Brexit negotiations open - A great leap into the unknown

Negotiations on Brexit began in Brussels yesterday but, beyond those bare facts, it is not possible to record any achievement beyond the beating of chests so very usual at moments like this.

Britain was represented by Brexit secretary David Davis, who said he begins the talks in a “positive and constructive” frame of mind.

Earlier assertions by Mr Davis and fellow ‘Leavers’ suggest that he may be the most optimistic, the most deluded, and probably the most bizarre representative sent on a foreign mission to represent the UK’s interests since Eddie The Eagle competed at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988.

History records that Eddie came last in the two events he entered. He, however, entered those competitions in a spirit of fun and adventure.

Early indications suggest these talks will not be very much fun. The need for adventure will be answered by untested, unprecedented arrangements made to reach an unlikely divorce settlement.

Despite all of that, and despite the new-found influence of the DUP who, despite the North’s vote to stay in the EU have become the opportunists sustaining Ms May’s doomed Brexit premiership, these talks have the potential to shape our prospects for decades.

It is a fact of life that these possibilities far outweigh any capacity we have to influence them. We are reliant on the kindness of strangers to stand between us and the worst excesses of Eddie The Eagle’s lunatic compatriots.


With two weeks left until Christmas, Esther N McCarthy rounds up some gorgeous gift ideas for everyone on your nice list!All wrapped up: The gift guide you need this Christmas

Is it really faster to fly? These environmentally-friendly trips dispel that myth, says Sarah Marshall.5 European journeys which are surprisingly quicker by train

It’s set to be unisex and will hopefully feature more clothes you can wear outside the gym.Everything we want to see from Beyoncé’s upcoming Ivy Park x Adidas collection

The mother-of-three speaks to Liz Connor about the recipe for getting the perfect night’s rest.Christine McGuinness on how to get kids to sleep on Christmas Eve

More From The Irish Examiner