No apologies for our stance to those who caused Brexit chaos
The vote for Brexit by the UK electorate is turning out to be a very significant historical occurrence in UK, European and especially Irish terms.
The UK voted to tear up an agreement they signed with nearly 30 other European democracies. That agreement involved co-operating in matters of mutual interest, including a customs union and the freedom of movement of people.
Brexit is, therefore, essentially a declaration of economic war.
In relation to the UK's former colony Ireland, however, it is much more than that.
Through Brexit, the UK voted to tear up the Good Friday Agreement it signed with Ireland. Among the many economic and political results is the effect of reimposing the Border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Much of the powerful, opinion-forming London media, while backing Brexit to the hilt, want total silence on the Border issue.
This same London media, that spewed anti-EU propaganda and cheer-led a public discourse at the level of the 'straight banana' for decades, is now telling us Irish people that we are "puerile" and to "shut our gobs" on this issue. The answer to that has to be 'no'.
To suggest that we are contributing to a 'hard Brexit' and should shut up is a pathetic return to the old colonial attitude that we are the 'deluded' Irish and should know our place.
The present situation is a result of the decision of those who voted for Brexit, approximately 87pc of whom were English.
We in this country have to continue to say firmly but with respect to those English people who are responsible for the present situation that the consequence of their present intimidatory attitude, if not modified, is going to be dire for co-operation in Europe for a long time to come. There should be no apologies for that.
Sutton, Dublin 13
Brexit could be a disaster for all
I continue to read, with incredulity, editorials, articles and letters discussing the repercussions of the possible total or part failure of the first phase of negotiations on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
The discussions revolve around the financial settlement, movement of EU nationals, and the open border issue.
Even as an anti-Brexiteer, it is evident commentators from the EU countries, including Ireland, take the easy way out and report in a subjective manner, hiding their heads in the sand, which at the same time satisfies their readership and obfuscates rational reportage.
Why is there no discussion on the reasoning, or more to the point lack of reasoning, of the EU's insistence on agreeing these three points before moving on to other areas of discussion?
In any normal negotiation, there is no veto as to what to discuss at any part of negotiations. There is no reason why the UK should agree that some items of discussion should be opened only after the EU has satisfied itself on the outcome of particular areas of concern.
This state of affairs clearly shows the mentality of the EU bureaucrats who are leading the talks. These out-to-pasture ex-politicians have nothing to lose if their bully-boy tactics don't work.
The two-and-a-half sound economies in the EU are Germany, Britain and France. The rest are either bankrupt, of low economic value or, in the case of Ireland, dependent on a combination of trade with the UK and enticing multinationals to be tax resident in Ireland by allowing them to shelter their profits and pay a ridiculously low level of corporate tax. The Irish Government has bent over backwards to try to convince a multitude of financial organisations currently headquartered in the UK to move to Ireland, with no success.
Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk are interested only in their short-term individual success, because, being non-elected civil servants, they have no commitment to the success of their policies and the dire consequences on, not only the minor EU countries, but the EU itself. Germany and France's continued support of Juncker and Tusk in their intransigence, and the weakness and dithering of Theresa May and her government in not insisting on the discussion of any aspect of withdrawal in no particular order, will lead to chaos and economic disaster to all concerned.
What is needed are sound heads who want to negotiate, not arrogant has-beens on the one hand and incompetent jingoistic little Englanders on the other.
Muswell Hill, London
Brexit - what a shambles. Even if Theresa May hands over the €40bn-€50bn required for stage two talks, the Brexiteers will still have to pull a rabbit out of the hat on the Irish Border.
The Border is the biggest issue for them (even if they do not realise it), and a hard Border is out as it is incompatable with the Good Friday Agreement.
Post-Brexit, they will have to leave Northern Ireland in the customs union/single market, or come up with a Patton-style Hong Kong arrangement for the region.
They never gave the Border a second thought, as little old Ireland is never given the time of day by Tory administrations and to date they have offered no solution. What a mess. Perfidious Albion indeed.
Claremorris, Co Mayo
So the European Banking Authority moves to Paris and not Dublin over a flip of a coin! How outrageous is this?
Given that Ireland will suffer most from the Brexit fallout, surely decency from our European "partners" would have determined that we should have been awarded at least one of the European agencies.
Malahide Road, Dublin 17
Educate ourselves on abortion
Choice is a neutral word until it applies to choosing if someone lives or dies. No one should have the burden of being given such a choice over another living being, such as the child in the womb.
Words around abortion are always chosen to cover up the reality of what occurs. We have many types of media resources available now, showing all kinds of operations and medical issues.
Perhaps it might be wise to look at abortion procedures being carried out to really know what we are choosing, so that in a few years down the road we don't turn around and say I never knew what abortion really meant. We can see from the current Oireachtas Committee on abortion that our politicians are not concerned with genuinely informing the public, and so we must educate ourselves.
Renmore, Co Galway
Very wise words from Billy
What a wise and wonderful speech by Billy Keane to a health care graduation class in Tralee ('Keane's Kingdom', Irish Independent, November 18).
I just love the wise words for us men: "Show the love, men, and show it often and always. Talk, talk, talk. Keep nothing in. There's a cure in talk, boys." Wise words indeed, Billy.
Glenties, Co Donegal