The Atlantic

England’s Difficulty Is Ireland’s Mortal Danger

The Irish border has emerged as one of the thorniest issues of Brexit.
Source: Reuters

DUBLIN—“England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity,” goes the old nationalist slogan. In the elegant Chapter One restaurant, next door to one of Dublin’s most eye-popping Georgian townhouses, I learned that the slogan has been updated. England’s difficulty is now Ireland’s mortal danger.

Eoghan Harris made his career writing for television and films. His grandfather and two of his great-uncles carried arms against Britain in the Easter uprising of 1916. He worries now that Brexit is provoking a dangerously nationalist reaction on the western side of the Irish Sea. “There is no easier political stunt in Ireland than wrapping yourself in the green jersey,” he said. He worries that the present Irish government, and especially its prime minister, Leo Varadkar, are recklessly antagonizing Britain for local political advantage.

Ireland is led by a weak minority government, a legacy of a half decade of economic hardship.

Ireland suffered terribly in the euro currency crisis that

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
How American Women Are Amplifying Their Political Power
“I am not interested in building the capacity of people who are in office that want to take away my health care.”
The Atlantic2 min read
The Hospital Is Too Damn Loud
When the musician Yoko Sen was hospitalized a few years ago, she could not help but hear the hospital’s many alarms as a musician. Consider a cardiac monitor that beeps in C, she says, along with a bed-fall alarm that emits a high-pitched whine. Toge
The Atlantic2 min readPsychology
A Rational Case for Following Your Emotions
In the popular American imagination, emotion and rationality are often mutually exclusive. One is erratic, unpredictable, and often a liability; the other, cool, collected, and absent obvious feeling. And even though research suggests that people exp