Some days ago on ‘Morning Ireland’, two new MEPs who with Britain departed can take seats in the EU Parliament expounded on how well the Irish and EU team conducted Brexit and how lucky we are to have the same team negotiating in the coming year.
What a complete load of rubbish. The negotiations have resulted in a possible nightmare for Ireland, especially as Michel Barnier’s hard-line approach imploded under pressure. The outcome is so different from what was sought that “Barnier” may enter the language to denote a negotiating shambles where the outcome is exactly opposite to what was intended.
The only thing agreed and confirmed on January 31 is that Britain leaves the EU. Negotiations to govern trade are just about to begin and hard-line vibes from Britain and the EU are so diametrically opposed a “no agreement” departure could be the outcome.
The immovable backstop was abandoned at a meeting between Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson; probably on instigation of the EU as a hardening of British resolve became apparent. The backstop, which monopolised discussion, is no longer even mentioned as we now face the possibility of a very hard Brexit. The UK prime minister is in an extraordinarily powerful position with an 80-plus majority in Westminster, thanks mainly to ham-fistedness EU negotiating.
As Germany teeters on the verge of recession, the outcome could well be capitulation by the EU on its “immoveable” prerequisites: no Border in Ireland and a supply and services “level playing field”.
Germany and the EU cannot afford to lose British trade, with the balance favouring the EU almost two to one. Such agreement would leave Ireland hanging in the wind; while fears of wholesale smuggling could lead to a very hard physical Border, imposed by Ireland on behalf of the EU rather than Britain. Such a negotiation could be the worst in Europe since the Treaty of Versailles.
The forthcoming election is of little consequence; our governance lies elsewhere. Less than 100 years after we won hard-fought political freedom, we enthusiastically give it to what is shaping up to be one the most rigid and controlling “empires” of recent times.
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
Beware Sinn Féin’s true colours at the ballot box
I feel I must write to remind all persons of voting age who have been brainwashed into believing Sinn Féin is some sort of a party which can cure all ills. Sinn Féin has conveniently airbrushed the likes of Martin Ferris as if he never existed. Perhaps his part in trying to bring in a boatload of arms and explosives being too hard to explain to younger voters.
Likewise with his more recent trip to Castlerea Prison to greet the cowardly killers of Det Garda Jerry McCabe on their release, like they were some sort of celebrities.
In a similar way to Gerry Adams, airbrushed from its ranks up to last weekend, when he reappeared as an elderly, long-haired, loveable grandfather type. It would like us to forget about him from his Armalite and the ballot box type of politics.
Mary Lou McDonald in the recent past showed her true colours when, ensconced in the safety of a hall full of Sinn Féiners, she concluded with “Tiocfaidh Ár Lá” and “Up The Rebels”.
To quote Adams: “We haven’t gone away, you know.” Believe me, they have not gone away and when things don’t go their way, you will see their masks slip.
It now wants us to believe it is Ireland’s answer to all our problems. Is it any wonder the loyalists do not trust them? Vote Sinn Féin and just realise what you are voting for. Cleaner than clean? Live and learn.
Enniscorthy, Co Wexford
McDonald may soon have two suitors waving hello
Following the publication of the latest opinion polls, could it be that Leo and Micheál are about to meet their Mary Lou?
Address with editor
One party bankrupted us, another turned nation round
Gerard O'Regan (Irish Independent, February 1) tells us a scream from those who feel they have been left behind “could bring on political carnage when the votes come in”.
The alternatives available are:
1. A party elected in five elections in a row between 1987 and 2007. They bankrupted the country and suffered political carnage in the 2011 election as a result.
2. A party that inherited a spectacularly bankrupted country in 2011 and somehow turned it around. Lowering a government deficit of €50bn in 2010 to zero today and lowering unemployment from 15pc to 5pc were some of its achievements.
Is it in the interest of any of us to decide if either deserves political carnage? But that seems to be Mr O’Regan’s forecast.
Sutton, Dublin 13