Brexit and a sense of the surreal

Sir, – When watching English news programmes (largely BBC) on the television, I am increasingly experiencing a surreal sense. Some expert or politician is explaining the preparations for dealing with a crash-out Brexit, how it will affect the health service, say, or maybe transport. The difficulties described are horrendous, the cost probably prohibitive and nobody can possibly say how successful the strategy might be.

This interview is treated quite normally.

Nobody says, “Hang on a minute. What are we up to? Surely the relationship we have enjoyed to date with the EU is better than this?”

Presumably some think it, but rarely speak out in an unequivocal manner. Yet we are told that at least half of Britain feels pro-Europe.


It is good to see that various groups in the UK representing agriculture, industry, etc, are now making representations in favour of a soft Brexit (that Britain might remain in the EU seems unlikely and in any case unworkable) but many of the prevailing voices being heard are very negative towards the EU.

The date for leaving is now around six weeks away.

More and stronger voices in favour of a reasonable position are urgently needed as the dangers of a no-deal Brexit come ever closer. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – The continued rostering of a uniformed member of An Garda Síochána outside the British embassy in Dublin 4 is a pointless waste of the force’s scarce human resources.

I wonder if the UK government would consider removing the gates, barriers and walls around the embassy as a token of its absolute faith in technology. Newton Emerson (“Ireland and the EU must stop ridiculing Border technology”, Opinion & Analysis, February 7th) would, surely, be prepared to give them expert advice on the type of technology and cameras to use and where to position them to secure their “sovereign territory” on Merrion Road.

Perhaps, though, they might also consider installing a detachment of Royal Marines in the attic and an SAS battalion in the shrubbery as a backstop, just to be sure to be sure. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The Brexit process is like a neighbour’s stubborn mule in the days of equine farm-power.

The mule would neither lead nor drive. And as in the case of Brexit, can neither leave nor stay.

And both are generating utter frustration. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Bravo to Gerald Morgan (Letters, February 13th) for speaking up for those who, though instantly recognising the fears of any type of Brexit – hard, soft, long, short – are fed up and increasingly concerned by those who gloat and constantly lecture on doom, gloom and failure to others, whatever their persuasion.

I am, and always have been pro-Europe, although not necessarily a European Union in its present overgoverned format.

I warmly welcome the recent comments of President Michael D Higgins and implore our leaders, and reporters, to remain calm and, above all else, understanding.

A school motto, familiar to both Northerners and Southerners educated at Portora in Enniskillen, I believe fits the bill perfectly: Omnes Honorate. Respect everyone! – Yours, etc,


Dublin 20.