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British government's Brexit strategy is a shambles

Far from providing reassurance that Theresa May's humiliation in Brussels on Monday was a minor blip, easily fixed, the performance of the British government in subsequent days has served to underline the shambolic nature of its Brexit strategy.

It has confirmed what many on this island believe, that Westminster has little understanding of the complexities around the border issue and has no clear plan on dealing with the consequences of leaving the EU.

Evidence of the government's shocking lack of preparedness and overall ineptitude is piling up.

Yesterday, the Brexit secretary David Davis admitted to a Commons committee that the government has carried out no formal assessment of the likely impact of EU withdrawal on different sectors of the economy.

The idea that the government does not think it needs to look at the impact of Brexit on industry or business - while admitting that the effect on the economy will be of the magnitude of the financial crash - is difficult to comprehend.

It is also a problem for Mr Davis who previously told MPs that dozens of assessments were being prepared and in fact the prime minister had read `summary outcomes'.

This is the minister who has been put in charge of negotiating the terms of Britain's exit from the EU. How can anyone have confidence in him after his woeful performance?

He is also the minister making key decisions on the future arrangements for the Irish border yet since he was appointed as Brexit secretary he has had minimal direct engagement with Northern Ireland.

With chancellor Philip Hammond revealing that the cabinet has not yet had a full discussion on its preferred end position on Brexit and Mrs May still unable to move forward on the deal scuppered by the DUP, the picture emerging is of a government completely at sea.

For its own reasons, the DUP is aiming its fire at the Irish government.

But the blame for the current mess lies with the Tory government, who are so close to Arlene Foster and colleagues that it kept them out of the loop during crucial negotiations on the border.

The DUP should reflect on that fact.

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