Things go from bad to worse for Ireland as a 'hard' Brexit looms over the horizon
Dan O'Brien once worked for the European Commission on a free trade deal. Here he writes on how he feels the Brexit talks will play out
Twenty years ago this month I moved to Malta to work in the European Commission's diplomatic mission on the island. With the Mediterranean state seeking to become a member of the EU, my job, as the mission's economic and political affairs officer, was to be a cog in the complicated process of the country joining the bloc.
But within weeks of arrival, the government unexpectedly changed. The new administration was almost alone among European political parties at the time in not wanting membership of the EU. The Maltese had something akin to their Brexit moment. The accession process was halted in its tracks.
As is the case now with Theresa May's government, it was far from clear what kind of relationship the new Maltese administration wanted with Europe. Like the Brexiteers last June after the referendum, the island's opposition hadn't expected to win and were not prepared for the consequences of its victory.