As the Tory Brexit fight club slugs it out, do they even care about Ireland? | Rafael Behr

Ego-wrestling British cabinet ministers seem willing to risk their neighbours’ hard-won peace and prosperity. And the rest of Europe can see that

There is no definition of good neighbourliness in foreign affairs. Alliances are fixed by treaties. Regional trade is measured in goods and services. But those things cannot describe the texture of relations between countries, the way adjacent nations rub along together.

This quality is as important to Brexit as the technical hooks on which negotiations are currently snagged. No European Union member state wanted the UK to leave, and it is hard for them not to feel aggrieved by Britain’s choices. Theresa May urges Brussels not to take offence. Less emollient leavers say the continentals should get over it and focus on mutual trade (as if their own campaign was some case study in cool rationality).

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