Inadvertent example of the root of the problem: 'it is the smaller of the two islands which appears to be exercising greater power'. To be aware that neither state is an island counts as specialist knowledge in England.
The. Smaller. Of. The. Two. Islands.
Of. The. Two. Islands.
The. Two. Islands.
This is the political editor of the national broadcaster's flagship news programme. Can you imagine the state of knowledge of the English public?
Anyway, apart from the modest impact on Anglo-Irish relations (which UK has already reduced to worst state since WW2), the 'Irish should know their place' quote will simply confirm the widespread view in other EU capitals that Brexit is an elite anti-EU project.
A powerful fraction of the UK establishment thinks in terms of countries knowing their place in the international order, with the UK somewhere near the top. That smaller states should have equal voice with them strikes them as monstrous. Hence the depth of hatred for the EU.
But also the fundamental miscalculation. For these people, the EU can only be a mask for the naked power interests of its largest economies. Hence the assumption that the 27's position on the border could only be tactical.
The hoops that the Brexit elites jumped through to rescue that hypothesis in the face of the clear evidence against it testify to the depth of ideological passion in their position.