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Revenue approach to Brexit is most sensible


British PM Theresa May. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

British PM Theresa May. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Getty Images

British PM Theresa May. Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May's comments last weekend made it clear a 'hard Brexit' from the European Union is on the cards.

May stated Britain will be adopting an all-out strategy in the Brexit negotiations.

The markets' exasperation at the lack of clarity from the prime minister, rather than fears of a 'hard Brexit', even prompted a slide in the value of the pound.

May is now set to make a speech next week, laying out her plans for Britain's exit from the EU. Her views will be closely scrutinised in financial markets, and by other European leaders.

The prime minister continues to come under intense political pressure to reveal more details of her negotiating priorities before she triggers Article 50, the formal divorce process from the EU.

Anyone harbouring hopes of a reversal on Brexit can park their aspirations for a while.

The focus now has to be on preparing for the departure of Britain and the dismantling of travel, trade, business, economic, political and social ties.

The Revenue Commissioners are sensibly getting on with the task at hand and figuring out how the Border will operate in the wake of Brexit.

European customs officials are open to plans by the Revenue Commissioners to continue the free flow of traffic across the Border.

Given the experience in other non-EU countries like Norway and Switzerland, it ought to be possible to introduce a common-sense customs system with minimum levels of disruption to normal traffic.

Putting forward a clear plan to our European counterparts will generate a sense of confidence.

Don't underestimate the clout of the tech sector

Welcome to Googletown.

The internet search-engine giant is set to become Dublin's largest private industrial employer with its latest planned expansion bringing its jobs number to 6,500.

Google is closing in on another new office building in Dublin's tech-centric docklands, that part of the southside of Dublin known colloquially as the 'Silicon Docks'.

The company is now in talks to rent a newly-constructed, 51,000 sq ft office block close to the company's European headquarters in the Grand Canal region of Dublin 2.

The firm already owns enormous premises in the area.

Over the past 50 years, our industrial development policy was based upon attracting foreign direct investment to the country. Gradually, the jobs ebbed and flowed to every corner of the country.

The traditional manufacturing factories closed down, but technology and pharmaceutical hubs built up in places like Limerick and Cork.

Even a decade ago, nobody envisaged the tech bubble would grow so big. Technology firms now employ about 20,000 people in a square mile right in the centre of the capital city.

These companies now pack enormous political and economic clout. When they tell the Government to jump, the answer is: 'How high?'

The tech bubble may ultimately burst and the challenge for the country will be to catch the next wave.

Irish Independent