Brexit and the Border – a question of alignment

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker prior to addressing a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

British prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker prior to addressing a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP


Sir, – One has to feel sympathy for Theresa May on the sudden collapse of the proposed deal on the post-Brexit Border. Ulster said no. How could she have possibly predicted this? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – As they say in Texas,“You brung ’em, now you have to dance with ’em”. – Yours, etc,


Rosslare Strand,

Co Wexford.

Sir, – Has anybody noticed that Northern Ireland has already political and economic differences from the rest of the UK?

Does Arlene Foster know that the Belfast Agreement doesn’t apply to England, Wales or Scotland?

Northern Ireland already has a special status within the UK. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

A chara, – I note that there is dismay, frustration, even anger, over the fact that the Brexit Border question has yet to be sorted. However, I suggest it would be nothing short of amazing if a deal had been struck.

There are simply too many parties with too many varied interests that need to be satisfied to make it any way easy: Ireland North and Ireland South; the remainder of the UK; and, of course, the EU. It is no wonder that it is dragging on.

And perhaps it is no harm that progress is slow and even painful. We are all going to have to live with the results of whatever arrangement is agreed upon for a great many years to come.

Better to suffer now and hopefully get it right than to rush it and endure the painful after-effects for a long time into the future. – Is mise,



Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – If the intransigence of hardline unionism is writ large in modern Irish history, it has surely taken a new twist; not as regards the language thing, nor as regards its freshly delivered body-blow to historically amenable North-South relations, nor even as regards a hankering to reinforce, at any cost, the link with “the mainland”, rather in its disregard, with not so much as a mention, if you please, of the majority anti-Brexit constituency in Northern Ireland. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – The cities of Britain are home to many statues in recognition of the achievements of the Duke of Wellington and locations named after the battlefield of Waterloo. I wonder in a hundred years time will the cities of Britain be home to statues of Arlene Foster and streets named Brexit? – Yours, etc,


Lucan, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Dr John Doherty writes (December 5th) that the imposition of passport controls for travel between the UK and the Irish Republic, as proposed in 2009, would have been the beginning of the end of the common travel area between the two countries.

I flew from Dublin to London last Saturday and back on Sunday. I was not asked to show my passport in London but I was on my return to Dublin. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – Perhaps Theresa May could do worse than copy this country and seek to have a confidence-and-supply Brexit and referendum agreement with the opposition parties in the UK to get them to the next stage of their negotiations with the EU. At the end of this process, the British public would have an opportunity to revisit and reverse the whole Brexit shambles. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – So Arlene Foster and the DUP “will not accept any form of regulatory divergence which separates Northern Ireland economically or politically from the rest of the UK”.

Her predecessor and DUP leader Ian Paisley lobbied very hard for and was successful in ensuring that Northern Ireland beef products were marketed as Irish and specifically not British for export reasons during the BSE crisis.

Needs must, Arlene? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

A chara, – The Brexit negotiations have taken on Orwellian proportions. However, rather than watching the pigs announce that some animals are more equal than others, we are treated to the turkeys, who despite being offered a last-minute reprieve from participation in the festive meal, demand their right to celebrate Christmas like anyone else! – Is mise,




Sir, – My reading of the Brexit fiasco is that under the proposed wording, Northern Ireland would have had the best of both worlds.

Just because this agreement will not be as disadvantageous to Northern Ireland as it will be to the rest of the United Kingdom the DUP is rejecting it.

This exposes the DUP as being myopic and not caring for the majority in the North that voted to remain in Europe. How can a government be revived in Northern Ireland when the biggest party does not care about the majority of voters? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office was always believed to be staffed by the crème de la crème of the Whitehall mandarins. It appears they need a refresher course in choreography, from the Royal Ballet ! – Yours, etc,



Sir, – London, Scotland, and Wales are now looking for the same terms as proposed for Northern Ireland. A disunited kingdom. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – Is the Taoiseach’s relative youth becoming an issue? Twice in the last 10 days he has been outflanked by more seasoned opponents: Micheál Martin and Arlene Foster. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – It is so good of the EU leaders to allow our negotiators the power of veto on the Border negotiations, and to stand well behind Ireland in the whole process.

However, we have the most to lose following Brexit, and in allowing Ireland this power, they are positioning themselves to wash their hands of any of the inevitable adverse consequences. Thanks a lot! – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Our politicians would do well to heed the old saying, “Never count your chickens before they’re hatched”. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Why was anyone surprised that the DUP was angry with the British and Irish governments?

Isn’t anger the emotion one normally associates with the DUP? – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.

Sir, – Theresa May should have proceeded to do a deal with the EU regardless of DUP support.

If the DUP then brought down her government its reputation would be diminished for many years to come, and it might never recover from the loss of respect that would result. – Yours, etc,



Co Wexford.

Sir, – How unlucky Ireland and Britain are that the British government has to depend on the DUP at such a crucial time for the two countries.

Theresa May should abandon the DUP and their billion pounds, call an election, and accept the consequences. Even if she loses, banishment to the opposition benches would be preferable to depending on the DUP, and it would be a more honourable approach. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.