Brexit and revolutions


Sir, – The majority for Brexit in the UK referendum is thought to have arisen from the unexpected votes of people who hadn’t bothered to get off their backsides to vote in many previous elections.

I am inclined, therefore, to agree with Fintan O’Toole that whatever the Brexit outcome in Britain, widespread political violence is unlikely (Opinion & Analysis, January 9th).

However, Fintan O’Toole is wrong to assume that the British think revolutions are bloodless. The English civil war was estimated to have led to almost 200,000 deaths.

One of the major protagonists, Oliver Cromwell, did not die in battle, but when peace was restored his body was exhumed, hanged and then had the head chopped off.

Cromwell’s severed head was exhibited on a spike at Westminster Hall for several years. So clearly not all British revolutions were bloodless. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – As if the UK had not kicked Ireland around enough over the centuries, our appalling government is now ratcheting up the pressure on Leo Varadkar and his EU counterparts to make further concessions on the Irish backstop issue, in order to help Theresa May get her miserable “deal” through Westminster next week.

Your readers need to know two things. First, millions of my compatriots feel as I do: ashamed at the way in which the Tories are prepared to risk the Belfast Agreement to get their insane project over the line. The island of Ireland has our solidarity in this. Second, do not believe Theresa May’s line that, unless the EU27 give her more help to get the deal through, then the UK will crash out with no deal, resulting in a hard border with the North. Not all British MPs are so deranged as to let that happen, and moves are currently under way to prevent this.

Momentum in the UK is moving on a daily basis to a second referendum, with support for staying in the EU now leading the polls. Don’t give up on us yet. – Yours, etc,