Article 50 has been triggered and the Brexit countdown has started. On this special Independent.ie podcast, INM Political Editor, Kevin Doyle, looks at the implications and consequences for Ireland.
Joined by Dan O'Brien, Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs, Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fail's Spokesman on Brexit, Ann Rudden of Aine Chocolates, and Irish Independent Business Editor, Donal O'Donovan, the panel analyses what the future holds for Irish business and society.
"In Brussels they are more focused on the future of the euro than Brexit," says Dan O'Brien speaking from Brussels. "If the island of Britain sank into the North Sea it wouldn’t make that much difference to the economies of countries like France but for Ireland it would cause a depression."
"What Ireland wants most is for Britain to want to be as close to Europe as possible. But for Britain themselves, they've moved away from that position."
Meanwhile, Stephen Donnelly said there are "a lot of ifs and the government needs to de-risk these negotiations".
"We need early agreement on a transition period to help Irish businesses but the British don’t want that. They want the ticking clock," he added
Furthermore, for Irish SME owners such as Ann Rudden, the uncertainty is costing them - and they are fearful for their future.
"The main concern would be on tariffs for raw materials and products. For SMEs, a 10-20pc increase in these areas would be a severe hit. It's very, very worrying and its going to be a very tough 2 years."
Listen to the full podcast here.