Brexit – a never-ending compromise?


Sir, – Perhaps the best we in Ireland can hope for from Brexit is the UK opting for what Polly Toynbee recommends, the “indefinite limbo” and “never-ending compromise” of an open-ended transition away from its EU membership (“A second Brexit referendum would be a disaster”, Opinion & Analysis, July 17th).

However, this may well be too much to wish for. As Polly Toynbee also says, the Brexit secretary and Britain’s chief negotiator with Europe, David Davis, wants to take Britain completely out of the single market and the customs union.

Most experts believe that such an outcome would most certainly not be in Ireland’s economic interests.

Another cause for Irish concern may be the propensity, or lack of it, of Mr Davis to strike a good deal. Dominic Cummings, said by no less an authority than the Daily Mail to be “the architect of Vote Leave”, offered the following deeply unflattering Twitter summary of the Brexit secretary’s character and abilities: “DD . . . thick as mince, lazy as a toad, and vain as Narcissus”.

If the UK, and by extension Ireland, is relying on Mr Davis to bring home the bacon, it might be a good time for us all to start crossing our fingers and toes and hope against hope for a positive outcome in two years. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – It is not at all certain that Brexit will be a negative-sum game, as blithely asserted by Alan Dukes (News, July 18th). Only within a homogeneous market where competition is based solely on price do gains by one supplier have to be at the expense of losses by others. Outside the EU, the UK will be able to compete through innovative differentiation, unconstrained by deadening uniformity and the multiple conflicting interests of other EU member states. Specialisation can create an overall net increase in economic activity and productivity for both the UK and the EU, even after the potential effect of any increase in trade friction and reduction of economies of scale. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.