Brexit and ‘Dad’s Army’

Sir, – I was stunned by Fintan O'Toole's sarcastic schadenfreude ("Brexit Plan B is mash-up of 'Dad's Army' and 'Mad Max'", Opinion & Analysis, July 31st).

Like those politicians who delight in the British people’s dawning awareness of the consequences of a “no deal” Brexit, it seems not to have dawned on him that such a scenario would have as much, if not more, dire consequences for Ireland.

While the British government is preparing for this with preparations such as stockpiling food and medicines, creating space to accommodate backed-up container traffic at the ports, and, I’m sure, many other emergency measures which they are reluctant to release information on at present, all your columnist can do is sneer at it.

It would be useful if he and other members of the media started asking questions about our preparations. All we heard from the Cabinet meeting in Derrynane recently is that the Government plans to employ more customs officers. Where are the container lorries going to park while they make their inspections? I have heard no news of extra space being created at the ports. What about the large amount of our container traffic that goes through Britain on its way to the continent? In short, chaos at British ports will have a devastating effect on Irish industry as exports and imports will be seriously disrupted.


Both the Taoiseach and Michael O’Leary have barely concealed their glee that British aircraft may be grounded. Have they paused to consider the effect that will have on tourism and businesses that depend on air travel? Their statements have been reported without any critical analysis.

I am sure there will be many other dire consequences for Ireland, but our politicians and our media seem to be in denial. Not so a former chief of the World Trade Organisation who stated that Ireland may need emergency aid in the event of a “no deal” Brexit. I didn’t notice any opinion columns analysing that statement. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Fintan O'Toole's identification of the Royal Mail's postage stamp featuring Lance Corporal Jones pleading "Don't panic, don't panic" as a mass-produced image of Britain's Plan B for Brexit prompts a review of the other stamps in the Dad's Army series.

“Do you think that’s wise, Sir?” Sgt Wilson to David Cameron as he calls a referendum to resolve divisions in the Tory party.

“It won’t cost you much.” Pte Walker to Boris Johnson.

“Put that light out.” Chief Warden Hodges predicts the necessity for thousands of generators in Northern Ireland.

“We’re doomed, doomed.” Pte Frazer on behalf of all sensible people in the UK. – Yours, etc,



Co Limerick.

Sir, – Fintan O'Toole's combination of Dad's Army and Mad Max in his opinion piece on Brexit was apt. He is a fine journalist. One could be forgiven, however, for wondering just how many articles Fintan will write about that unmitigated disaster that is Brexit. I would not deny him a career based solely on it, but can I say on behalf of readers, "We get it". Could he now move on to another subject please? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt is telling the Germans and French that they must rein in Michel Barnier and give Britain what it wants or there will be a no-deal situation.

First, the UK chose to leave the EU, thus creating all this mess, and now it wants everyone else to sort it out. It is up to Ireland to sort the Border, and now France and Germany to sort out the trade issues.

It has already cost millions for other countries to put in place strategies to deal with what is coming and with hiring extra staff to cope with the results of Brexit.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has been saying the UK will not pay what it owes unless it gets what it wants. We are heading for a “no deal”, and it seems to be widely accepted here in the UK that Europe will not blink first, as it simply cannot afford to.

I am afraid that we will just have to let our friends and neighbours jump off their cliff and just be there for them to console in the aftermath; that is if we are not all dragged over the cliff with them. – Yours, etc,