EU has to stop digging in its heels and give Britain a break

EU has to stop digging in its heels and give Britain a break
Theresa May speaks in Florence on Friday Picture: Getty

Theresa May laid down an upbeat marker in Florence. Now it’s up to the European Union to reciprocate. And if that doesn’t happen, then Ireland has to assert itself

The British prime minister, Theresa May, adopted a very upbeat approach in her much-anticipated speech on Brexit negotiations. On almost every issue, the line she took in Florence was hugely in Ireland’s interests. She instanced the unacceptability of a physical North/South border; the need for an extra two-year transitional period; the request for the closest possible economic relationship with the EU; her appeal to maintain trade as tariff-free; etc. Throughout the speech, May put forward reasoned and balanced arguments. She pointed out the mutual benefits to all sides of a smooth and successful Brexit.

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