EU backs Irish unity to punish UK

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

There are hints from within the European Commission, and certain EU capitals, that Northern Ireland will be the “price” that the UK has to pay for Brexit.

This will not happen, but as a firm Remainer I always feared this kind of turmoil after our ill-judged decision in 2016.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission

We should still be able to push a version of the Chequers plan to the finishing line. It does not threaten those four EU “freedoms”.

But we have to be honest with ourselves – the Commission, and some EU countries, have now become covert supporters of a united Ireland, partly to punish the UK.

The intended message would be simple: leave the EU and your country falls apart.

The antidote to this, apart from calmly continuing to seek a soft Brexit, is to boost Northern Ireland’s economy and it’s economic and infrastructural links to Britain.

Theresa May spoke of the current Brexit “impasse”. But the impasse in reducing NI Corporation Tax to the Republic’s 12.5% rate has gone on long enough, benefiting the Irish Republic immensely.

As I understand it the complex Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Act 2015 is awaiting an Executive at Stormont.

Sometimes carefully agreed detail matters, but sometimes the bigger picture comes first.

Westminster should reduce Corporation Tax in NI now, and fund it from London. Stormont can take over responsibility later.

After all, we do not want a Corporation Tax border on the island of Ireland!

John Gemmell, Shropshire, SY4