On December 19 last year the News Letter published a letter from me in which I claimed that the best interests of Unionism lay in the complete reversal of the Brexit process.
Almost a year later I am even more convinced of the correctness of that claim.
Retaining a situation where both the UK and the Republic of Ireland have a shared membership of the EU would ensure no customs or regulatory border on the island of Ireland and, equally important, none down the Irish Sea.
It would also mean that both the Unionist and the Nationalist/Republican communities in Northern Ireland would have the comfort of a shared membership of an overarching entity – the EU.
We could all then turn our attention to trying to work on what should be our common shared objectives – health, education, the economy and the environment.
Now, almost a year on from December 2017 we are being told that we have three choices: agree the ‘Theresa May’ withdrawal plan, have a “no-deal” Brexit, or have no Brexit at all.
The last of these choices is presented as a very negative outcome.
For Unionists, in fact, it would be a totally positive outcome.
It follows that what we require is a second referendum to hopefully stop Brexit in its tracks.
In this context both the DUP and the UUP should take a deep breath, smell the coffee and go all out to remain.
Possible loss of face for some Unionist politicians pales into complete insignificance when confronted with the alternative down the line – the loss of the Union itself.
Fred Boal, Professor emeritus in human geography and UUP member, Ballyclare, Co Antrim