Brexit backstop should have an easier solution

National flags flutter near the The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in central London 700062492
National flags flutter near the The Elizabeth Tower, commonly referred to as Big Ben, in central London 700062492

The main problem with what the PM has offered as a solution to Brexit is the backstop.

The EU has suggested that in effect, we leave Northern Ireland in the EU when we leave, thus eliminating the customs border within Ireland.

If they think that splitting the UK is acceptable, then they surely must realise that splitting the Republic of Ireland from the EU is even more acceptable (the Republic of Ireland does not have the same status within the EU that Northern Ireland does within the UK). This would remove the Irish border problem if the Republic of Ireland signed a Free Trade deal with the UK and the UK signed a Free Trade deal with the EU.

As most southern Irish trade with the EU currently crosses between the Republic of Ireland and Wales, this would continue as now. We would not need a customs check between Ireland and the UK and the backstop could be removed from the present negotiations.

I have not yet studied what other advantages the Republic of Ireland get from being members of the EU, but I would have thought that between the EU and ourselves, we should be able to find an easier solution to such problems than to the backstop.

Perhaps our MP could do something positive by getting the PM to think about this sort of solution; Mrs May has been aware of this sort of solution for a long time but has not taken any action in this direction so far.

* I wish to apologise (I prefer the old English spelling to the modern American spelling) for a typing error about 2/3 of the way through my letter in last week’s Observer (Thursday, January 17 – World would be....).

I wrote of an EU trade balance with us of £100million instead of £100 billion.

I sometimes hit the adjacent key but rarely one so far away from the intended key.

K W Newby, Elm Park, Bosham