Historical echoes in Britain’s EU departure

Severing oneself from the world’s biggest market looks like lunacy – but we did it ourselves a century ago this weekend

23rd December, 2018
Opponents of Brexit argue Britain will pay a heavy economic price – but such concerns did not concern Irish nationalists a century ago Pic: Getty

It’s difficult not to try and imagine what this very weekend must have been like in Ireland exactly a century ago. The 1918 December election results were just out. They had swept all the old certainties away. Ireland must have been shell-shocked to find itself trembling at the very edge of what were once unimaginable possibilities.

A new electoral franchise that included women, as well as a huge number of young men, who were...

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