Brexit – in search of unicorns?


Sir, – We appear to be heading for a Sherlock Holmes Brexit. Once you eliminate the impossible Brexits, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the true Brexit. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – Of all the strange decisions made in the three-year Brexit saga, Theresa May’s offer to quit immediately if MPs voted for her deal was the most bizarre. The notion that Tory MPs would abandon all their principles and tie the UK into a soft Brexit forever, in a deal that they felt was bad for Britain and wouldn’t previously accept, simply in order to have the prime minister retire a few weeks or months earlier than planned, is disturbing. The fact that Theresa May felt that her MPs might respond positively to her offer demonstrates what a low opinion she has of them. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – If the UK does not leave the EU with an agreement that contains the backstop, is it not likely, perhaps inevitable, that in subsequent bilateral trade negotiations, the EU will reintroduce the same backstop as a condition in any agreements that may be reached? Given the stated grounds for insisting on the backstop up to now, I cannot see that it could be otherwise. Where this will leave the UK, and where it will leave the DUP, is something to ponder. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 13 .

Sir, – The matter of Northern Ireland and the backstop appears to be a critical blockage to a “soft” leaving for the UK from the EU. May I suggest the people of Northern Ireland be asked to choose whether this “special” arrangement is agreeable to them. It strikes me that it is consistent with the Belfast Agreement in many respects, in that citizens’ Irishness, Britishness, and now Europeanness can be respected and accommodated. It could indeed be a distinctive and valuable positioning for all parties. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – The DUP enjoys the safeguard contained in the Belfast Agreement that lays down that there will be no change to the constitutional position of Northern Ireland without majority consent. Would it not be appropriate, in the current debate, to remind the DUP of that fact? – Yours, etc,



Kilkenny .

Sir, – Reading Alan Shatter’s letter (March 29th), one would wonder how the UK has survived the self-centred “triumphalism” of Ireland in the face of the UK’s demise. One would think Ireland was solely responsible for Brexit. The Irish Government has been disciplined and professional in its management of Brexit. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The UK will not accept the backstop so surely Ireland should consider whether it really really needs it. If no deal is going to be as disastrous for Ireland as is reported, surely it is worth ditching the backstop in order to achieve the advantages of the rest of the deal.

The UK is often accused of being unrealistic over Brexit and chasing unicorns. Perhaps it is time for Ireland to accept that the backstop is its unicorn. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Now that the House of Commons had another eight “Brexit votes”, all defeated, Theresa May needs to change her approach as to how she will solve the Brexit riddle. First, rather than having Yes or No votes she should consider multichoice votes. For example, MPs should be able to vote “Maybe” or “Don’t know”. Also, how about “True or false” or “Lucky dip” votes. Finally, rather than promising that she will leave office shortly if her plan is passed, she should threaten to lengthen her stay if it isn’t. Then she might get somewhere. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – Dave Slater describes Nigel Farage as “one of the most successful UK politicians” (Letters, March 29th). Given that Mr Farage has stood for election to the House of Commons on seven occasions and failed every time, I would have to say that Mr Slater’s definition of political success sets a very low bar.

Mr Farage can claim some involvement for the UK voting to leave the EU. Using scare tactics prior to the referendum vote, such as claiming that Turkey was about to join the EU and that the UK would soon be overrun by Turks, undoubtedly influenced a misinformed electorate.

It’s one thing to persuade people to vote for something by whatever means, but it’s an absolute dereliction of duty not to be able to provide them with a better alternative.

It may be impossible for some people “to not have some grudging respect for the man”, but I am not one of them. – Yours, etc,


East Dulwich,


Sir, – I see there is a new board game based on Brexit. It’s called Clueless. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Has anyone tried turning the damn thing off and turning it on again? – Yours, etc,