Letters to the Editor: 'Why it’s best to have our nearest neighbour depart by agreement and on friendly terms'
Boris Johnson has pulled off the greatest negotiating success of this century or indeed any century.
Despite what appeared to be a position of calamitous weakness, he has confounded his critics and his opponents by reopening negotiations on what were supposed to be impregnable conditions, he has emerged with abolition of the backstop and an agreement which is mindboggling in its brilliance and which will utterly defeat opponents in Westminster.
The EU wants this deal to be approved in Westminster and will make aware to that assembly, the likelihood, indeed near certainty as Mr Junker has already said, that no extension will be granted for further negotiations on a deal. This makes the 'Benn' or 'Surrender' bill null and void and utterly useless. Refused extension ensures if Parliament votes no, exit from the EU on October 31 without agreement is a certainty.
The EU knows very well that if the British Parliament rejects the Johnson agreement today, a further extension will allow an election which Johnson may have to conduct on a no-deal basis.
The prospect terrifies the EU which will do and say whatever is necessary to ensure the new agreement is approved.
The DUP is sadly caught in a bind. The members may find themselves voting against the best deal anyone gets out of Brexit. Northern Ireland will enjoy the benefits of departure without losing the benefits of remaining. The "no surrender" stance is purely an emotional hang-up of 'identity' and 'nationhood' which is waning greatly in an increasingly integrated world.
The Irish Government deserves substantial credit for eventually easing the path to agreement. Although there is almost universal regret that Britain is leaving the EU, since it became clear the move was inevitable, it is best to have our nearest neighbour depart by agreement and on friendly terms.
Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
Boris to be admired while other MPs fear 'what ifs'
There was something ugly about the way the two Brexit MPs John Baron and Ronnie Campbell shouted down Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran on 'Newsnight' the previous night, saying a second referendum to approve a deal shouldn't happen. She asks them, "what are you so scared of?" Their answer is, essentially, that they are scared of the result.
What if the result is by a slim margin? What if the result is the same? What if we keep having to have referendums? They didn't say (perhaps because they don't care) 'what if the union breaks up?' Which is a strong possibility if a hard Brexit with a border in the Irish Sea is forced through.
When you live your life through fear (what if?) and a need to treat every decision you make as one that is cast in stone, you need some help.
A political career is unlikely to bring you joy.
But, one can only admire the ability of Boris Johnson to be a pragmatic politician with all the slipperiness and showmanship that that entails. He was born to the job.
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Time for 'BoJo the clown' to call referendum rerun
A UK Brexit referendum rerun is a must now more than ever. Four years on, many minds change.
Back then it was a blind vote into the unknown. Leavers were a bloated combination of the hard and soft variety. The UK is now crying out for a definitive and proper referendum, voting either to leave on this softish Brexit, which is the only brand that could cut the mustard, or remain for good. Mr Johnson should cast off his alter ego, 'BoJo the clown', become a statesman and call this referendum.
No UK Parliament could challenge or oppose this result.
Lisdowney, Co Kilkenny
Irrelevant Sinn Féin's role won't be forgotten
There is a lot of speculation that the vote today on the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons is going to be very close, that if Boris loses it might only be by a handful of votes. If this happens it puts a new perspective on Sinn Féin's seven votes, which are useless.
Never before in the history of democracy has a party shown itself to be so irrelevant. If the deal is lost by a tiny margin, the people of this country North and south will not forget Sinn Féin's role or non role in the Brexit saga.
Address with editor
Government here should take a stand over Trump
Donald Trump has not fooled most of us at any time. Now he can't fool anyone at any time.
The sequence of events are that after a call with the dictatorial fascist leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump betrayed the most effective force against Isil, the Kurdish militia, by agreeing to remove US troops from the area so that the Turkish army would have carte blanche in its invasion of northern Syria and displacing and massacring as many Kurds as possible.
The result has been more than was expected. The drive of the army of the militarised state of Turkey has meant that the Kurds, including Syrian Kurds, have been forced to flee.
Except of course those Kurds, men and women, who have been summarily executed by the scions of the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly, the Western news outlets have refused to use video footage of the executions, which have been shown on TV elsewhere, although they were not slow in reporting the executions by Isil of westerners.
Then Trump changed tack and threatened sanctions against Turkey, while still continuing to remove US troops from the region. These sanctions were so severe that the Turkish lira has actually increased in value.
What transpired in the call that led to American arch enemies, Russia and Syrian President Assad, to enter the void, supporting Turkey, and gaining control of areas liberated by the Kurds?
Is this another Ukrainian phonecall?
What hold does Putin have over Trump that Trump will allow Russia additional dominance in the Middle East, even totally ignoring Republican senators and congressmen and women who have attacked Trump's unilateral perfidious actions with extreme prejudice? Trump should immediately be brought before the International Court of Human Rights.
And, to put it bluntly, if we consider ourselves to be a just people, our Government should start the process.
We have no power over other societies, but we do have power to insist that our Government represents our ethos of morality.
Stillorgan, Co Dublin
Benefits of doing sport far outweigh injury chances
In relation to your recent article "Huge increase in women diagnosed with concussion 'show risks of playing rugby'" (Irish Independent, October 18), we wish to advise that the IRFU is committed to injury reporting and profiling. In conjunction with the University of Limerick, we monitor and publish annual injury statistics and our most recent statistics, available online, show a decrease in injury, including concussion, in the women's game.
The profile and participation of women in sport has grown strongly in the past decade and so it follows that more female participants may seek medical assistance. Injury profiling and reporting across all sports is important.
Limited studies, such as the one from St Vincent's Hospital, do not provide accurate information in relation to injury incidence and type within our, or other, sports. It is important that we continue to ensure women and girls are encouraged to pursue team sports, as the benefits they will enjoy from doing so far outweigh the chance of injury.
Director of Communications, IRFU
Whinging comments on All Blacks are not helpful
I suspect the comments Neil Francis has made (Irish Independent, October 17) in attacking the way the All Blacks play their rugby are only designed to influence the match officials.
Or maybe it is just that Mr Francis is bitter that he played in an Irish team that lost to the New Zealand team back in his playing days.
Instead of the incendiary articles he has dished up lately, surely he could focus on the positive qualities the Irish team will bring to their quarter-final clash with the All Blacks today?
The whinging sentiments Mr Francis seems determined to publish, tarnishes the reputation that Irish people have in the eyes of Kiwis.
Red Beach, New Zealand