Hogan says Brexit 'a mess and getting messier'
European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan has described Brexit as a mess and getting messier.
In newspaper interviews this morning, Mr Hogan warned against Ireland making what he called an enormous mistake by allowing its relationship with the EU to be defined by its relationship with the UK.
Mr Hogan made his comments in the Irish Independent and the Irish Times.
He said Brexit would force Ireland to forge relations and shape its destiny within the EU without the presence of the UK.
Mr Hogan said that, in doing so, Ireland had the opportunity to redefine and reassert its position as both committed Europeans and good next-door neighbours.
While no one in Ireland wanted to see Brexit come to pass, he said, it may present Ireland new opportunities and the chance to seize the next phase in its development.
He pointed out that Ireland has deep and long standing links with mainland Europe, and he warned against placing an excessive focus on Ireland’s relationship with the UK during Brexit negotiations.
The commissioner rejected claims made last week by Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage that Ireland could follow Britain’s example and leave the EU.
Meanwhile, a think tank has warned that British businesses would need almost £9bn in support to cope with the impact of failing to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.
However, Civitas said the cost could be covered if the British government imposed tariffs on imports from the remaining 27 members of the bloc.
The report suggests that billions could be spent on subsidies and aid within World Trade Organisation rules to help firms as they adapt to the imposition of tariffs on trade with the EU.
The government said it was determined to achieve the best possible deal with the EU, including giving British companies “maximum freedom” to trade with it.