Tuesday, 22nd May 2018
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Brexit Anniversary

It is now nearly one year since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU and since then there has been a lot of speculation but very little leg work done on what exact shape Brexit is going to take. There was a time, when Brexit first became a word, (one that even a four year old could hold a conversation about now), that the whole issue of the U.K. leaving the EU was one that very few people could envisage. Now that it has come to pass, people know what it might entail, but very few people actually know what it will actually entail other than some amorphous idea about the U.K. leaving the EU.

Brexit has generated a lot of hot air but no one actually knows what it will mean. We think we know what it might mean, there are whole articles every single day putting forward this or that theory as to what is going to happen but no one actually know what will happen. That is because there are a number of options for what sort of Brexit will be brought into force by the British Government.

There are basically two options, a full seceding from the EU, known as the hard option or the British Government will leave but still maintain it's presence in some of the various unions that are a part of the EU, this is known as the soft option.

Obviously for Ireland the way that the British Government chooses to proceed with their Brexit is of paramount importance. Not only will it determine our own economic future and policies in the next number of years it will also to a large extent determine our relationship with the North. If a hard option is the particular choice of the British then it will be very difficult for us in the Republic to maintain such a close relationship with the North, something which has been of prime importance for many years and has taken a long time to develop.

It is no surprise that the new Taoiseach's first meetings on taking office were all to do with the Brexit issue. While crisis' may come and go for the minority, Fine Gael Government it is the Brexit issue that will be the one that defines it in the history books. It is such a huge issue that it is no wonder that it has taken up so many headlines over the last year.

But to a certain extent we are still in the same position as we were all of those months ago. No one, outside of the very top of the British establishment, know exactly what is going to happen. The British Government is playing its hand very close to it's chest but the time will have to come when it throws down it's cards and lets everyone else know what it's playing with.

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