Tuesday 6 December 2016

A time for calm heads after Brexit shock

Published 25/06/2016 | 02:30

'For Ireland, and for Britain itself, the aftershocks will need to be managed with the coolest of heads. We could be looking at a Dis-United Kingdom.' Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
'For Ireland, and for Britain itself, the aftershocks will need to be managed with the coolest of heads. We could be looking at a Dis-United Kingdom.' Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The Brexit result has been a violent ripping-off of the bandage exposing Europe's wounds. The focus now is to make sure this does not lead to further infection, or even contagion.

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Brussels far from covered itself in glory over the past year in its handling of talks with David Cameron, who was left out on a limb. But Donald Tusk is correct - what has happened is historic, but hysteria must have no part in what happens next. There should be pause to reflect, not panic.

This country, and the entire bloc, desperately needs to see a rebuilding of trust and confidence across the zone. A reassertion of a commitment to down-the-line democracy, and a step away from the high-handed autocratic and alienating style which has characterised Europe's relations with member states, has to be an urgent priority.

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