Friday 24 November 2017

We must be careful that we don't sleepwalk into an economic no man's land like Brexit

Theresa May tried to reassure EU leaders including Taoiseach Enda Kenny at talks in Brussels Picture: Reuters
Theresa May tried to reassure EU leaders including Taoiseach Enda Kenny at talks in Brussels Picture: Reuters
Mandy Johnston

Mandy Johnston

Hard Brexit, soft Brexit, slumping sterling, fat fingers, soft borders, hard borders, crumbling Europe, disuniting Kingdom, Article 50 - words and phrases that were virtually unknown a year ago have become common parlance in the lexicon of life following the UK's decision to quit the European Union.

At the moment, any notion that Ireland might follow suit and leave the EU is fantastical, a suggestion mostly dismissed with a sniggering scoff. However, we should note with more than a degree of caution our neighbour's recent history in relation to this matter. As we all know, history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

The UK's debate on leaving the EU started with a whimper and ended with a bang, brought on by the schoolboy bravado of one David Cameron. This debate on leaving Europe began a decade ago innocuously. Little England Tory MPs vented their disdain as colleagues would rise to their feet to lambaste the chamber about the latest Brussels directive, claiming it threatened their sovereignty as they begged for more bendy bananas.

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