JUST when you thought we were all heading out of the European Union, it sticks its big nose in and messes up all our plans for wee jaunts to New York. All we wanted was a direct flight from our international airport.
Those bureaucrats have said that the Assembly and Executive giving £9m to United Airlines to keep the route open was an illegal government subsidy. Sure, it was a subsidy, but “illegal”, c’mon that’s taking it too far.
Okay, according to the airline it wasn’t making much money, but a few million seems a small sum to have us fly to the good ole US of A. We will want to see the craic when the Land of the Free gets a new president.
You would have thought that the EU would have given us a by-ball given we’re leaving.
Or are we?
Without a sense of irony, Brexiteers have been bemoaning the fact that the High Court in London has said that Parliament must have a say on triggering the now mythical Article 50. That would be the same Brexiteers who wanted sovereignty for Parliament.
Even though our First Minister and deputy First Minister are out-of-step with each other on how leaving Europe will pan out, the debates have had an unexpected benefit. No, not just the hordes of shoppers coming over the border to boost cash takings at our hard pressed retailers. The real benefit has been TV.
Who would have thought that broadcasters would be cramming border crossings in Strabane and Newry, talking about how the border may change, and showing old tapes from the time when we had customs posts and checkpoints…
Great PR and scenic views are one thing, but can the presenters and camera crews make sure they don’t delay those buses racing up from Dublin to snag bargains.
While one can make light of the future border – and grow weary over much of the coverage on radio and TV – there is one sure thing that we can say.
No-one knows what is going to happen. Whether it will need an Act of Parliament to trigger Article 50, or Theresa May’s government uses executive prerogative to do so, until the negotiations actually get underway it is all guesswork.
Until then we think that it best that we book a flight to New York before that offer ends.