Brexit – nearing the endgame
Sir, – The powers that be in Britain seem to think that the EU is leaving the UK. The superiority complex is intact. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – A letter writer from the United Kingdom (September 21st) does not appear at all amused and offers several sideswipes at Ireland as a “satrap of the EU”.
Like most “ordinary British citizens” he is ignorant of the interests of this country – Ireland by name – in the peace and stability of Northern Ireland and the welfare of its citizens, the majority of whom voted to remain in the EU. He would be better occupied trying to extricate himself and his fellow British citizens from the DUP trap in which they’ve been caught! – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I hope that your letter writer will permit me, an ordinary Irish and EU citizen, to bluntly relate what the EU is trying to say politely. If the UK does not live up to its international treaty obligations regarding the Belfast Agreement and the backstop, then the word of the UK government means nothing, and it is not possible to negotiate any Brexit deal that the EU can trust the UK to abide by, so it’s a no-deal Brexit. Sadly the Tory government is dependant on its “satrap” Arlene Foster of the DUP to be in government.
The UK created the problem with Brexit, Theresa May made it worse with the snap election, and then worse again by taking so long to come up with the Chequers plan and then presenting it as take it or leave it.
There is still time to negotiate, there is still time to ask for a postponement, or to use the democratic process, in the same way it is used to change a government, to change the decision on Brexit. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Slinging insults from across the Irish Sea may be satisfying to some in the short term but that hardly solves the problems posed by the land Border on this island or helps the day to day lives of the citizenry living on both sides of it. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Nobody I know is trying to prevent the UK from importing whatever it wishes into its own country after it leaves the EU. It will be free to import killer bees from the southern states of the US if it so wishes, just so long as they don’t let them leak across the Border from their satrapy in Northern Ireland. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The right-wing populist Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán maintained that some EU leaders want to “punish” Britain for Brexit.
Leo Varadkar was closer to the truth when he suggested that all the remaining 27 nations are trying to do is to help the UK find solutions for leaving in as painless a way as possible for everyone.
The Taoiseach, in a characteristically strong summit performance, once again asserted that it was Britain’s decision, and no one else’s, to leave the EU.
Theresa May is trying her best to manage the impossible Brexit situation. However, some of the more extreme Brexiters are little better than snake oil salesmen.
It’s essential that the Irish Government and the rest of the EU remain clear where responsibility for Brexit, and ultimately its solutions, should lie – with the British government. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – The Brexit deadlock is a simple problem with a simple solution.
Northern Ireland is part of a customs union with the three countries of mainland Britain that requires no cross-border checks on goods with those countries.
It is in a similar union with the Republic of Ireland. Should Northern Ireland leave either of these custom unions then border checks become inevitable on one side or the other (or both).
Politicians on all sides are glued firmly to the saddles of their high horses about the symbolism of where those border checks should take place.
The solution is simply to ask the people of Northern Ireland to consider whether it would be worse for them to remain in a customs union with Britain and have checks at the Irish Border, or to remain in a customs union with the Republic of Ireland and have the checks at Irish Sea ports.
A simple poll of Northern Ireland’s voters should suffice.
A result either way would provide a firm democratic mandate allowing each side to come down off their high horses gracefully in deference to “the will of the people”. – Yours, etc,