I enjoyed a talk given by Dr Nicholas Whyte at the University of Ulster on Wednesday evening, entitled: ‘Brexit as seen from Brussels’.
His well-informed, anecdotal insights into how Brexit looks to some in Brussels were illuminating, entertaining and sobering.
However, I was disappointed that he was so dismissive when asked by a member of the audience if there have been any benefits of Brexit.
His unhesitating no, served as a reminder that some ears remain deaf to some voices.
The economic and cultural benefits of staying in the EU have been well documented; the conversation about migration and borders was hijacked long ago for political expediency.
And yet, such an unwillingness to consider even one unexpected benefit from this painful period of political self-harming only inflicts an even deeper wound and masks the real causes.
Isn’t it increasingly apparent that it was the failure of our elected representatives in Stormont, Westminster and Brussels to engage with large swathes of the population in an open, honest and transparent manner, that has led to this humiliating paralysing shambles?
Dr Whyte did say that some of his colleagues in the corridors of euro power did wonder if maybe they were partly culpable in the result in June 2016.
It would be interesting to learn of any self-awareness or shared responsibility on behalf of Tusk, Juncker, Barnier and co.
Deep open wounds have appeared in the vital organs of traditional political hierarchies for which there is no chemo powerful enough to treat.
We’re starting to witness the arrival of a genuinely new political order — which has to be a good thing, no?
Dr K Kelly, BT16