Brexit – not since wartime has the strategic agenda for Ireland been so complex.
So packed is the Institute for International and European Affairs Brexit Status Report , published six months after the vote, its difficult to know where to start but one thing does jump out and that is that the much talked about two years of Brexit negotiations is actually only eighteen months given that six months is necessary for the ratification process across 27 Countries. One of those, of course,is the UK itself and the status report raises the question about what happens if Parliament rejects the deal – then it says there are three options; withdrawal of Article 50, elections, or deadlock which could force the UK – by dint of running out of time – into World Trade Organisation tariffs. Enough to concentrate minds there.
The report points out two overriding objectives for Ireland – unfettered access to UK markets and an open border with Northern Ireland. It also reiterates comments from Brendan Halligan, highlighted here by BBB, on “thinking the unthinkable.”
It covers the story so far, the process ahead, advice for businesses, and argues that, and we assume this language has been deliberately picked, Ireland stands at the crossroads.