Brexit blues in Ireland

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By Meabh McMahon
Brexit blues in Ireland

Although it has not even happened yet, and the clock has been reset again, Brexit has managed to shake society and politics in the Republic of Ireland. Here in the city centre of Dublin, locals are frustrated but also concerned about this decision by their closest neighbour.

Everyone is fed up at this is old news now, just getting dragged on... look like there is no end to it at all.

Declan Walsh, Busker a busker says, "Right now, they are panicking..everywhere. The politicians in Britain have let people down by not showing any leadership whatsoever, right.

It is a mess and it is not surprising, right. I can't stand that Tory lot, really, I am not exactly a Labour man either, but the Tories, they are the worst. I won't use any rude words.
Pete Short
Newspaper seller

Down by Trinity College Dublin, medical student Blaithin Thomasius laments:

"The whole thing is saddening for me as a Northern Irish student studying here in Dublin. I really have come to appreciate the cross border communications and I appreciate the importance of being from different nationalities within a country, finding your identity. And i think the whole issue has been so divisive and alienating."

Ireland is certainly feeling alienated, this EU watcher tells me. Apart from some UK based companies uprooting to Ireland, Dan O Brien from the Institute of International and European Affairs, cannot list any other benefits of Brexit for Ireland:

"Brexit has been a huge issue for Ireland going back even 4 years since before the referendum. Often I think we have spent more time discussing it here than in the UK. From the very moment, the idea of Brexit came about, it was always clear this would be a strategic nightmare for Ireland –small country, close relations with its big neighbour locked into a structure... the notion of Britain leaving that creates all sorts of strategic questions about its bilateral relations with Britain and its relations with other countries in the EU and its economy and for Northern Ireland."

Philip Economides, Research assistant, at the Economic and Social Research Institute argues that Brexit, hard or soft would be bad news for Ireland and Irish households - according to fresh data he has gathered. He hopes for another referendum in the UK, but insists the EU should protects its interests.

"The single market comes with a full package of items...unless you agree with all of those items you cannot function in the single market. To allow any special exemptions would destroy the European project altogether. I don't see that being possible. I can see unicorns existing that could envisage such changes like that, but in reality it cannot be implemented," Philip Economides, Research assistant, The Economic and Social Research Institute

One outcome no Irish home wants is a no deal scenario. EU law Professor Tobias Lock, Maynooth University reminds me what that would mean.

"We will have no rules in place for the EU/UK relationship which means trade would obviously be based on WTO rules..there would no judicial cooperation to speak of, there would be some but based on very very old treaties from the 1950s. Not the same type of cooperation we have had so far."

Most feel a solution will be found, and cool heads will prevail, but since 1973 Ireland and UK have been joined at hip as EU members so this divorce is taking its toll.