‘The moderate case for Brexit’


Sir, – In his colourful article on the complexity of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union (“The moderate case for Brexit and English independence”, Opinion & Analysis, January 30th), Louis de Bernières raises many interesting points.

It was enlightening to hear that “the Republic is no longer a corrupt, backward country” and is indeed “an energetic, vibrant place where anyone would love to live”, including himself.

For a man who prides himself on his “old-fashioned classical humanist education”, might I suggest before he moves here that he broaden his undoubtedly impressive European knowledge to include that of this island and its people? Perhaps at that point, Mr de Bernières might realise how backwardness, suppression of education and prevention of self-determination was delivered in these parts under a colonial jackboot. – Yours, etc,



A chara, – There was nothing inherently offensive in what Louis de Bernières had to say, but much room for thought. He was quite right about the appalling way Greece was treated, and he could have mentioned how outrageous it was, and still is, that Ireland has carried a disproportionate amount of Europe’s banking debts.

He was equally correct in bemoaning the disconnect between citizens and the Brussels decision-making processes, and comments by some contributors about the European Parliament – so called – being a vehicle for democratic participation are just laughable.

He is correct again in pointing out that now that Brexit is a confirmed reality, we need objectively and dispassionately to assess where our best economic and national interests can be served.

We should use the economic border in the Irish Sea to advance Irish unity, but need to ensure as part of that that our trading interests with Britain are protected.

At the very least we need to engage in parallel negotiations with both Britain and the EU as to future relationships.

There is nothing outrageous in suggesting any of this.– Is mise,


Baile Átha Cliath 22.