after the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was on a plane to Berlin. He had two messages for Angela Merkel and the assembled German press in the chancellery: Dublin would not accept a hard border with Northern Ireland, and the Republic was staying in the EU.

The 2½ years since have been about hammering home these points in any European capital that would listen. And in spite of capacity-sapping talks on the first point – Brexit, border and backstop – the Department of Foreign Affairs and other government departments have been working quietly to make good on the second.

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