LETTER OF THE WEEK: Our Brexit options may be hard for us all to swallow

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I have frequently written in your columns that the Hard Brexit proposed by Mrs May would create stresses in Gibraltar and Ireland, among other threats to our prosperity.

The shock General Election outcome now forces Mrs May and the Conservatives to seek sustenance from the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party.

Apparently the Democratic Unionist Party started out “hard” in Brexit terms, but has considerably softened its stance since it confronted the reality of a “hard border” with customs posts, delays to lorries etc between north and south.

According the i newspaper, its present stance is that the Democratic Unionist Party is now in a position to demand that its manifesto Brexit demands of a “frictionless” border with Ireland, continued “free trade” and a “customs arrangement” with the European Union, a “fair share for Northern Ireland” and “support” for the country’s farmers are respected by a Conservative government.

In the past Democratic
Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has spoken of her desire to “avoid hard Brexit”.

But it’s not clear what red lines, if any, the party will have over trade and access to the European Union Customs Union.

The only way to unite the country, after the divisions of Brexit, where 52 per cent voted Leave, and 48 per cent voted stay, and resolve the Gibraltar and Irish border questions, minimise loss of jobs and avoid further price rises, is for the United Kingdom to stay in the Customs Union and Single Market.

This will be hard for me as a “Remainer” to swallow Brexit, and hard for hard Brexiteers to swallow a soft Brexit, but to unite the country, this is what Mrs May and Foster should do.

Mr S R Jones

Kettering