Brexit’s spitting rhetoric comes up against reality

Over the past weekend, it was interesting to observe the contrast between one nation engaged in a progressive and positive interaction with the international community and another travelling in the opposite direction.

On a day when landmark buildings and monuments around the world were bathed in green to mark the value of Irishness, there was risible and spitting rhetoric emanating from London towards the major nations with which the UK trades. The UK’s political class, and especially those advocating the Brexit agenda, engage in repeated ignorant and patronising commentary about how the rest of Europe will behave as Great Britain prepares itself for a

future outside Europe. Instead of shaping warm relationships ahead of new trading partnerships, there are barbs about the temerity of other EU countries demanding due process while negotiating an EU exit This is hardly a constructive way to move forward.

It was announced with great fanfare last week that a no-deal Brexit trading pact had been reached by the UK government with Iceland and Norway. Iceland’s entire population is about the size of Cork City, while Norway has 5.3 million people. Contrast that with the facts more than 510m people live in the EU and that Ireland provides the second largest trade surplus in favour of the UK relative to any other nation.

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