Sunday 23 September 2018

How the Irish broke Brexit

Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar looks on at a news conference at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Ireland's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar looks on at a news conference at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Before we were even properly awake last Friday morning, we had decided it meant a soft Brexit, barely a Brexit at all really. We were triumphant. Not only had we got what we wanted, but we had, as Fintan O'Toole was putting it by 10am, saved the British from the madness of a hard Brexit.

So not only had we saved ourselves, we had saved the Brits from themselves as well. Because we love them really, the cattiness of the last few weeks notwithstanding. We almost convinced ourselves that we did it all for them, that we weren't too pushed about our own borders, but we couldn't stand idly by and watch our dear friends and neighbours commit that appalling act of self-harm, so we came up with this elaborate ruse that would force them into a soft Brexit.

Last Friday, we clearly hadn't learnt any lessons about triumphalism. Leo proclaimed the deal "bulletproof". As if anything is bulletproof in this world. The earlier part of the week was swiftly forgotten.

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