Wednesday 13 November 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Handing over the North would solve thorny backstop problem'

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Collins
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Like many people around the world, throughout Europe and in particular those in what the Romans christened the British Isles, after listening to three years of interminable rhetoric I am absolutely fed up to the back teeth with Brexitgate.

I’m also fed up of all the other B words that accompany it, especially Brussels, Barnier, Belfast, Border and backstop.

And now, to top everything, the spectre of bumbling Boris acting as if he has the answers; the Brutus who stabbed poor Theresa May in the back more times than any other of her so-called colleagues, including those providing ‘support’ from across the Irish Sea.

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I would remind all the UK’s ‘friends in Europe’ that only 80 years ago most of them were feeling the size 11 boots of the Bosch stomping over them, or in some cases were either an active part of Hitler’s axis of evil, were co-operating under duress or claiming neutrality while Britain fought on with her back to the wall until gradually, with her commonwealth troops and other allies around the world, peace and democracy were once again stabilised after six long years.

If the Battle of Britain proved her determination to survive those hellish years, then I am sure the people of the UK still possess that resilience to survive after even a hard Brexit.

But that is neither here nor there; my point is that if after three long years of tedious and acrimonious discussion these supposedly intelligent leaders in Brussels, London, Belfast and Dublin cannot agree on a reasonable, workable compromise on Brexit, then what chance do we have of these same people and other world leaders taking the much more urgent action necessary to tackle the issue of climate change which is threatening us all? Absolutely no chance, it would appear.

As much of the Brexit problem centres around the proposed Irish Border backstop, and as the politicians in the major parties in Northern Ireland (especially those ‘women of intransigence’) have so far failed to return to power sharing in Stormont for three years, while the population difference between the protestants and the Catholics shrinks towards an eventual and inevitable majority of the latter, after a hundred years of troubles of one variety or another, then surely it is time for the UK to grasp the thorny problem and hand over (possibly with United Nations guaranteed safeguards) the final piece of the Irish jigsaw puzzle to the Republic?

This will instantly get rid of the Border backstop problem once and for all, even if it does give ‘Lovely Leo Varadkar’ a big pain for many years to come.


John Abbott

Ennis, Co Clare


UK side could learn from the level-headed politicians here

Amid all the political turmoil and apprehension surrounding Brexit, the calm, articulate performances of Irish ministers and Opposition spokespersons is to be admired.

Without exception they contrast starkly with whoever the British put forward.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Helen McEntee come across as level-headed, mature politicians, as do Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin, Niall Collins and fast-rising star Lisa Chambers.

And, of course, not forgetting the excellent contributions of European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuinness.

From the British government side, all we seem to get are histrionics and well-rehearsed, predictable babble from Tory toffs, who clearly lack the political finesse and concise analysis of the crisis of their Irish counterparts.

Frank Khan

Dublin 16


Flying cars will revolutionise quips coming from backseats

Wing mirrors. Apparently, engineers at Porsche are examining the concept of a flying car. I can hear it now, “are we air yet”?

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9


World would be different had Wilson’s foresight been heeded

In 1916, when then US president Woodrow Wilson learned of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, of 1915, his demands that it should not be continued with fell on deaf ears in both London and Paris. His prescient warning: “If you continue with this agreement, there will be non-stop wars in the Middle East in a century from now” has indeed come to pass.

At that time, American politicians firmly believed in the Monroe Doctrine of non-intervention in Europe or western Asia.

Alas, for the world today, not many politicians in those days were prescient of the monetary greed the oil wells of the Middle East would create: nor the quasi dictators who would arise in many nations in the 21st century. Learning from history apparently is passé today.

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia

Irish Independent

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