After the European summit of this week which saw the EU holding its ground whilst the UK Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped for some concessions, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar turned to the British parliament, an unusual step given the history between the two nations, with a request to do everything to prevent a No Deal.
The fear of Dublin makes sense because a careless departure from its big neighbour would hit the Irish economy hard, make a border with the North inevitable and thus put a bomb under the Good Friday peace agreements between Protestants and Unionists.
As invisible as the Irish border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and Ireland, the country which wants to remain part of the EU, so visible is the problem.
"Theresa May tries to reconcile two opposing things: no border and leave the EU," said former UK PM Tony Blair last Friday, during his latest plea for a new referendum.
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Sticking to the hopeless agreement the UK government has negotiated, which involves a very peculiar border deal for the Irish, can ultimately lead to no agreement at all, after which the re-installment of an actual border would soon follow.
Earlier this year, Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the so-called ‘hard brexiteers’ claimed that the British could start "inspections" on citizens who cross the border, "just like during The Troubles" (referring to the bloody civil war which raged in Ireland in the last decades of the previous century).
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This careless reference to the violence caused disbelief in Ireland.
Removing the safety posts along the border was one of the building blocks of the Good Friday Agreement, which provided relative peace in Northern Ireland.
A hard no-deal Brexit would mean the return of border posts, not so much for checks on persons but because it then becomes the external border of the common market. Although some brexiteers say that a border is not necessary under any circumstances because they want to abolish all trade tariffs unilaterally, the EU will be forced to do something to safeguard the integrity of the internal market.
This will be a drama, especially for the Irish economy. Even greater, however, may be the political consequences of such a border.
Last Monday, Sinn Fein (the political movement of the former Iris Republican Army, IRA) leader Mary Lou McDonald said that a referendum on Irish reunification should follow soon when the UK falls from the EU without a deal.
She asked UK PM May if any preparations have been made for such a big constitutional turn. "They cannot expect Ireland, in such a crash scenario, to be left with so much damage."
The British-Irish relationship has furthermore been damaged this week by a remark by former minister Priti Patel that London can put the Irish under pressure by stopping food exports to Ireland.
It was an awkward remark given the role that the British played in the mid-nineteenth century in the Irish famine.
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