Brexit and the DUP

Sir, – It is difficult for the many observers of the Brexit saga not to be of the opinion that the DUP appears to be motivated by a visceral disdain for nationalist Ireland in their opposition to the current proposed deal. In this vein, any deal that would be acceptable to the “South” is to be viewed with suspicion as presenting an existential threat to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, and demands accordingly that the “DUP says No”, notwithstanding the consent clause contained in the Belfast Agreement.

Boris Johnson, when in Dublin, stated that a “failure to achieve a deal would represent a failure of statecraft”. To get the current deal across the line in Westminster, Mr Johnson has to employ that statecraft to the full in convincing the DUP between now and Saturday. I wish him well. – Yours, etc,





Sir, – The way Irish politicians conducted themselves throughout the Brexit process make me proud to be Irish. Ireland is now regarded on the world stage as a progressive, forward-thinking country, commanding the respect and trust of other nations.

However, it will not be long before the ideology of a united Ireland surfaces again south of the Border. Before being caught up in this emotive ideology, perhaps we should stand back and distil some valuable, salutatory insights from Brexit.

Last week, a leaked memo indicated that the British government regarded Northern Ireland as a “millstone” around its neck, requiring significant financial support from Britain. A united Ireland would mean that we would have to fund this Northern Ireland support. Where would the money come from? Would it have to be diverted from our housing, health, education or other budgets? Would we have to borrow to fund the support required? What would be the implications for our economy?

We would also inherit the DUP, a party which has consistently demonstrated intransigence and belligerence. Do we really want to have to deal with this difficult mindset and in doing so slow and eventually halt the impressive economic and political progress we are currently making? – Yours, etc,


Sandyford, Dublin 18.

Sir,– I think that Boris Johnson’s Brexit, like Schrödinger’s cat, will have to be both dead and alive if he his to have any chance of getting it past Arlene, Jacob and the rest of that nest of confusion that passes for a parliament over there in the “United” Kingdom. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.

Sir, – The UK government has made a very genuine effort to get a deal that will ensure the least disruption to the economy and free movement on the island of Ireland. It is time for the UK to stand up to the DUP and call it as it is. By doing this the pressure that will ensue from the rest of the UK and its media will be significant. More importantly it will become very apparent that when this debacle has been resolved, and after the next election, there is a very high level of probability that its standing within the UK parliament will be one of mere bystanders. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – The red hand of history may be resting on some shoulders. A modicum of generosity all round would ensure that the future of the children of Ireland as a whole would be protected, enabling all to live in peace, harmony and prosperity. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

Sir, – It seems the Brexit marathon and a possible deal can now be summarised as follows; to be or not to be, Vat is the question. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – In a long letter to The Irish Times on July 25th, just after Boris Johnson became British prime minister, I made the following short prediction.

“I can see Boris Johnson achieving a soft and orderly Brexit. Let me paint the scenario. Faced in late October 2019 with a doomsday hard ‘no deal’ Brexit with its devastating economic consequences for Britain, Boris throws the DUP under the bus and announces that he is going to accept the Withdrawal Agreement including the backstop as negotiated by the May government, but only as it applies to Northern Ireland”.

My letter was not published, probably because of its length, but it looks like my short prediction is going to be fairly accurate! – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Perhaps “Rejected by the DUP” should be the required standard or quality mark for treaties relating to Ireland. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Can anyone recall the last occasion the DUP said “Yes” to anything? – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – Am I being unduly cynical to think that the DUP’s opposition to Boris Johnson’s “new improved deal” might evaporate should Boris magic away the “cash for ash” inquiry? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – After all the insufferable nonsense emanating from the UK, we can finally have a bit of fun looking at Boris Johnson trying to throw the DUP under a bus while the DUP tries to throw him into a ditch. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.