David McWilliams: ‘F**k business’ Brexit could be a gift for Ireland

Tory civil war is set to offer Ireland an incalculable commercial opportunity

Boris Johnson reportedly said “f**k business” when asked  about business leaders’ Brexit fears. Photograph:  Dan Kitwood/Getty

Boris Johnson reportedly said “f**k business” when asked about business leaders’ Brexit fears. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

On September 20th, 1988, nine Irish students at the College of Europe took their places in Bruges town hall. We were waiting for Margaret Thatcher to give the opening address for our coming academic year.

What West Point is to the US military, the College of Europe is to the EU institutions. It is the academic entry point for the European Commission, European Court of Justice, European Central Bank and the various other orbital institutions that make up the European project. Security was tight. The IRA were active on the continent. In August, the IRA had killed three British soldiers in the Netherlands. A few months previously we had the Gibraltar killings. Tensions were high. As was normal at the time, the Irish students, all of us only 21, were singled out for special but not particularly invasive checks.

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