Brexit and the fallout for the Border
Sir, – It seems to me that in the Republic we should be doing all we can to help our Northern friends with Brexit problems. After all, the majority there voted against leaving the EU. The Pontius Pilate act we saw last week (“Frustrated Leo Varadkar attacks Brexiteers on border issue”, July 29th) was distinctly unhelpful.
Meanwhile, with all the Brexit planning reported to be going on here, I have heard no mention of the problems of Irish road transport through Britain to Europe after Brexit.
Surely there should be plans to massively upgrade ferry transport to France, along with upgraded road (and rail) links to ferry ports?
Even if Brexit never happens this could reduce emissions and other environmental damage in Britain, as well as providing less stressful journeys for the transport industry. – Yours, etc,
Navan, Co Meath.
Sir, – Maybe the Taoiseach is looking the wrong way, I have not heard the UK looking to put up barriers, in fact they want things to be as they are.
It would appear it is the EU that is looking to put barriers up, so instead of blaming the UK, he should look to Michel Barnier to change his and Europe’s stance.
That is, of course, unless he is playing to the Sinn Féin audience for the up and coming election. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – While I welcome Leo Varadkar’s recent interventions outlining hard truths to Brexiteers (Gerry Moriarty, irishtimes.com, August 4th), I would not use the example of Turkey’s customs union as an example to follow.
I crossed the border from the EU into Turkey with a camper-van in 2013. It was a nightmare of bureaucracy, took almost four hours and I considered giving up before it was done. Poignantly, there were dozens of Europeans there, grown unaccustomed to border controls, who were utterly aghast and upset at the proceedings. One upset Dutchman was in tears.
Surely we must do better than that? – Yours, etc,
Ballina, Co Mayo.
Sir, – It seems our politicians, at least in Ireland, are finally waking up to the fact that the only viable, practical border between Ireland-EU and the UK after Brexit will be between the two islands, ie the present land border between the Republic and Northern Ireland is not viable as a frontier once Brexit is operational.
This, of course, places the Tory party’s allies, the DUP, in an extremely difficult situation, literally between a rock and a hard place.
Their dilemma is that if they agree that the EU-UK border has to be between the two islands, they will be accepting virtual economic integration with the Republic.
If they reject this (only option) logical solution, they will be accused of re-instituting a hard border on the island of Ireland, against the tenets of the Belfast Agreement and they will, at the same time, be threatening the stability of the Tory minority government, the consequence of which will be an early general election.
Such a scenario is also likely to destabilise the entire Northern Ireland peace project.
So, once more, the Irish problem is the UK’s difficulty. No wonder, immigration, budget and Ireland are the three core issues on David Davis’s and Michel Barnier’s agenda.
Dalkey, Co Dublin.