Ireland is not the friend we thought

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Brexit is polarising opinion like few other modern issues.

As a Remain voter I, naturally, rail against the shocking opportunism of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

But Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are a new and unexpected source of extreme disappointment.

Nigel Dodds was right to warn Dublin that, if they continue in this vein, they risk bringing about the hard border that they seek to avoid.

But he and his colleagues should also recognise that, in seeking to strengthen British sovereignty through Brexit, they have weakened it catastrophically in multiple ways, including giving Mr Varadkar a veto over our destiny.

It seems now that the only way through the chaos is some great UK-wide historic compromise, seeking an element of nationwide regulatory alignment with the EU, at least in areas mirroring the Belfast Agreement.

The turn of events has spooked unionists everywhere, not just in Northern Ireland. The door is finally open to imaginative solutions.

As for the Republic of Ireland, it may not be such a natural friend as we once thought. Our closest partners in the EU, post-Brexit, are likely to be Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

John Gemmell, Shropshire