Saturday 22 October 2016

Scotland will be dragged out of the EU against its will

Published 28/06/2016 | 02:30

Scottish independence supporters ahead of the 2014 referendum there. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Scottish independence supporters ahead of the 2014 referendum there. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Life is full of the most unexpected ironies. When Scotland voted to remain in the UK despite all the 'Braveheart' patriotism, there was a huge sigh of relief, not least within Scotland itself.

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Now to its horror, precisely because of that vote, Scotland finds itself dragged unwillingly out of the EU thanks to a majority Leave vote in the same UK it had opted to remain in.

Had it voted out of the UK several years ago, it would have been free to chart its own waters. We Irish are familiar with this scenario: from the 1801 Act of Union to independence we almost always lost out to the wishes of the greater populations of England and Wales and few were the times when Westminster acted in favour of this province alone.

We tried to 'Brexit' in a 1918 vote but got war and the Black and Tans for our troubles. Let's hope the UK fares better with the EU.

Nick Folley

Address with Editor


Long term, Brexit will be positive

One can only laugh at Little Englanders, having committed the greatest act of mass hara-kiri in human history.

They have managed to split the United Kingdom, young people from the old, natives from foreigners, working class voters from Labour, and, internally, the Conservative and Labour parties. These splits are so bitter and nasty that the wounds are unlikely to heal for decades.

Despite the gloom expressed by outsiders about a Brexit, this is only short term. In the longer term, the Brexit can only be positive for Europe and Ireland. Europe will be rid of an annoying little pest that has been a thorn in its side since Margaret Thatcher, allowing it to proceed with closer integration without hindrance.

As for Ireland, we will have to become a proper independent country and not a pretend one that is really a British overseas dependency. Economically, we will be forced to loosen our ties with the UK, broadening our horizons, opening up new markets, and making us more resilient and able to weather future economic shocks.

The end of the common travel area will be good for us, because without having a British solution to Irish problems of how to house, employ and educate our excess population, we will have to fix these problems ourselves.

In fact, these are not problems, but exciting challenges that will make us a better country and people.

Ireland will do just fine as long as we have dynamic, decisive and visionary leadership that can see opportunities where others only see problems, that looks to the future instead of clinging to the past, and that faces facts and reality instead of sticking its head in the sand.

The only question is whether that leadership is there.

Jason Fitzharris

Swords, Dublin


Leave vote was a patriotic one

A lot of nasty words have been uttered since the Brexit victory.

Europhiles are calling the democratic will of the British people stupid. Insults such as 'ignorant', 'council-estate politics' and 'ill-informed decision' have been directed at the winning side.

But one very important word continues to be avoided. The true reason as to why the British voted in the manner they did is simply patriotism.

It's very beautiful word in every language, but completely unknown at the heart of the EU juggernaut.

Robert Sullivan

Bantry, Co Cork


Duty-free trade after Brexit

The potential impact of Brexit to Irish-UK trade (with new associated tariffs etc) has been much highlighted but from a retail perspective, if the UK were to leave the EU tomorrow, the Retail Export Scheme (tax-free shopping for tourists) would apply to such trade.

The fact that British citizens could be refunded 23pc Irish VAT at point of sale on providing proof of export would alleviate the adverse effects of currency differentials that could arise.

In addition, provided that the land border between the Republic and the North is permitted to remain free of passport or customs control, the aspect of VAT refunds provided on a duty-free basis could in fact lead to enhanced trade along the border, in both directions, with Irish citizens being entitled to be refunded the 20pc UK VAT rate on submitting a UK VAT 407 form.

Cllr John Kennedy (Fine Gael)

Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin


We need effective government

The old saying "when Britain sneezes, Ireland catches a cold" is likely to be very true in the case of Brexit.

This being so, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil need to immediately dispense with party political posturing and populist strategies to provide effective government.

It is 100 years since Irishmen gave their lives for what they hoped would be a better Ireland. I hope it's not too much to ask the current crop of politicians to give up their pride to best secure all our futures. That would be true patriotism.

Pádraig Kiernan

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16


Life without cell phones

Those of us who were born in the 1950s, '60s and '70s are the last generation who played in the street. We are the first who played video games and the last to record songs off the radio on to a cassette tape.

We are the generation of 'Tom and Jerry', 'Looney Toons' and 'Captain Kangaroo'.

We travelled in cars without seat belts, or air bags, and lived without cell phones.

We did not have flat-screens, surround sound, iPods, Facebook, Twitter, computers and the internet.

But nevertheless we had a great time. And guess what? We actually had conversations with each other.

Anthony Woods

Ennis, Co Clare


Irish team did us proud

In November 2009, France's Thierry Henry blatantly handled the ball, which in turn stopped us from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

Last Sunday, Irish fans both here and abroad held their breath for 57 odd minutes, when it seemed the impossible might happen.

Perhaps the sins of Henry might have been forgiven had the score sheet stayed the same.

But then disaster struck; it was no one's fault, it just wasn't to be.

Our players gave us 100pc and we as a nation are all so very proud of you.

Although we lost, many parts of the soccer world see us as winners; we still believe in taking part and we still believe in fair play.

Welcome home boys, you are all heroes.

Fred Molloy

Dublin 15

Irish Independent

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