Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit

The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union blared like an air-raid siren in Government Buildings, the quadrangle of Portland stone and Wicklow granite in central Dublin that houses the taoiseach’s office. Officials summoned politicians, diplomats, business leaders, farming groups, academics and others to the complex off Upper Merrion Street. The guests climbed a beechwood staircase with a stained glass window, My Four Green Fields, representing Ireland’s four provinces.

At the improvised summit all agreed that Britain’s exit from the EU would present an unprecedented threat to Irish interests. They agreed to meet monthly to brainstorm – discussions which led to a task force, a strategy, a plan.

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