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Farage Full English or a lighter option...why Theresa May should find out just what the public appetite really is for Brexit

Published 19/10/2016

Tough decisions: Prime Minister Theresa May needs to ensure all are happy with how the UK leaves the EU
Tough decisions: Prime Minister Theresa May needs to ensure all are happy with how the UK leaves the EU

How do you like your borders. Hard? Or soft? The question arises because while the EU referendum confirmed the nation wanted Brexit, voters didn't specify (nor were they asked) what sort of Brexit they had in mind.

Hard or soft. Full fat Brexit. Or Brexit Lite.

It's a bit like customers in a cafe signalling that yes, they'd like breakfast. But the waiters deciding what they're going to eat.

With the UK's decision to quit the EU all sorts of questions arise - especially here in Northern Ireland.

Should we be aiming for an entirely borderless border? Or a Trump-style great, big wall between ourselves and Dundalk?

Ultimately all this will be decided, not by ourselves but by Theresa May and the likes of biBrexual Boris who, it was revealed at the weekend, had written a newspaper article just a few days before he declared for Leaving, arguing for Remain.

There's rock solid conviction for you.

Mrs May as we know, was a Remainer but now like a reformed smoker has gone completely the other way and demands the fullest of full Brexits.

In fairness she believes this is doing the democratic thing in respecting the Out vote.

What she isn't doing though, is considering whether, when these people said they wanted Brexit, they actually meant the Nigel Farage Full English.

Or a lighter Continental option.

And she also needs to bear in mind that what suits the appetite of voters in the north of England won't necessarily go down so well in other parts of the country.

Nicola Sturgeon is so incensed at the idea of Scotland being force-fed Mrs May's full Brexit that she's already threatening to send Scots Nat "ambassadors" to Brussels to make the point that, north of the border, they still want to be part of Europe and are still open for business with the EU.

Bearing in mind that the majority of voters in Northern Ireland are also Remainers, should we, could we, have a go at that too?

Some hope.

By the time Stormont would have finished bickering over who to send as our "ambassadors" it wouldn't be worth their while.

But we are in a unique position here - and where the implications of Brexit are concerned, some would say, a quite precarious position. And no, I don't mean in terms of the peace process.

That's a ludicrous argument. Brexit doesn't threaten peace. But Brexit does threaten the local economy.

So just leave it to the politicians to sort out, then?

From the point of view of an ordinary voter, you do think that in this age of polls, phone-ins, online voting and general testing of the waters re public opinion it should be possible to offer people the chance for a more nuanced say in this the most seismic national debate of the day.

Okay, there's not going to be a re-run of the referendum.

But would it really be too tricky to canvas the nation for a bit more detail on the sort of Brexit they want?

Boris changed his mind. Others may have too. One way or the other.

Simply assuming the majority of Leavers - never mind the entire electorate - want the full Farage is a bit simplistic. Not to mention dodgy.

The national currency is currently taking an awful pounding. The Cabinet is said to be split on whether to go full throttle for full Brexit. The country is bitterly divided. And to make matters worse not even neatly divided throughout the land but pro-Leave mainly in England and Wales, pro-Remain here and in Scotland.

It's a mess. Mrs May's Brexit is a dog's dinner offering everything to some parts of the country, nothing to others.

We have to accept we're Brexiting. Fair enough. But why can't we be given a fuller say in what sort of Brexit we actually want?

UTV just not the same without our Julian

Save Our Julian! As Stephen Nolan has argued in this paper, UTV without Mr Simmons on-screen is unthinkable. Worse than Tesco without Marmite.

And it's not just Nolan who's annoyed. Eamonn Holmes, Kate Hoey MP...but most importantly so many of UTV's loyal viewers are dismayed at this odd decision.

Julian himself, ever the professional, bowed out in his inimitable bow-tied style at the weekend. We'll still hear him but it won't be the same with Jules reduced to just The Voice.

It's not too late, ITV. Give us back our Julian.

This clown really is no laughing matter

You know things are really bad on the killer clown front when it's announced that Ronald MacDonald will be keeping a low profile for the foreseeable.  He's being tainted by association with these new nasty clowns.

Maybe if he was to tone it down a bit? Take the face make-up down a shade or two from bright red to say, terracotta. Flatten the hair and lighten it to yellow. Then again, what you have there is a look scarily reminiscent of another clown. Trump. And if there's one thing worse than Ronald, it would be Donald MacDonald.

Belfast Telegraph

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