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By backing Brexit, our out of touch First Minister may have sown seeds for the Union's eventual destruction

Letter of the day: EU referendum

Published 28/07/2016

As the dust settles on what has been one of the most astonishing periods in British politics, the reality of the Brexit decision is beginning to become clearer.

Perhaps one of the most astonishing elements in the entire Leave campaign is the support it enjoyed from the Democratic Unionist Party and its valiant leader, Arlene Foster.

I would consider myself relatively sane and fairly tuned-in to the political comings and goings in Britain and Ireland. Therefore, I cannot for the life of me conceive why the leader of unionism in the north would wish to rip us out of the European Union and reinstate a hard border around the six counties.

It certainly does seem that Fermanagh's answer to the Iron Lady believes that the Atlantic Ocean starts at Belcoo and that the dreaded rebel republic does not exist.

Her efforts to pull us back to the days of isolationism are completely out of touch with the more open-minded and outward-looking younger generation of nationalists and unionists in the north.

It appears that Arlene views the north as the last bastion of Britishness that needs to be protected from the Brussels bureaucrats and the Catholic, toe-tapping, Guinness-guzzling southerners who still have their eye on her beloved Ulster.

What is also quite unbelievable is the fact that Arlene, a former Minister of Finance as well as Minster of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, fails to recognise the catastrophic impact that Brexit will have on the fledgling economy in the north.

Having one small part of Ireland outside the European Union and the rest in the bloc, as well as the introduction of the inevitable customs posts and tariffs, is a throwback to the Dark Ages.

Perhaps the greatest irony of the last few weeks is the fact that Arlene's backing of Brexit may lead the way to a unified Ireland - or, at least, act as a catalyst for it.

It would not be the first time a unionist leader made such a catastrophic error.

M HAGAN

Omagh, Co Tyrone

Belfast Telegraph

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