THE announcement that Britain is giving up its presidency of the European Council next year is a further indication that there will be no rowing back on Brexit by the new Prime Minister Theresa May.
She remains resolute that Britain will leave the European Union and securing the best exit deal possible. Like Margaret Thatcher before her, Theresa May is not for turning.
Brexit, as we are well aware, has profound implications for the whole island of Ireland and we must now face it as a reality and not wallow in wishful thinking that the British might yet change their minds.
That means that all sectors of society must come together and form a strategy for ensuring that we will not suffer any adverse long-term economic or social consequences of Brexit.
The most obvious repercussions will be felt in the Border areas and, in that respect, the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly will have a key role to play.
No sensible person, either in the Republic or in Northern Ireland, wants a return to stringent border controls but we have to come up with an alternative. When the UK leaves, we will form the western outpost of the EU.
We need more engagement north and south, and not just by politicians. We all have a stake in a post-Brexit world.
Now is the time to plan for it.
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