Thursday 8 December 2016

Seven bad things (and one good) that will hit Ireland after Brexit

At the Oireachtas symposium on Brexit, columnist Dan O'Brien addressed the gathering. This is what he said.

Published 25/09/2016 | 02:30

No deal: Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary at a press conference in Belfast last week, where he dismissed UK Government claims that it would secure favourable trade deals post-Brexit. He said that most of the Cabinet did not have a clue what Brexit will look like. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
No deal: Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary at a press conference in Belfast last week, where he dismissed UK Government claims that it would secure favourable trade deals post-Brexit. He said that most of the Cabinet did not have a clue what Brexit will look like. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Brexit has for many decades been the stuff of strategic nightmares for Ireland. Being pulled between our closest neighbour, drifting out into the north Atlantic, and the continent which is vital for our prosperity is never a place we wanted to find ourselves. But the nightmare is now upon us.

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The consequences of Brexit are multiple, almost all are negative. Only one consequence offers an opportunity. But even that, if maximised, will only partially offset the damage caused by the others.

Here are eight consequences of Brexit, ranging from the widest, global implications to those impacting Ireland's narrower but no less vital interests. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does reflect the overwhelmingly negative impact of our nearest neighbour's probable departure from Europe's most important political and economic structure.

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