Hard choices and a softer Brexit?


Sir, – Given Jeremy Corbyn’s record to date on Brexit and his time as leader of the Labour Party, it must make all Tory MPs cringe at the thought of Theresa May having to find a solution to Brexit with Mr Corbyn’s help.

In the coming days I think she might find that the small light at the end of the tunnel is actually the light of an oncoming train. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

A chara, – Theresa May is to reach out to the leader of the opposition to try and find a way out of the unholy mess in which the UK finds itself.

This follows a series of indicative votes in the House of Commons that presented the ridiculous spectacle of MPs voting against their own positions out of fear that their political capital would be compromised.

It would appear that a customs union is a position around which MPs might coalesce.

What is clear is that the Brexit sought up to now is a Tory Brexit. However, the question was always a national one, with politicians divided within each of the parties and supporting both Leave and Remain campaigns. The United Kingdom and its nations are also divided. It is right that the Brexit question should be resolved by a national government or a government with a similar approach.

Theresa May has wrenched Brexit from those who kidnapped the process – the hard Brexiteers and the DUP. Now is a definitive moment for the UK and Theresa May’s legacy. – Is mise,


Malahide Road,

Dublin 17.

Sir, –Imagine that Britain voted to remain in the EU by 52 per cent to 48 per cent in the referendum in 2016. However, two-thirds of its MPs want to leave. Parliament constantly tables “indicative” votes on the premise that the electorate took leave of its senses in the referendum and searches desperately for a formula that enables Britain to “do the right thing” and leave the European Union. Imagine the uproar.

Imagine the damage that that would do to the idea of representative democracy in that country. Especially after a decade of austerity and shovelling “money for nothing” at the banks and institutions that brought that country to its knees in the first place.

Either Britain is a democracy or it is not.

Forget the Tory leadership. Forget that Theresa May is a terrible political campaigner. Britain and its parliament have a very simple problem. The people voted to leave. No amount of hair-splitting and “jolly” debating society “japes” will change the fact. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – Bobby McDonagh writes that had Ireland not voted to reverse the rejection of the Nice and Lisbon treaties, we would have suffered, “massive loss of influence in the EU . . . setting ourselves on a path towards leaving” (“There’s nothing to fear from second Brexit referendum”, Opinion & Analysis, April 2nd).

No such fate befell France, which rejected the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe by 55 per cent in a 2005 referendum.

Nor were the French told to vote again. – Yours, etc,


Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Donegal.

Sir, – Why on earth did the DUP vote against Kenneth Clarke’s eminently sensible proposal for a UK-wide customs union with the EU? Such an arrangement would provide the party with a ladder to climb down because the thorny subject of the “backstop” would no longer be an issue; it could simply be consigned to the dustbin. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Theresa May’s idea of a joint position with Jeremy Corbyn reminds me of Sheldon Cooper’s example of a compromise in the Big Bang Theory.

“We’ll do it my way and you will find a way to be happy with it.” – Yours, etc,


Dublin 20.

Sir, – We had the meaningful vote on the 12th of March, and we had an exit date of the 12th of April. Are we now heading for the 12th of never? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.