'Hard' Brexit simply means Ireland will have to be hyper-competitive to attract new business here
Once Theresa May said she was insisting on immigration controls, rejecting the jurisdiction of the ECJ, and making trade deals with non-European Union countries, a 'hard' Brexit - along the lines of the model in her speech yesterday - became inevitable.
That said, her statement that she wants the EU to be strong and successful, without the UK, was important. It set a good tone and it differentiates her position from that of Donald Trump, who seems to want the EU to break up.
She wants the EU to stay together, but for that to happen there can be no question of a country being offered better terms for leaving the EU than it would obtain if it stayed in. That is not "punishing" anybody, it is common sense. It is where the negotiations will get sticky, and Mrs May did not deal fully with that reality yesterday.