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 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 1994-97, Bruton was deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. He served as European Union ambassador to the United States from 2004-09.

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...

Is There a Way Out of Brexit?

Sep 04, 2018

Theresa May has ruled out a second referendum on Brexit. But with time running out, what will the UK do? Former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton explains. On September 2, British Prime Minister Theresa May wrote in The Sunday Telegraph that to have a second referendum on Brexit would be...

Trump’s Tariffs Change Context of Brexit

Jun 19, 2018

A looming trade war makes Brexit less attractive for both the United Kingdom and the EU. In the increasingly likely event that US President Donald Trump follows up on his steel tariffs by imposing similar measures on European car imports on so-called “national security grounds,” we can expect a full-scale...

The Dawning Reality of Brexit

Jun 13, 2018

The fact that the UK has not made up its mind about Brexit and has yet to make a detailed proposal is disquieting, says former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton. At a recent conference, I heard Owen Patterson, a Conservative MP and former secretary of state for Northern Ireland, say...

The Road to Irish Independence

Apr 09, 2018

Former Prime Minister John Bruton reflects on Irish history during the civil wars. Ireland will soon commemorate a conflict that took place between 1919 and 1923. It is customary to refer to the conflict between 1919 and 1921 as the War of Independence and that between 1922 and 1923 as...

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