Editorial: A direct threat to Ireland's economy

Editorial: A direct threat to Ireland’s economy

Even if achievable you won’t arrive at a frictionless border unless there’s some friction in the analysis and debate. That won’t be achieved unless there is a firm recognition that the problem with the border is not just bother and nuisance for locals – this is a direct threat to Ireland’s economy.

Given the recent pronouncements from London all assumptions should now focus on a hard border.  It has been apparent since the Brexit vote that time has been wasted with wishful thinking around the concept of a soft border and there is increasing evidence to show that the absence of information about the implications and possible outcomes post Brexit is causing heightened anxiety, particularly in border areas.

In fairness alarm bells had been rung in the Dail in 2015 and in the Lords last Autumn but action consistent with these warnings has not been apparent.

Ireland’s place in the debate will be crucial, both between Ireland and the UK and Ireland’s negotiations with the rest of Europe as well as its discussion as part of Europe with the UK. There is some reassurance in this piece by RTE’s European Correspondent Tony Connelly on the level of engagement between Irish officials and Irish representative organisations with European officials but also some worrying analysis on the scale of the task in persuading Europe of Irish issues while it is negotiating a hard Brexit with the UK.

It will take an enormous effort on all fronts to ensure that this island is not going to pay a disproportionate price for something the North voted against and the South had no say in.