Poots, Macron and NI’s status


Sir, – It seems that both DUP leader Edwin Poots and French president Emmanuel Macron are correct on the status of Northern Ireland (“Poots sends Macron copy of Belfast Agreement”, News, June 14th).

Mr Poots is legally correct that Northern Ireland is a constituent part of the United Kingdom for now.

Mr Macron is also correct by alluding to Northern Ireland’s unique and uncertain status. No region in France has the right to secede from France but Northern Ireland can leave the United Kingdom with a simple majority of the voters there, so it is unclear why United Kingdom ministers were so exercised by Mr Macron’s comments.

The furore is simply a case of legal facts colliding with reality. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.

Sir, – It has been reported that Mr Poots is somewhat upset by Mr Macron’s political knowledge of Northern Ireland. “It’s five years since the referendum. Northern Ireland has been centre stage for most of that time yet the most powerful man in one of the most powerful EU countries still doesn’t recognise that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. It’s incredible.”

It’s been 162 years since the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species. Since then scientific investigation has proved his theories. This, along with studies of the Earth and its origins, clearly show the Earth to be billions of years old. Yet Mr Poots, one the most powerful and influential men in Northern Ireland, still maintains the Earth to be a little over 6,000 years old and doesn’t recognise the unassailable facts science has provided. It’s incredible. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – I wonder how Emmanuel Macron got the idea that the United Kingdom is not a unitary state in quite the same way as France is. Could it be related to the fact that the United Kingdom has four international football teams in Fifa? – Yours, etc,