Brexit and bonfires
Sir, – I refer to Peter Hamilton’s piece “Isme hits out at Brexit-proof clause in procurement contract” (Business, April 11th).
Leitrim County Council is entirely within the rules of EU procurement, including those relating to proportionality, when stipulating that a purchase made must remain compliant with EU regulations over the term of the contract
Rather than negatively impacting small Irish business, which can choose to deliver the contract using a European wide supply-chain, it is UK businesses who are negatively impacted and have some grounds for complaint.
They could have been a bit sharper and just stipulated fixed-price (per unit) for the equipment and left it at that. I’d further argue that Irish businesses are more advantaged by this as they have a European-wide supply chain to choose from, while UK companies are disadvantaged.
More contracts like this can be expected as public authorities seek to protect the public purse and ensure compliance from the outset for the full term of the contract.
Irish businesses should see this as an opportunity build stronger links with non-UK European trading partners and in doing so build more resilient businesses for themselves. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – How very apt. The Brexit extension date is Halloween, the feast of the dead. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Observing the Brexit debacle in the UK, and indeed across the EU, it would appear that none of the main political players seems to be aware of George Orwell’s brilliant essay, Notes on Nationalism, a short piece written during the latter stages of the second World War.
Regardless of the particular hue of nationalism, Orwell identifies it as a disease and a neurosis; a condition where “there is the same obsessive fixation on a single subject, the same inability to form a genuinely rational opinion based on probabilities.”
He accurately discerns between patriotism and nationalism and, in its few short pages, gives several very recognisable examples of the condition which are still hugely relevant to today’s debate.
It is a shame that so few European politicians have read this essay, not least those intent on pulling Britain out of the EU: they would surely identify themselves in its opening pages.
I believe it should be translated into as many languages as possible and placed on every civics curriculum on the planet. Not only is it instructive but it is brilliantly written by one of the English language’s greatest exponents of the 20th century. Thankfully it is still in print, available and reasonably priced. – Yours, etc,
Raheny, Dublin 5.
Sir, – The final paragraph of your Editorial (April 12th) is contradictory and deficient.
You assert that the withdrawal agreement is the only path to a solution to the present impasse.
You then, quite rightly, point out that a no deal exit could re-emerge as a very real prospect. That is a solution, albeit not very sensible or palatable.
Given the march of one million and an online petition of over six million demanding a People’s Vote, which would include an option to rescind, you fail to count that as a very feasible and viable third option. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Brexit interruptus? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – A Hallowe’en Brexit – surely the final chapter of this bonfire of the vanities. – Yours, etc,