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Ireland is bewildered by UK vote

15 March 2019


An anti-Brexit process outside Leinster House in Dublin

An anti-Brexit process outside Leinster House in Dublin

PUBLIC opinion in the Irish Republic ranges from dismay at the future trading implications of Brexit to bewilderment at the scenes in the UK Parliament, and anxiety for the future relationship of two neighbours whose friendship, despite the ravages of history, had been blossoming, and must not be fractured by a Brexit setback.

Editorials have been scathing. On Wednesday, The Irish Times commented: “Support among many for the Belfast Agreement and peace on this island seems notable by its absence. To many in the Commons, the issue of the Irish Border appears to be a nuisance, to be wished away by promising to use non-existent technological solutions.”

“The support of the DUP for Brexit in the first place remains inexplicable, and it has never since been able to put forward a credible solution to the Irish Border issue. In a no-deal Brexit, the North would suffer hugely.”

On Wednesday morning, Irish business commentators described as “puzzling” the fact that the British issued a list of tariffs for goods entering the UK mainland from the Republic but ignored the UK-Republic border, leaving, as one put it, “a huge back door for goods from the Republic to enter the UK, take the ferry from Belfast to Stranraer, and arrive on the British market”.

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