It is sad to have to play the Brexiteer game but there is no choice

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
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Simon Coveney looked as worried as the rest of us on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday.

It is clear that the prospect of an out of control Boris Johnson is concentrating minds in Dublin, despite the backstop rhetoric.

The battle against Conservative right-wingers seizing control of the state is lost, for the moment.

So, time for plan B or is it C, which involves allowing the new government to scare the wits out of us, and everyone else.

That might be a way to get compromise, and avoid hard Brexit.

Not the usual diplomatic process it has to be said, but where has that got us?

Mr Coveney explained that in the event of no deal the Republic would protect its place in the single market, clearly involving new checks, procedures and infrastructure.

Perhaps Boris should tell Mr Coveney — build what you like, but under no circumstances will we accept any new physical infrastructure, or new checks on our people travelling, on your side of the border, within 10 miles of or within eyesight of our own territory.

We would consider it an act of hostility bringing serious diplomatic consequences.

Build it elsewhere, check people and goods elsewhere.

The Republic would also have to establish complex livestock and agricultural checks within this 10 mile zone, but these would be farm-based checks, extensive, but feasible.

Of course, we would need to mirror, to some degree, the whole process on our side of the border, to satisfy the WTO.

We should find a way to compensate our farmers and other businesses.

Having got to that crazy point perhaps we could all then row back, accepting Mrs May’s deal, but minus the backstop.

It is sad to have to play the Brexiteer game, but at this stage I suspect we have no choice.

We can deal with Boris more fully, later.

John Gemmell, Shropshire