Time for reality check on Brexit
The niceties of political language dictated that Ireland and the European Union welcomed the widely anticipated Brexit speech of British Prime Minister Theresa May in Florence last Friday. But the reality is that, 16 months on from the referendum and six months since the Article 50 resignation letter, her government has yet to even correctly interpret the will of the UK people, let alone outline a coherent direction now the decision to exit the European Union has been made.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney welcomed what he called the "additional clarity" provided by Mrs May, stating her speech was a "positive contribution towards making progress" on phase one issues such as citizens' rights, the financial settlement and issues related to Ireland.
This was needed, he said, to enable the UK and the EU to move forward to the important next phase. Mr Coveney also admitted there were still many outstanding issues and a lot of work required before European leaders could decide that parallel discussions on the EU's future relationship with the UK can begin.