Brexit and a changed political landscape


A chara, – When Ireland left the UK, British tariffs were imposed on Irish goods for the first time in a century. This was, of course, the natural consequence of our choice to leave the UK, not punishment. Padraic Neary (November 20th) appears to disagree, writing that “a humiliating and vindictive treaty” is being forced upon Britain, similar to the one that Britain forced upon Germany at the end of the first World War. This is nonsense. The treaty being presented to Britain spells out the terms of British access to our market, after Britain leaves. It also ensures the British keep the promises they made to Ireland about our border.

Interestingly, Mr Neary appears to pre-emptively blame the EU for any hard border post-Brexit. Let’s leave entirely aside the fact that Britain’s decision to quit the EU is the only reason that the border question has been brought back from the dead, and that the EU has negotiated powerfully on our behalf to force the UK into guaranteeing an open border on Irish terms.

When we joined the EEC, Ireland signed treaties promising to uphold and protect the European market, which means protecting the border in a no-deal scenario. Would Mr Neary have us now break these treaties? What kind of a country would we be, if we simply reneged on inconvenient commitments? If the UK refuses to uphold Theresa May’s negotiated deal that guarantees an open border, Ireland must not shirk its own promises. To protect Ireland, we must fully uphold the treaties we helped to write, and approved by referendum. That is our duty as a sovereign nation. – Is mise,


Douglas, Cork.

Sir, – Talk of “success” for Ireland in the context of the draft Brexit deal leaves me very uneasy.

Sooner or later Europe will dispatch a payback demand, most likely targeting our taxation regime. Pressures to implement a digital tax are already bubbling to the surface.

Neither can the disquieting reality of our long-term future in the EU, without the support of our best ally, be denied. This is an issue that deserves more than current peripheral consideration and would, if properly appreciated and debated, assist in laying a foundation with the potential to foster for a very positive future relationship with our UK neighbours, especially Northern unionists. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – It behoves every political party to act in the best interest of its supporters. A strong majority of the electorate in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. Yet the only representation being given by elected Northern Ireland politicians in Westminster is in support of Brexit. This is a key moment in the island of Ireland’s future. It is not that the proposed deal would deliver a united Ireland but that it would avoid an island fractured once more by borders. Sinn Féin is neither in the Stormont parliament nor in Westminster and if Brexit comes to pass for the want of a few votes, it will be on Sinn Féin’s head forever. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Would it be possible to have all the Brit-bashing and negative Brexit articles grouped together into a weekly supplement? That way those readers not quite so obsessed could use the supplement to light the fire and read the rest of the paper in peace without the truly mind-numbing mood music of Brexit O’Toole & Co in the background. – Yours, etc,