Brexit and the backstop


Sir, – Is this the week when we slip from “backstop” to “backslide”? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

A chara, – Brexiteers blame the Irish establishment, who blame Jeremy Corbyn, who blames the Conservatives, who blame Brussels, who blame the Brexiteers. Despite parallel negotiations, the circle can’t be squared. The Bermuda Triangle of no deal looms. – Is mise,


Dublin 24.

Sir, – The European Commission has confirmed what almost everyone on this island has understood for many months, that a no deal Brexit would necessitate the reintroduction of a hard border. Is it possible that the good people waving their “No Deal? No Problem” placards outside the Palace of Westminster will apply the necessary Tippex? Or do they just mean “no problem” – for them? – Yours, etc,


Rathgar, Dublin 6 .

Sir, – I was very surprised to read that Alan Dukes (Letters, January 19th) is having difficulty with the stance taken by Jeremy Corbyn on the invitation from Theresa May to discuss Brexit. Mr Dukes appears to be making the mistake of assuming that May, and the Tory Party, are putting the best interests of the UK ahead of their own.

Mr Corbyn simply does not accept that a “no-deal” result is unavoidable and is very concerned that such a result is in fact what many within the Tory party are actually working for – albeit by subterfuge – and by insisting on the “no deal” precondition, he is ensuring that once such talks commence the necessary compromises to reach an agreed, workable plan will be forthcoming. This is by far the most constructive position for the leader of the opposition to take at this crucial time for the UK.

Mr Corbyn’s concerns about entering into discussions without a “no-deal” precondition are being borne out by reports that emerged over the weekend on conversations between various EU leaders and Theresa May, which indicate that Mrs May has not budged an inch from her failed position.

Mrs May’s priorities are to remain in office as long as she can and prevent any serious split in the Tory party. The best interests of the country are being ignored. That should be obvious to most observers by now. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – So, after two years of trying, the DUP has managed to help block the backstop. However, like the dog who caught the car after years of trying, now that it has stopped it, what does it intend to do about it? – Yours, etc,


Listowel, Co Kerry.

Sir, – Is it not time the British gave up the joke?

Clever and technologically advanced though the British are in artificial intelligence, surely they must know that we have all rumbled to the fact that the robotic figure popping in and out of the hall door of number 10 Downing Street every so often, carrying the same bundle of papers, isn’t real?

And whoever is recording the voice has run out of ideas, as most of speech is repeated again and again. Also, it’s so obvious that the main actuators are concealed in the large plastic beads that they have hung around the robot’s neck.

Come on, England, you can do better. Yours, etc,


Viewmount, Waterford.

Sir, – I note the intervention of the Polish foreign minister in relation to the impasse over the backstop. He proposes that by the simple application of a time limit “the problem would be solved”. Perhaps it is time to accept that he is right.

Shall we say 800 years? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.