Saturday 27 May 2017

Borders and beef are key for Ireland when thorny Brexit negotiations begin

'The second best option for Ireland would be a comprehensive free trade agreement'. Photo: Getty
'The second best option for Ireland would be a comprehensive free trade agreement'. Photo: Getty
John Bruton

John Bruton

Obviously, by far the best outcome of the Brexit negotiations for Ireland would be if the UK, having explored the consequences of real negotiation, could be persuaded to change its mind and stay in the EU after all.

But the second best option for Ireland would be a comprehensive free trade agreement, under which, for example, the UK also agrees to adopt an agricultural policy that allows Ireland to continue to supply food products like beef and dairy at prices that would allow Irish farmers to make a living.

The trouble is that there is a conflict between our best and our second-best options.

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