Planning for hard Brexit - Sobering reality check on border

OUR report that officials are secretly identifying where post-Brexit customs checkpoints might be re-established along the almost forgotten Northern Ireland border is a sobering reality check.

You can either have a border or not; the idea of a barely noticeable frontier between the EU and a disenchanted former partner is wishful thinking.

One European leader after another has said, in recent weeks, that the terms which will be offered to Britain must ensure that post-divorce Britain must be less attractive, less comfortable than it is today.

No matter how stridently ‘Leave’ campaigners characterise this as the EU demanding a pound of flesh, the EU is justified in showing that breaking the solidarity that sustained the EU through crisis after crisis will have a real cost.

The process also stands in stark contrast to the red-white-and-blue uncertainty offered by Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May.

Even though she has insisted that no deal would be better than a bad deal for Britain, it is unclear if the enormity of what Brexit might bring is fully understood in Britain.

Our Government is preparing for a hard Brexit, but it is a tragedy that a decision reached by such a small margin in the UK might have such dire consequences for us.

We may rely on our EU partners to soften that blow, but should Marine Le Pen be elected in France, in April, they will have far bigger fish to fry.

Challenging times indeed.

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