Saturday 21 October 2017

As EU and UK separate, we’ll be pulled in opposing directions

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is no rush for Britain to trigger its exit from the EU and the UK should decide the timing on this. Photo: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said there is no rush for Britain to trigger its exit from the EU and the UK should decide the timing on this. Photo: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
John Downing

John Downing

‘While Ireland’s future lies within the European Union, Ireland’s strong and very close relations with the United Kingdom will continue to strengthen in the years ahead.”

The words came from Enda Kenny just hours after the Brexit earthquake struck 500 million EU citizens early on Friday morning. Those words conveyed noble sentiments and were a pithy summation of the extraordinary challenge facing this and future Irish Governments.

It will be well-nigh impossible to achieve. The road has forked and Ireland will be pulled violently in opposing directions. It will take a “Houdini act” to ride the EU and UK horses as they head in polar opposite directions.

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