Brexit, Ukip and Ireland’s ‘real friends’

Sir, – With his "100 years on from 1916" remark, Nigel Farage is quite clearly attempting to draw a parallel between Ireland's struggle for independence and Brexit ("Ireland should remember who its real friends are when Brexit comes", Opinion & Analysis, May 5th).

Would anybody really dare to equate throwing off violent and systematic oppression – from the British Empire, no less – to the completely peaceful and legally regulated process of withdrawing from the EU? All I can say here is that there was no such thing as an “article 50” for any of Britain’s colonies.

Does Mr Farage really think Irish readers will not easily see through his blatant misconstruction of the UK’s role and responsibility in Brexit?

He says the EU wants to impose “punitive tariffs” instead of free trade, while it is the UK which is choosing to leave the internal market, turning its back on complete free trade as it exists, right now, with the other 27 member states, including Ireland.


He writes that the EU is “fanning the flames of political violence over the Border”, while it is the UK that is turning its back on open borders and free movement within the EU as a zone of peace, security and justice. – Yours, etc,


Faculty of Governance

and Global Affairs,

Leiden University College,

The Hague.

Sir, – Nigel Farage lectures the people of this island, while his party’s duplicitous, divisive and insular fear-mongering has resulted in the greatest threat to peace and prosperity that Ireland, North and South, currently faces. It’s impact on economic and political stability of this island, mere collateral damage to Ukip’s selfish crusade, is potentially disastrous.

Mr Farage dares to speak of the excellent UK-Irish relations, apparently ignorant of the damage his party (now reduced to one councillor and zero MPs) has inflicted on them. He then has the gall to pose as a “friend” of this island.– Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.