Brexit – time for pragmatism

Sir, – Is the intransigent nature of the political stance of the DUP in the Brexit debate such that they cannot see that the EU is offering them the opportunity “to have their cake and eat it”? If it had a more pragmatic approach to the negotiations, it could see that moving the customs border to the Irish Sea and staying in the single market would allow them to avail of an economic lottery win. It would receive all the benefits of funding from both the EU and the UK and its unique status would make Northern Ireland a magnet for foreign direct investment. Surely a win-win situation for everybody concerned. – Yours, etc,



Co Laois.

A chara, – Paul Goodman's contention in his piece "Border stand-off is a classic Irish-UK misunderstanding", Opinion & Analysis, December 2nd) reminds me of a conversation that I had with a British-born secondary teacher whom I met while we were both working in the Middle East, a number of years ago.

This particular gentleman, though well-educated and well-travelled, was very surprised to hear that we used a different currency in the Republic, should he ever consider a visit across the Irish Sea. I was bewildered by his lack of knowledge.

For far too long there has been a calamitous lack of interest and imagination in relation to Irish affairs and sovereignty displayed by the British ruling elites and their systems of education. – Is mise,



Co Meath.

Sir, – Britain’s Labour government sought to impose passport controls for travel between the UK and the Irish Republic in the 2009 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill.

The Bill was passed by the House of Commons but the clause was removed in the House of Lords.

This would have been the beginning of the end of the common travel area (CTA) between the two countries.

The CTA is of enormous benefit for citizens of both countries but it is not a legally binding obligation.

Is Leo Varadkar putting this cherished privilege at risk by his threat to veto progress on the Brexit negotiations? – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – The people on the island to our east in recent years have, all things considered, been reasonably good neighbours. They have chosen by a majority to leave the European union. As a democratic body built from the ashes of the second World War, the EU must be able to accommodate the possibility that a member may decide to leave the Union. As a good neighbour, we must be able to offer our support, help and best wishes to their endeavours. Not for any geopolitical, economic reasons, or the settling of old scores, or hoping for some future advantage, but simply because it is the right thing to do. We hope in the future to be able to welcome them back and making their leaving a tortuous process will not hasten that day. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – For clarity, shouldn’t we be referring to the “European border in Ireland” rather than the “Irish border”? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.