Brexit and the perils of zealotry


A chara, – It’s worth reiterating the long-term goals of some within the European Research Group and on the Tory right.

Their stated desire is not just that the UK would exit from the EU, but that this decision would create a cascade effect on other nations within the block, and ultimately lead to the EU’s demise.

There is a zealotry among this group to shred the deep and broad trade deals built up over 40 years within the EU as completely and expeditiously as possible, even if it leads to the detrimental relegation of the United Kingdom’s trade with the EU to WTO terms.

Their argument is visceral and built on emotion rather than reason and their current demands for Theresa May’s changed negotiating position is clearly strategic rather than principled.

The Irish Government has not overplayed the backstop negotiation, nor is it purely for domestic consumption.

The backstop agreed during the Withdrawal Agreement implicitly recognises the need to negate any existential threat posed to the EU during the negotiation of an external customs and regulatory land border, and the Irish Government is responsibly trying to uphold the obligations it has as co-guarantor of the Belfast Agreement. – Is mise,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Just imagine how much aggression would have been taken out of the entire Brexit process if “backstop” had long ago been replaced with the more user-friendly, and accurate, description “safety net”. Such a change would instantly transform all “backstop objectors” into “safety net” objectors. All in all, there’s something far less aggressive about the using words “safety net” instead of “backstop”.

A small change like this could play a big part in finding a solution to the current “safety net” impasse. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.

Sir, – Because of the fairly obvious strategy by the UK to run down the clock to put pressure on the EU and Ireland to concede, the EU should set an earlier date, such as March 15th, for final decision, so that the affected parties would have a minimum of reasonable notice of a no-deal Brexit, if agreement is not reached by that date. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Perhaps Theresa May should consider talks with the cave rescuers of the Thai youth football team.

They showed that no matter how big a hole you get yourself in, there’s always a way out. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Theresa May’s strategy in respect of Brexit is most accurately described as one of hyperactive inertia. – Yours, etc,



Co Tipperary.

Sir, – I have a feeling that your readers are enlightened and knowledgeable people.

If one of them could direct me to a desert island where Brexit is unheard of, that would be absolutely splendid.

In fact, my sanity might depend on this. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.