No-deal Brexit and a second referendum


Sir, – It seems Theresa May is prepared to put vote after vote to the Commons on the Brexit issue. What she does not envisage, however, is putting the whole issue back before the electorate now that there is a growing understanding of the myriad complexities and consequences of, in particular, a looming no-deal Brexit.

These complexities were neither articulated nor envisaged at the time of the referendum on which people cast their votes.

For the ERG to say that they are merely fulfilling commitments in the election manifesto makes little sense for the same reasons. The image of lemmings and cliffs comes to mind but with the key difference that Brexit will not be a myth should it come to pass. – Yours, etc,


Rochestown, Cork.

A chara, – Don’t tell the Taoiseach, but it looks like we’re going to have to eat more beef. – Is mise,


Dublin 24.

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole speculates that the English love of eccentricity has turned sour (Opinion, February 19th). Not quite, I would suggest.

Among the “swivel-eyed loons” of Brexit he targets the easily-caricatured Jacob Rees-Mogg. Next Tuesday evening 2,000 people will attend a sold-out London Palladium to hear and question Mr Rees-Mogg. This is not a political rally but a commercial event with tickets sold at £36.50 a head. I doubt there is any other politician in the UK or indeed Ireland today who could command such popularity, with the possible exception of another of Fintan O’Toole’s eccentrics, Boris Johnson.

It comes with claims that Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party has attracted 100,000 supporters within a week of its creation – before an official launch and even before the party has found itself any offices. Could it be that rather than falling out of love with eccentrics the English admire politicians determined to deliver the result of the largest democratic mandate in British history? Since when did such a noble cause deserve ridicule? – Yours, etc,


Cobh, Co Cork.

Sir, – I note with amusement that Sean Roberti (February 22nd) considers a re-run of Britain’s EU membership referendum with voting extending to juveniles to be “a dose of reality”.

If such an unlikely and undesirable event should ever occur, I would prefer that the second referendum would this time be limited to UK citizens only. The effect of non-UK citizens voting in the 2016 poll narrowed the result and more than offset the absence of juvenile Remainers’ votes.

I know of no other country which allows non-nationals to vote in a referendum which determines the nation’s future, perhaps forever. – Yours, etc,


Rathvilly, Co Carlow.

Sir, – It is now almost certain we are witnessing the end of parliamentary democracy (as it was seen to be) in the UK. It is not a pretty sight, yet many of us on this island have relations living and working there, some of whom must be very worried about their futures.

Apart from the difficulties it will pose for our economy, we have much in common with the British people, whether they be English, Scots or Welsh. Shouldn’t we look beyond the madness of Tory and Labour nationalists and recognise the fact that they simply mirror the same traits of rabid nationalism that almost brought our own parliamentary system to its knees?

There is nothing to be lost and much to gain by offering the hand of friendship to those members of parliament who are as shocked as we are at the open warfare that is tearing the London government apart.

Less of the smugness and the green-tipped arrows from the mouths of our own imperfect leadership would be a good start. Though unlikely at this stage, a willingness to at least countenance a discussion over the apparent sanctity of the backstop and a possible fudge, similar to the Belfast Agreement, could lead to a secure future for our 2.2 million workers. – Yours, etc,


Killester, Dublin 5.

Sir, – Only just over one-quarter (27 per cent) of the British population (estimated at 64,600,000 in 2016) voted to remain in the EU. Almost half of the population did not or could not vote. These figures are available from many reliable sources. The percentages of Remainers and Leavers so frequently quoted and seemingly now cast in stone are only the split of those who actually voted.

Can nobody in the UK parliament count? Would those who voted then vote the same way now? Should those who were too young to vote then have the right to do so now? – Yours, etc,


Kenmare, Co Kerry.

Sir, – Apropos the warning from Birds Eye about possible increases in fish finger prices following a no-deal Brexit, I knew there was a catch there but I thought it was just a cod (Letters, February 21st). – Yours, etc,


Letterkenny, Co Donegal.