Friday 19 July 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Politicians in no-man’s land never knew what they wanted from Brexit'

Ambition: Boris Johnson converted from Europhile to ardent Brexiteer. Photo: PA
Ambition: Boris Johnson converted from Europhile to ardent Brexiteer. Photo: PA
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Your otherwise cogent reporting on Theresa May's humiliation in the House of Commons vote on Tuesday ('Humiliation for May after huge Brexit deal defeat', Irish Independent, January 16) contains one surprising comment and one white elephant in the room.

The surprising comment is that Boris Johnson is a hardline Brexiteer. This totally misunderstands, or misrepresents Johnson's raison d'etre.

During France's wars of religion in the 16th century, Henry IV, a Protestant converted to Catholicism, was quoted as saying that "Paris was worth a Mass".

Similarly, when, to the bewilderment of his sister and brother, Boris Johnson turned from being an ardent European to a Brexiteer, one could almost hear him whispering: "No 10 is worth the scorn of people of principle."

The white elephant is what is Theresa May's endgame?

May was, maybe is, a Remainer, who stood on the fence at the time of the Brexit vote, vastly superior in her political understanding than Johnson. In the event, she took the chalice, in her naivety not realising how poisoned it was.

During two years of negotiations, with the inane David Davis as her European agent, absolutely nothing was resolved or agreed, except that the hapless Davis and the Brexiteers didn't have any idea of what to do; that they had no plan for exiting the EU and, because of this, they were the most irresponsible group of spoilers.

Because, there is no answer.

There is no Plan B for Monday. There is no room for further discussions with the EU, which the leaders of the EU have told the UK.

The Tory Brexiteers and the DUP are living in a wonderland of their overworked fantasies; there is no chance of movement on the backstop; this has been made more than clear by the EU. In short, they are all in a state of denial because none of them has a policy, which begs the question of the reason of their political existence. They are all running about like March hares precisely because they do not know, and have never known, what they want other than pouring oil on the flames on the despondence of the British working class, which itself has been brought about by the class warfare waged against it for decades and centuries by that very Conservative Party.

There will be no hard Brexit.

The UK will remain in the EU after March.

It may be that the UK will remain in the economic union, accepting free movement through the EU and Britain, but no political union.

Or there may be no Brexit at all.

Harry Charalambou

Muswell Hill, London, England

Healy-Rae's meat claims cook up some controversy

Further to Danny Healy-Rae's claim that "them fellas that are talking about stopping eating meat never worked hard", I can only assume he is referring to lazy layabout ne'er-do-wells such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Benjamin Franklin, George Bernard Shaw, Paul McCartney, Mike Tyson, Carl Lewis and Steve Jobs, all of whom gave up eating meat?

Come to think of it, as God himself has presumably never eaten meat, I take it that Mr Healy-Rae believes he was resting every day during his creative period and not just on the seventh?

Rob Sadlier

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

Soft Border plan could be copied around the world

Your editorial heading warns that "May fiasco shows we must be ready for a hard Border" (Irish Independent, January 17). This headline refers to UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal with the leaders of the EU being rejected in the House of Commons by a wide margin of 230 votes, leaving open the real possibility that the UK might crash out of Europe and close its market to Irish exports, with Irish goods being held up for long periods at a manned hard Border with Northern Ireland.

But if hard-to-see high-flying drones could have security cameras attached to them while they are in the air over our Border with Northern Ireland, then perhaps the whole length along with its crossing points could be safely watched from above.

This might help to keep the Border soft like it is at present. It might also help if farmers who own land on both sides of the Border could wear satellite-linked monitoring devices when they cross the Border that goes through their property. Farm machinery, goods or cattle could carry similar monitoring devices in order to watch their movements in and out of the Border in a discrete fashion.

The same devices could be worn on a more temporary basis by tourists, too, so as to distinguish them from smugglers.

But there could be some good news that few of the long-time, hard-pressed Irish, British and European Brexit negotiators might ever have dreamed would actually be derived from out of all their many months of hard work. This good news, I believe, is their innovative attempts to keep a permanently soft Border in Ireland could be starting a gradual process of making all national borders in the world in the years ahead a lot softer. So perhaps something good might after all come out of Brexit.

Sean O'Brien

Kilrush, Co Clare

All sides in divisive debate should be shown respect

At a time when relations between Ireland and the UK are strained by Brexit, it is disappointing that misrepresentations about our UK neighbours appear in your admirable paper. Colette Browne ('Our Government cannot allow Brexit charlatans to take us down with them as they sacrifice UK's future', Irish Independent, January 16) starts her article by stating "Brexit is a cult supported by fanatics". What do you think the statistical probability of 17.4 million fanatics existing in the UK is?

She goes on to misquote Liam Fox's argument that, as the UK starts in total regulatory alignment with the EU, a trade deal should be one of the easiest, as "would be one of the easiest", thus completely misrepresenting Mr Fox's point.

Trade deals usually take significant time to reach regulatory alignment.

Our friends in the UK voted narrowly for Brexit for many reasons including ones I expect Irish people agree with, such as a desire to make its own laws.

They are not cultists nor fanatics; my five English-born children disagreed agreeably on the issue. I encourage my children to read the Irish Independent and often highlight excellent articles to them; they do not deserve to have smears from one side of an unfortunately divisive debate applied to them.

Frank Devine

Kenilworth, England

Irish Independent

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