How to solve the current Brexit turmoil in four simple steps
After the recent turmoil within the Brexit process, it is appropriate that we be reminded of the milestones and highlights which took us to where we are today, and that we also take a look at possible future scenarios.
1) The Conservative Party under David Cameron, in a failed powerplay, led the United Kingdom to a Leave vote, with 51pc of UK voters opting to leave the house in which they currently live to move to a new house, the design, cost and move-in date of which were unknown.
2) The Conservative Party under Theresa May, in a failed powerplay, lost its majority, and with it, the ability to govern.
1) Wales, which voted to leave, does not want the type of Brexit proposed by the Conservatives for the UK 'mainland'.
2) London, which voted to leave, does not want the type of Brexit proposed by the Conservatives for the UK 'mainland'.
3) Scotland, which voted to remain, does not want the type of Brexit proposed by the Conservatives
for the UK 'mainland'.
4) The DUP, from within Northern Ireland, which voted to leave, does want the type of Brexit proposed by the Conservatives for the UK 'mainland'.
1) Stop everything and call a general election.
2) Labour will run in this election as a single issue party, promising another referendum.
3) Labour will win the election and the outcome of the ensuing referendum will be a resounding Remain vote.
4) Problem solved.
I trust that the above will demonstrate that while the situation may seem complicated at the moment, it can all be resolved very simply.
Address with editor
North should vote on single market
So it looks like the DUP is in charge of the Brexit negotiations, as it can now effectively topple the British government over the hard border (the same DUP who advised Northern Irish unionists to apply for Irish passports). What's the way out of this stalemate?
One solution is to ask the people of Northern Ireland in a referendum whether they want to stay in the single market (with all that the single market entails), particularly given that 55.77pc of them voted to remain, which was 20pc more than voted for the DUP (as the Brexit campaigners were saying "only a madman would actually leave the market").
I'm on record pointing out to one of the pro-Brexit campaigners, Peter Hitchens, shortly before the referendum, that in 2011 Norway tried not to implement only one EU regulation (they attempted to retain control over their postal service) and this resulted in the EU threatening Norway with an immediate loss of access to the single market via so the called 'guillotine clause'; and I said that they would do the same with Britain.
What Britain should have done in the first place was not to sign the Lisbon Treaty (especially as Ireland initially rejected it, while Poland and the Czech Republic didn't want to sign it until Britain agreed to sign it), which established the EU as a consolidated legal entity, and it enabled the EU to sign international treaties in its own name.
Derailing the Lisbon Treaty would have meant a much weaker EU Commission, which would have made Britain's negotiating position much stronger.
But now the milk has been spilt - and talking of food, I find it ironic that the people of Grimsby, who were perhaps the most vocal pro-Brexit lobby, now demand an exemption from Brexit - even if that meant fisheries ports having to leave the UK.
Bray, Co Wicklow
Sinn Féin could save Border deal
As we now know, the DUP has scuppered a possible set of wording around the Irish Border issue post-Brexit.
Time for Sinn Féin to stand up for the island of Ireland and offer its votes to Theresa May's government.
This is too important for Sinn Féin to sit on its hands and comment from the sidelines.
Kingswood, Dublin 24
Not much 'mutual trust' from UK
In his letter of December 4 ('Playing hardball with UK is foolish', Irish Independent) Ray Kinsella has told us that there should be "mutual trust" because "the UK is at least as committed to avoiding a 'hard Brexit' as the EU".
He does not mention the fact that it was the UK electorate that voted to leave the EU, thereby threatening to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and erect a hard Border on the island of Ireland.
Neither the threat to our economy nor the Border question would have arisen but for the fact that the UK voted for Brexit.
Yet sections of the London media have told us Irish to "shut our gobs" on the issue.
Not much mutual trust there.
In contrast to his attitude to the UK, Mr Kinsella blames the EU for being "nihilistic" and for the austerity which he said was EU-imposed.
The citizens of the European Union, including the poorest, contributed billions to the rescue of this country when it was bankrupted by the decisions of its own most powerful citizens.
That was not nihilistic.
To say that the UK has shown mutual trust and the EU has been nihilistic does not stand up to scrutiny.
Hidden hand of fate yet again
I note a few letters warning us not to upset the UK. Really?
If a hard Border happens and we fail to stop it by not invoking our veto, do you really believe it will help the island of Ireland economically and politically?
Having said that, I have to grudgingly admit that occasionally I'm surprised at how the hidden hand of fate plays in politics.
Who expected John A Costello to declare the Republic in Canada in 1948? It meant we were no longer in the Commonwealth. Costello was a staunch Fine Gael man.
Fianna Fáil glories in its republican roots, adding in "the Republican Party" in its blurbs. Suddenly its green clothing has been usurped by Leo.
I watch with interest. Is it Leo with new Republic ideals or is it the EU using us as the wedge in the Tory door?