Brexit leaves us fighting a diplomatic war on two fronts
THE posh phrase is that politics is a "visceral business."
Put more simply we can say that gut often rules head when it comes to political choices. We got a very stark reminder of this in the early hours of Friday morning when the majority in England and Wales opted to leave the EU.
By yesterday the banking behemoth, Goldman Sachs, was predicting economic recession in 2017 for the United Kingdom. In the same way as we got an economic lift from British resurgence in the years 2010-2015, we better brace ourselves for some rocky economic weather.
There have been enough musings about the reasons for the Brexit victory. The most important issue here is what will it mean for rural Ireland.
It is all even more unsatisfactory than we feared. There is every sign at time of writing that the famous Article 50 exit mechanism will not be triggered until October - after the British Tories get over themselves and pick a replacement leader for David Cameron.
It will probably take up to 2019 for the negotiations to be worked through and completed. But if they could only be started, with positive follow-up signals of a working deal emerging, then we might have a semblance of stability.
The Irish Government has got some stick for its response and more of that will follow. The biggest job Enda Kenny has in the immediate term is to keep calm at home, while his officials prepare for the biggest international challenge since we negotiated entry into Europe in the early 1970s.
Britain and the British have never been settled in the EU. They still have to get over their post-colonial trauma and the disappointment that victory in World War II was not followed by more glorious episodes.