The Brexit negotiations


Sir, – I was the Irish representative on the EU Reflection Group that prepared the Amsterdam Treaty. David Davis and Michel Barnier represented their countries.

In this process, Ireland negotiated the right to opt in to the Schengen Agreement which, at present, allows passport-free travel between 26 countries, 22 of which are EU states. Ireland did not opt in to Schengen at the time because of the British/Irish common travel area.

Should Brexit negotiations dilute the common travel arrangements, Ireland may wish to revisit the Schengen options. This would present an unmanageable headache for the UK, especially at any Irish-Irish Border, but if common travel and open trade is to be threatened, it may have to be put on the agenda.

This possibility should be borne in mind by the Brexit negotiators and our observers of the negotiations. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6

Sir, – The Brexit discussions suggest a piece of wisdom in hindsight – if you are jumping off a cliff you should check your parachute before you leap, not before you land. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – I am a long-time viewer of Last Night at the Proms on BBC .

I noticed, when watching last Saturday, that instead of the usual dominance of British flags among the colourful display of national flags by the promenaders, it was the sea of the EU blue that was moving to the beat.

Could this be called a musical rather than a straw poll? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.