TBF the government of the day could have jumped in with the Allies , especially after Pearl Harbor. Granted internal politics were a factor. But it wouldn't happen today.The thing is that neither Varadkar nor any other Taoiseach before him has ever 'stood up to' any bloc, whether we are officially members of that bloc or not.
Cowan's 'the people have spoken' after Lisbon I when we were the only country to have a referendum on the conversion of a trading bloc to a Federalisation project springs to mind.
We all know what subsequently happened there. The people had to have their mind changed for Lisbon II. There has never been the slightest question of a Taoiseach emerging to defy any international organisation or power bloc, whether it is Washington and its rendition policies involving an Irish airport, the EU at any level, Tim Geithner, the Troika.
The closest we ever come to it is when there are suggestions we should deal with our internal corruption. And from there it is only evasion practised and no kind of 'defiance'.
Varadkar isn't going to break the tradition that Taoisigh are there to sell internally whatever has been decided in international arenas- if only by the sort of apathy displayed by Michael Noonan in recent years when he made great play of what he was going to do as Minister for Finance and then when elected went to Brussels on a PR display, came back with nothing and a 'sure what can you do' sort of explanation.
I've got a funny feeling that the apparent preparations in the background of extra revenue officials being hired and arrangements being prepared for check-pointing by the Gardai tell the real story.
Political Varadkar, Coveney and co don't want to be associated with the re-emergence of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic but the one thing you can be sure of is that if the EU tells them that the border has to become a customs outpost protecting the EU's single market in the region then that is surely what they will do- denying it all the way.