Brexit and compromise on the backstop
Sir, – Stephen Collins must realise that the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is already a compromise and that much of the flexibility demonstrated thus far has precisely been by the Irish Government (“Dublin must be open to a last-minute compromise on backstop”, Opinion & Analysis, July 11th).
The protocol reflects and respects demands flowing from the British government, and the EU has already travelled some distance to accommodate existing anxieties.
If Brexit is taken forward, then it is better to look elsewhere. There remains clear scope for dialogue on the political declaration on the future relationship, for example. If legally irrelevant political cover is required to allow sense to prevail, perhaps that is where it might be found. Caving in on the current compromise would be unwise; it would set a worrying precedent for what is going to be a long and difficult path ahead. – Yours, etc,
Prof COLIN HARVEY,
School of Law,
Queen’s University Belfast.
Sir, – Bill Bailey (Letters, July 11th) imagines Ireland, in aligning itself with the EU, as a pawn in a German chess game designed to maintain the immense German trade surplus with the UK.
The alternative, he suggests, is for Ireland and the UK to do the sensible thing, ignore the EU, and reach a bilateral trade agreement. This, presumably, would make Ireland a pawn in an English chess game, designed to maintain the immense UK trade surplus with Ireland.
Whether or not this is “the sensible thing” depends on which side of such a trade deal one’s loyalties are. – Yours, etc,
FRANK Ó NÉILL,
Sráid na Cathrach,
Co an Chláir.