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Not an amusing ending - nor a happy one


I was disappoint­ed when I reached the end of an otherwise amusing letter from Robin Williams (Viewpoint, December 30).

How often does it need to be said that the problem of the Irish land border cannot be solved by the UK joining in a customs union with the EU?

Because that happened in 1973 when we joined the EEC or Common Marker, but it was only with the advent of the EU Single Market in 1993 that routine checks and controls on goods moving across the borders between member states could be – indeed had to be – eliminated across the


However, to be fair to Mr Williams, clearly Boris Johnson held a similar misconcept­ion when he pushed for a ‘Canada style’ free trade deal with the EU as a solution.

We now have that trade deal with the EU, but we also have a new customs border in the Irish Sea, and the infrastruc­ture of a hard border on the coast of Northern Ireland facing Great Britain, plus we have left the province behind under swathes of EU Single Market laws.

Mr Williams wonders whether I could prepare a simply phrased statement of my propositio­n to resolve the current difficulti­es, a statement which could possibly be comprehens­ible to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss who is now in charge of our negotiatio­ns with the EU.

Well, as it happens, I have already sent a letter to draw her attention to the suggestion I first made in February 2018, and repeatedly offered to Theresa May (Viewpoint February 22 2018, “Easy solution to EU border conundrum”)

But as she is not my constituen­cy MP I cannot say whether she will even see that letter, let alone consider the clear unilateral stepwise plan that I laid out.

Dr D R COOPER Belmont Park Avenue


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