Sir, – David O’Flanagan is kind enough to respond to my suggestion that perhaps we could better disagree on Brexit (Letters, January 1). On at least one subject, I can reassure him. I’m not at all ‘saddened’ to hear that many people share Fintan O’Toole’s ‘shrewd analysis’ on Brexit (‘It’s the first anniversary of the Brexit hole and they need to keep digging’ , Opinion & Analysis, December 28).
I happen to disagree with Fintan O’Toole on some (not all) of this analysis, but my point was that such disagreements don’t need to escalate into a rant. There are perfectly rational arguments for and against Brexit and a thoughtful debate should take them into account.
This was exactly the point I was trying to make in praising the Irish Times page of letters for representing different shades of opinion on Brexit and its consequences. Too much of the media, on both sides of the argument, failed to do so and stuck to rigidly partisan lines.
When I wrote that the truth about Brexit was lackluster, I didn’t mean to downplay the compelling problems it caused, but simply to suggest that, on the whole, the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union does not It’s neither as bad nor as good as the more passionate one or the other side sometimes suggests.
Having said that, I see Ireland as a special case. Did I think of Ireland when I voted to leave? In truth, no, but as it happened, I can see that I should have done it. The post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland remain one of the most difficult issues. To resolve them, we must discuss the matter in a civilized manner. – yours, etc.,