Making sense of Brexit

Sir, – Contrary to what Ronan Scanlon says (April 6th), the EU did not swat aside referendum results in Denmark (1992), in Ireland (2001 & 2008), and in France and the Netherlands (2005).

In the first three cases, exceptions to or assurances about the treaties concerned were negotiated, and with these changes the treaties were resubmitted to the voters and approved by them. The 2005 referendums caused the EU to abandon the draft European constitution. The Nice Agreement replaced it , but without its more ambitious provisions.

Thus the referendum results, far from being swatted aside, were acted on in all cases.

As for the referendums on the euro in Denmark and Sweden, the negative outcomes led to both countries remaining outside the euro zone. In other words, the EU did not “ignore” these results either. – Yours, etc,




Sir, — I hear on the grapevine that in certain Gaeltacht areas a new Irish word has been ingeniously created for the English word Brexit – “sasamach”. — Yours, etc.,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – Now that the process of Brexit has begun, one of the chief negotiators for the EU, Guy Verhofsdadt, has made the ludicrous claim that Brexit is “a catfight in the Conservative Party that got out of hand”.

Again the EU cares little for the will of the people and seems to care little for the fact that 17 million people voted to leave the EU, representing 52 per cent of the voting population of the UK.

For the EU to be truly representative of the will of the people, there is only one way of proving this. Give every country in the EU a referendum on whether the country in question should leave or stay in the EU.

This would truly show how popular the EU really is, and whether the UK is alone in wanting to leave it. – Yours, etc,


Causeway Bay,

Hong Kong.