For Britain's Blair, Ireland Will Be A Hard Act To Follow

A cooling economy and EMU pose thornier problems

The 71% "yes" vote in favor of the Northern Ireland peace deal on May 23 was in many respects a triumph for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Participants in the peace talks say that Blair's role was decisive in obtaining the agreement in the first place. And the Prime Minister's personal appeals for the trust of the province's Protestants were crucial in shoring up sagging support for the pact. His approval rating, in the 70% range, is near a record high. Says Robert M. Worcester, chairman of the London-based MORI polling organization: "Blair walks on water."

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.