Brexit – running out of road?

 

Sir, – Further to “Irish experience potentially useful lesson for UK in Brexit fiasco” (Opinion & Analysis, March 25th), the Irish approach of “building movements before referendums” really makes sense. After the Brexit vote in 2016 it became clear that people disagreed as to exactly what they had voted for.

This would be unthinkable in Switzerland, with its initiatives and referendums, which are “bundled” and put to the vote around four times a year.

As an example, not long after the Brexit vote, we had a Swiss referendum where we voted on a major reform of Switzerland’s corporate tax system to bring it in line with the OECD. The brochure sent to all voters on the issue contained 12 pages of explanation as to what would change, as well as the arguments of the government for the new law and those of the referendum committee against it. This was followed by eight pages showing the exact text of the new law, if it was accepted. Such brochures provide a detailed “map of the territory”.

Political parties state their position as a party and people debate it in the media before the vote. – Yours, etc,

MARGARET

OERTIG-DAVIDSON,

Riehen,

Switzerland.

Sir, – Brexit is beginning to read like a compilation Jane Austen novel. Pride and Prejudice 52 per cent , Sense and Sensibility 48 per cent. They may need some Persuasion. – Yours, etc,

NUALA DELANEY,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – A country split down the middle along sectarian lines, where legitimate protests are met with counter protesters, whipped into a frenzy by politicians from the extreme end of their spectrum. Meanwhile a malfunctioning, rudderless parliament looks on, unable to deal with what’s happening to the country.

Is it not time then to suspend the London parliament and impose direct rule from Brussels? – Yours, etc,

RORY J WHELAN,

Drogheda,

Co Meath.

Sir, – Time to bring in David Attenborough and crew to film the Tory pack tearing each other to shreds. – Yours, etc,

ALISON HACKETT,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – So Uri Geller plans to stop Brexit telepathically (News, March 23rd). At last! A Brexit strategy with a greater chance of success than Theresa May’s approach. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL

McDERMOTT,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – The ongoing Brexit debacle is a huge opportunity for the people promoting artificial intelligence (AI). The technology may be in its infancy, but it would still do a better job of managing the complex negotiations than humans. All they would need to do is input the key political and commercial parameters, then programme the AI system to completely ignore them, and instead follow a shallow learning strategy that rehashes anachronistic, officious and jingoistic arguments in an infinite loop. – Yours, etc,

COLIN WALSH,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Angela Merkel says of the British prime minister: “It’s impressive how May is fighting” (“Merkel praises May’s resilience but says Britain must decide path”, News, March 23rd).

However, Theresa May is now part of the problem rather than solution if the UK is to finally find a way out of its self-created Brexit mess.

The right-wing of the Conservative party represents only a tiny fraction of the British people. The Tory European Research Group, for instance, won’t be happy until it forces Britain into a disorderly crash-out of the EU on WTO terms.

But Mrs May is obsessively determined to hold the Tories together, even, it seems, at the cost of a no-deal exit and potential national and international economic disaster.

For that compelling reason, alone, she must be quickly sidelined or removed by more practical and moderate elements in her own party, and by the British parliament as a whole. – Yours, etc,

JOE McCARTHY,

Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – I note numerous commentators continually using the term “kicking the can down the road” to sum up the snail’s pace of the whole process .

I feel sorry for the can at this stage! – Yours, etc,

TADHG McCARTHY,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.