Reports of EU's decline are greatly exaggerated
Downing on politics
Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30
Everyone who is anyone was obliged to say "nothing has changed" in the wake of the Brexit vote on June 23.
But we know that was not true. Global money markets were doing handstands several times over before the rest of us could get a handle on things.
The palpable air of instability had done the damage and totally upended the national and EU authorities' stress that "nothing would change for at least two years" - the minimum length of time it would take for Britain to actually un-hitch its wagon from the other 27 EU member states.
Uncertainty has a ripple effect across Europe with many playing a wait and see game before committing to investment. This could stall growth and affect economic recovery in the Irish domestic market.
Let's not labour the fact that the UK "Leave" comes at a very bad time for Irish farming and agribusiness, as it heaps uncertainty upon gloom in most key markets. Neither is this a time to go all Pollyanna with ninny-hammer, empty-headed optimism. But we badly need to find reasons to be cheerful.
We have been over the facts before, and we are especially cognisant of dark noises going off about a reduction in the overall size of the Common Agriculture Policy, coming from Berlin, one of CAP's key funders. There have already been clear soundings from Netherlands and the Nordic states among others over the CAP budget.
But all signs are that we may have to live with Brexit until 2019 at least, before we may get a final outcome on the UK exit terms, upon which so much depends for Irish farming. So, we had better get used to it and try to focus on the things we can affect and influence.
These include improving efficiencies and also sourcing other markets inside the EU and beyond. We also need to put some focus on the positive, if only for the good of individual and national mental health.