Status of border is a matter for UK and EU, not Dublin or Stormont

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

No matter what Irish TDs in the Dublin Dail and Northern Irish MLAs at Stormont might think about the where of the placing of a “hard border”, or whether there should be a “hard border”, should a Brexit take place (Letters, August 9) it is ultimately a matter for the EU and the United Kingdom, not the Dublin Dail or the Stormont Assembly to decide.

Dublin (as its administration, distinct from its Dail TDs, is aware) is subordinate on this matter to the Brussel’s Commission. And it is this Dublin that is dismayed, given its awareness of the interrelated social, cultural, business and economic factors in the “common travel area” (all of which has been of much benefit to the Republic) should a prospective “hard border” be imposed separating not only Northern Ireland but also separating England, Wales and Scotland from the Republic.

It is the possibility of such a “border” within and between that is worrying should a Brexit take place. It cannot, therefore, be an internal “all Ireland” matter. The concerns of English and Welsh nationalisms, the major factor in the vote to separate from the EU, need to be listened to and be involved.

Instead of the usual “no, no” or “never, never” MLA unionists of various hues, including Alliance and Greens, could propose for the preliminary “border” discussion if such should be, the utilisation of the near defunct British-Irish Council of the Good Friday Agreement (a Council that, given the implied exclusivity of the terms should never have been accepted as replacement for the originally suggested Council of the Isles).

Should It be utilised as a Council for the deliberations of the “common travel area” it could have observers from the EU present noting the concerns of all. It would provide an input. But in end the “border” question will be for the EU (assuming it is not going to implode, as it might well) and the UK (assuming it, too, is not going to implode, a disaster for all in the squabbling that would follow).

W A Miller, Belfast BT13