A trade deal and making our own luck
Sir, – Responding to Michel Barnier’s kind wishes of good luck to the UK in the event that no trade deal is concluded with the EU in the next few weeks, DR Cooper (Letters, September 7th) suggests that “there was nobody in his Irish audience who realised that they would need ‘good luck’ more than us”.
These remarks, coupled with extensive quotation from economic reports about the extent of Ireland’s potential suffering in the event that there is no deal concluded, reveal an ignorance of the fact that Irish people are, in general, painfully aware of this reality. DR Cooper writes as though being the first to tell us that we might be worse off if the UK leaves without a deal. A cursory glance at virtually every national newspaper published in this country in the past four years would, I suspect, show that we have actually adverted to this possibility ourselves. One would have to speculate that this is the reason why Ireland and the EU have been trying to negotiate a trade deal with the UK for some time now.
Further, the suggestion that “Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney led the Republic up the EU garden path” in order “to curry favour with Brussels” erroneously suggests that the previous government led Ireland to side with the EU for narrow political gain against the will of the people. This betrays an ignorance of the fact that the Irish population is generally very favourable toward EU membership and that Brexit was the one policy area in which Mr Varadkar and Mr Coveney could rely on virtually unanimous cross-party support.
DR Cooper’s letter reveals a degree of surprise and incomprehension at the fact that a country largely content with EU membership would remain loyal to the trading bloc of which it has been a member for nearly 50 years. – Yours, etc,