Ireland’s response to Brexit
Sir, – The third report of the House of Commons on Brexit includes a detailed analysis of the impact on Ireland of the departure of the UK from the EU. On the UK/Ireland Common Travel Area, it says that if immigration checks between the Republic and the UK, or between the island of Ireland and Great Britain are politically unacceptable then in-country immigration checks will have to be implemented with the co-operation of employers, landlords, and medical and educational professionals. In other words, national identity cards would have to be issued to all UK and Irish citizens and eligible residents to distinguish between immigrants, UK and Irish citizens, and EU citizens.
Furthermore the committee, having met the Tánaiste, Ministers, Dáil committees, and others in Dublin in February last, reports that the Irish are sceptical that a hard customs border can be avoided and that the committee is advised that there are no technological ways of avoiding customs checks on the Border.
Finally, the more the UK moves away from EU standards and from the 50-odd EU free trade agreements with non-EU third countries , in order to become truly “global”, the more it isolates itself from the trading with the EU, and especially with Ireland. The UK Brexit strategy is inimical to Irish interests and concerns under every heading, and yet our political leaders are leaving the vital task of briefing Irish business to Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, PWC, and others. Irish politicians are either incapable or unwilling to speak to their own public with the same clarity and truthfulness they exhibit in private (but on the record) meetings with UK parliamentarians. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I note Martin Mansergh (April 5th) believes his chances of succeeding in the third secretary interview at the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1974 would have been diminished had he equivocated on the prospect of Ireland following the UK out of the then European Community had the 1975 referendum in the UK had resulted in such a decision. Methinks this shows how little the groupthink in that department has altered since that time. – Yours, etc,