John Bruton

Former Irish Prime Minister
John Bruton is a former Irish prime minister and an international business leader. He has held a number of posts in the Irish government, including minister for finance; minister for industry and energy; minister for trade, commerce and tourism; and minister for the public service. During his term in the Prime Minister's Office between 1994 and 1997, Bruton was deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He served as the European Union ambassador to the United States from 2004 to 2009. Bruton is an adviser to Fair Observer.

Failing to Protect the Independence of the European Commission

Sep 14, 2020

I have always believed that the independence of members of the European Commission (EC) was a keystone of successful European integration. Commissioners are obliged by their oath of office to seek a European solution to problems, rather than just seek a balance between conflicting national interests. They have done so...

Negotiating the End of Brexit

Aug 25, 2020

It is increasingly likely that, unless things change, on January 1, 2021, we will have a no-deal Brexit. That would mean the only deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom would be the already ratified EU withdrawal agreement of 2019. There are only around 50 working days left...

Brexit Is Heading for the Cliff Edge

May 04, 2020

The European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, gave a stark warning recently about the lack of progress in the post-Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom. But now, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come back to work after his battle with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The...

The G20 Needs to Show Leadership to Fight COVID-19

Mar 30, 2020

It is welcome news that the G20, representing the world’s biggest economies and 90% of global GDP, met via teleconference on March 26 to discuss the health and economic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus, which leads to the COVID-19 disease. It has been obvious for several weeks that coordinated...

Populists in the European Elections

May 28, 2019

The results of the European elections have revealed some breakthroughs for populists. There is concern about the impact of populism on rational decision-making in many Western democracies. But there is no agreement on what “populism” means. All politics appeal — to some extent — to people’s self-interest and to their...

Can the UK Avoid a No-Deal Brexit?

Mar 26, 2019

How might a new way forward on Brexit be uncovered if the existing deal is not accepted? Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton explains. Avoiding a no-deal Brexit will require radical change in the way Parliament makes decisions. Now that the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the European Union has been...

Brexiteers Are Not After Compromise

Feb 16, 2019

Leading Brexiteers are after catharsis, not compromise. Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton explains. In the UK, a no-deal Brexit has become increasingly likely. This is because Prime Minister Theresa May has decided her priority is to avoid a split in the Conservative Party. She has calculated that if she...

Why Is There an Irish Backstop?

Jan 07, 2019

The Irish backstop is simply an effort to mitigate the damage that Brexit causes to peace in Ireland and the UK. Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton explains. It puzzles many people in Britain that something known as an “Irish backstop” should be at the heart of an increasingly bitter...

Labour’s Stance on Brexit Will Be Crucial

Nov 19, 2018

The Labour Party is the dealmaker when it comes to Brexit. Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton explains. The worst possible outcome of Brexit for Ireland would be the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal because Parliament cannot make a decision. The key to avoiding this...

For a Brexit Deal, How Difficult Is the Irish Backstop?

Oct 18, 2018

Reaching a Brexit deal is far from over. Just look how difficult it was for the Canada and Ukraine agreements. The harder the Brexit, the harder it will be to reach a resolution of the Irish border problem. In a joint report in December 2017, the United Kingdom agreed to...

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