Wednesday 23 August 2017

Yes, we should worry - but not about everything

We need a Management Council to negotiate the Brexit nightmare, as we had during the economic crisis, writes Dan O'Brien

CHANGE: Thousands of protesters gathered in Parliament Square,
London, yesterday for a March for Europe. GETTY
CHANGE: Thousands of protesters gathered in Parliament Square, London, yesterday for a March for Europe. GETTY
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

What are the most important national interests? How should they be prioritised? When they have been prioritised, how should they be pursued?

These are the questions that governments never stop asking themselves. Brexit requires that they are all urgently asked again. But such are the complexities of unscrambling the one million egg omelette of British EU membership that even defining Ireland's interests now is an immense and difficult task. Prioritising those interests and developing a strategy to pursue them will take time and great effort given the vast and profound uncertainties surrounding Britain's departure.

Among the very few things that can be said with certainty is that the nightmare that has just begun will be very bad for Irish interests. Unless Brexit ends up not happening - around a one in three chance at this juncture, in my view - the aim will be damage limitation, downside mitigation and exploitation of the solitary (foreign investment) upside.

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