It's exactly five years since the end of the political term was suddenly infused with a popular and semi-comical debate about the dangers posed by sea gulls.

Back then Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O'Sullivan warned that this threat could no longer be ignored and the birds had lost the run of themselves.

Half a decade later this week neatly lends itself to an avian metaphor.

This time it's the characteristics generally associated with a flightless bird that Government is seeking to curb.

Yes as Brexit soars menacingly into view, the language from Government Buildings became a little more shrill in an effort to end the ostrich syndrome.

The dangers Brexit presents can no longer be ignored - and that task to somehow secure the EU single market while at the same time avoiding a hard border has to be completed soon.

This was the key message from Government when it published the latest Brexit plan this week.

But just how it can be achieved remains unclear and finding a solution is something that's going to preoccupy the Government and the European Commission for some time yet.

The Taoiseach did yesterday offer one possible option when he revealed a proposal currently under consideration.

It centres on an idea that the island of Ireland could be treated as a single unit for agriculture and food.

That would result in checks taking place at the ports.

Time is running out though to hone ideas like this, because businesses need clarity to deal with what the Tánaiste described as: the "ugly prospect" of a disorderly Brexit.

While this work continues TDs and Senators have departed Kildare Street for the political summer holidays.

They leave Leinster House knowing that their futures are intertwined with Brexit and the events which will flow from it in the autumn.

For many Fine Gael TDs there is for the first time a realisation that the Taoiseach's words can at times make their political life really difficult.

That much has been evident since the beginning of the year.

It began when Leo Varadkar sent shock waves through the party's rural ranks after admitting he was eating less red meat.

The tone he struck around the Waterford Hospital Mortuary controversy also had to be later corrected.

And this week brought an apology for his "sinning priest" comments plus an admission on Tuesday that he is "perhaps not always the most civil person" during Dáil debates.

However, it is most likely that the future won't be determined by these episodes.

Indeed even the ballooning costs of the National Children’s Hospital and the rural broadband plan do not compare with the potential political and economic hazards of a hard Brexit.

Ditto the Government’s at times clumsy attempts to deal with the CervicalCheck screening controversy.

The minority administration can point to 34 pieces of legislation progressing through the Oireachtas this term, not an insignificant achievement given the precarious nature of this Dáil.

But unquestionably it is Brexit that is the decisive force in Irish politics right now and it will remain so into the autumn.

The true measure of the Government and the Taoiseach can only be accurately gauged when this key phase has passed.

And the tone for the immediate period ahead may well be set by that meeting the Taoiseach is keen to have with the next British Prime Minister at the end of the month.

In the meantime many TDs and Senators will no doubt make their way to the seaside and perhaps wistfully ponder about the time when their political concerns included ill-tempered sea gulls.