A Brexit election
Sir, – Theresa May’s surprise announcement that Britain will be going to the polls (again) on June 8th should be welcomed this side of the Irish Sea.
A larger Conservative majority would act as a stabilising factor that would make upcoming negotiations with the EU less disruptive – a point reflected by the resurgence in the pound after the British prime minister’s announcement on Tuesday morning.
It would also allow Ms May – a campaigner against Brexit less than 12 months ago – to set her own, more moderate, Brexit agenda rather than be dictated to by her hardline Brexiteer backbenchers, as has been the case in recent months.
The inevitable decline of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party could also see him replaced with a far more effective leader of the opposition who would properly scrutinise the government at every step of the negotiations. Furthermore, a revival for the Liberal Democrats could contribute to this scrutiny.
With the stakes of Britain leaving the EU so high on this island, we should welcome any attempt to bring about a “softer” Brexit. If that means an increased Tory majority, then so be it. – Yours, etc,
Sutton, Dublin 13.
Sir, – Brexit was an anti-Tory vote, a vote against David Cameron, a vote against the status quo, a vote against powerful vested interests (including the corporate world for whom free trade is a necessity), a vote for a better life. The majority of those people who voted for Brexit live in Labour’s heartlands. Now they have an opportunity to vote, in a general election, for the MPs who best represent their interests. Would it be that surprising if they voted for Labour given that Labour is supporting a soft Brexit, that Labour wants to salvage Europe’s protections for the rights of workers, that Labour proposes a minimum wage of £10 an hour?
Would they vote against Labour because the media screams at them that Jeremy Corbyn and Labour are unelectable or because Theresa May is more popular than Mr Corbyn?
I doubt it. People are smarter than that. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – A Leavy (April 19th), responding to Fintan O’Toole’s column of April 18th, attributes the damage inflicted by Brexit on Ireland to “English Hibernophobia”. Au contraire. The Brexiteer attitude to Ireland is not irrational fear. It is merely ignorance and indifference. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Britain needs to rally its youth vote like never before. Most young people are disaffected with politics in its current form. But when something happens that makes younger people stand up for something they believe in, such as the gay marriage referendum in Ireland, a large and influential voice can be heard. The Brexit referendum was won by older people with fixed pensions and points of view. Maybe now the people who will influence our lives for the next 50 years can be heard. – Yours, etc,