Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, in his article for the News Letter last Saturday (“The United Kingdom will quit the EU as one country, whatever Brussels might desire”, February 3), is correct to expose the folly of the Irish government in its support for the European Union’s designations on the Irish border, separating Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom with an all-Ireland customs union.
As stressed by Mr Rees-Mogg, trade issues must be resolved first before the very nature of the border can be discussed.
Once Britain negotiates trade with the EU, the more economically liberal and globalised nations (such as the Netherlands and the Scandinavian bloc) will likely want an agreement that minimises tariffs with the UK, as would Ireland.
But any deviation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, anathema to unionists, could cause serious injury to Ireland’s trade with the UK if the British government considers the EU-Irish position on border intolerable and chooses to have ‘no deal’ on trade – with the risk of significant tariffs being brought into force as a result.
East-west trade between Ireland and the British mainland is vital for both nations – indeed more important than north-south trade on the Irish island.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who appear to be not taking this threat to Ireland’s trade with the UK seriously, are all too eager in following along with EU machinations that will only leave Ireland the worse for wear if a ‘no deal’ trade agreement results.
Stephen Oliver Murray, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4