Brexit deal rejection – red lines and hard choices


Sir, – I note from your editorial about Brexit that you support another referendum (“Go back to the British people”, January 15th). I think you would find a greater than 60 per cent Leave vote this time round as you, in conjunction with many MPs, are taking your information from the same Westminster bubble of press and politicians that got the last referendum wrong. The British people now favour coming out on WTO terms and, being net importers from the EU, will naturally favour those who we see as friends. – Yours, etc,





Sir, – Your editorial rightly states that “the route to a second (Brexit) poll remains unclear with . . . Labour’s priority being to force a general election”.

However, Jeremy Corbyn’s tabling of a no-confidence motion after Theresa May’s historic Brexit defeat might, in fact, lead to a slightly more straightforward sequence of events in the crucial next few weeks.

Over the last few days, it became increasingly obvious that rejection of Mrs May’s withdrawal deal would be immediately followed by a no-confidence vote.

But Labour’s attempt to topple the UK government is almost certain to fail. A vote on a Norway-plus option or a second referendum are most likely to come after that.

In short, there is a strong possibility of a people’s vote being the last option left between the UK and a no-deal Brexit.

Responding to Theresa May’s crushing loss, and in a thinly veiled invitation to the UK to stay in the EU, Donald Tusk tweeted: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”

Hopefully, the Labour leadership, in particular, was listening. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

A chara, – The Last Night of the Proms occurs every year in London. Will the Last Night of Brexit occur every night from now to the end of March? – Is mise,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – One has to applaud the performance of Mrs May in doing what had seemed impossible, uniting the British people. Politicians on all sides, leading Brexiteers and Remainers, as well as the public at large, appear to be of one mind in rejecting the only deal the EU plans to offer. Bravo! – Yours, etc,


Kinsale, Co Cork.

Sir, – Donald Tusk has stated, in the aftermath of the destruction of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, that a negotiated and orderly exit for the UK from the EU is now impossible. The alternative, a “no deal” exit at 11am on March 29th, is considered so reckless and irresponsible that a parliamentary majority exists to prevent it (witness the support for the recent interventions of Dominic Grieve and Yvette Cooper).

And so, in Westminster, a dead end. The obvious, though I acknowledge uncomfortable, solution is to leave the confines of the House of Commons and call a second referendum with a choice of remain versus no deal. Will anyone in a position to deliver this to the UK electorate (that would be you, Mr Corbyn) have the courage to do so? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – I would like to be the first to congratulate and thank the DUP for preventing a shambolic Brexit. If it had facilitated the present deal it just might have got through and we, in Northern Ireland, would be on our way out of the EU. Now it is obvious that a hard Brexit cannot happen, even though the DUP would rather have that than the mythical and unlikely backstop. Yet by creating a red line, it has prevented Brexit happening for now and possibly forever.

Maybe we should also thank all the hard Brexiteers who have also contributed so much by presenting such a ridiculous set of hardline options. Be careful what you wish for. – Yours, etc,




Co Fermanagh.

Sir, – Throughout the entire Brexit debate, the most ridiculous and politically pompous argument put forward is that to hold a second referendum on Brexit would be a betrayal of the democratic process. Rubbish! In effect, this argument means that even if with the wisdom of hindsight, you begin to fear that you have made a disastrous decision, you cannot revisit it and perhaps change your mind! – Yours, etc,




A chara, – It is hard not to feel sorry for Theresa May when one sees what she has to deal with. Many of the MPs refer to it as “the Irish border.” It is a British border in Ireland conceived by and installed by Britain (after a head count in the Ulster counties). Many MPs thought it was part of Britain, hence “Brexit” instead of “UKexit”. It is now due to become an EU border not an Irish border.

Many MPs are still locked in the British Empire days. It is the first time they had to negotiate with a greater power and had to compromise.

The negotiators did their best in a thankless job where both sides will be worse off in a few years. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – If ever there was a need for urgent US intervention in the Brexit saga to preserve peace in Northern Ireland it is now. Unfortunately the knight in shining armour is Donald Trump. – Yours, etc,



A chara , – If only Sinn Féin’s seven MPs had been in the House of Commons, they could have made such a difference. – Is mise,


Dublin 24.