Brexit – taking back control?

Sir, – The British government’s official statement in response to MPs backing Oliver Letwin’s indicative votes amendment by 329 votes to 302 is rich with unintended irony (“MPs vote to remove control of Brexit from May government”, News, March 25th).

A UK Brexit department spokesman demanded “realism” from parliament, and that “any options considered must be deliverable in negotiations with the EU”.

However, it was Theresa May’s own unrealistic, contradictory insistence on ruling out a customs union while promising no return to an Irish hard border that led to the invention of the “backstop” and, in significant part, the current shambles. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – Theresa May’s response to the victory of the “indicative vote” in Westminster was that, “No government could give a blank cheque to commit to an outcome without knowing what it is”, which surely contradicts her earlier commitment that “Brexit means Brexit” and the adoption in the Tory general election manifesto of a promise to rule out staying in a customs union with the EU.

Can one in any good faith argue that the British government, much less the UK public, knew what it was endorsing and committing itself to when making those promises? – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – Regardless of her capacity for error, like all humans, Theresa May, as her Brexit deal passes, will have done a great service to both the British and Irish people. Saving the hard Brexiteers from their own blind arrogance and their wilful relentless damage to the reputation of Britain while returning sovereignty to her parliament and maintaining sane economic ties with Europe are no mean feats.

For Ireland, as well as the security of the backstop, respecting the importance of the Belfast Agreement will sustain the goodwill between both countries and allow for a soft impact on the Irish economy. The realisation for the DUP, that it is of value to Westminster only in terms of voting, might also direct that party back to its own Assembly and concentrate its mind, along with Sinn Féin’s, on bread-and-butter issues rather than divisive pipedreams. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.

Sir, – Will Mrs May’s Plan B be an “accidental” failure to repeal the Westminster law that says that the UK shall leave the EU at 11pm on March 29th, 2019? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – I’m confused. Will the UK and Europe now have a two-year or a four-year living apart period before divorce? – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.