Beware adddiction to positive Brexit spin

The Irish government is still hopelessly addicted to positive spin on Brexit, according to Irish Times Business Editor Cliff Taylor. “It has been almost as if the discussion on how Brexit would happen was taking place in a parallel universe, with “ normal” economic life continuing regardless.” But Brexit is about to get real: it will be bad for Ireland and deepen the divide between Dublin and the rest of the country.

Dublin will get the incoming financiers and banks, and the lion’s share of FDI as it already does. The parts of the economy most vulnerable to Brexit – food, farming and small-scale manufacturing – are to be found in rural areas and small towns. They  are more concentrated in the border region which will also suffer from disruption from any kind of border checks.

“There is still a lot of Brexit denial about, at least in what Ministers are saying publicly. For example, the Taoiseach talks about a “seamless” Border. True, technology could help to undertake the checks on lorry traffic previously done by hand. But unless Britain reverses course and stays in the customs union a Border will return – and it is hard to see it being seamless”.

As Article 50 D-Day approaches, war talk is getting more common. Denis Staunton in Brussels quotes one diplomat saying: “It’s like the night before Agincourt.” The EU Commission has promised its negotiating guidelines will be issued to the 27 within 48 hours of getting word from London. The Irish government has been lobbying hard to make sure our special border circumstances get an explicit mention in the guidelines.