Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Same tiresome ritual by our local politicians, attacking the Brexit secretary while they continue to sit on their hands

Editor's Viewpoint

The visit of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab to Northern Ireland for the first time since his appointment in July was followed by the ritual tiresome finger-pointing by local politicians. He was accused by some of avoiding them when he went to Larne and Warrenpoint ports; by others of presiding over negotiations which negate the Good Friday Agreement and warned by others not to do anything to undermine the economic or constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom.

Along with the usual predictions that Brexit will be either great for the UK and Northern Ireland or that it will be a disaster for all these islands, these are based on nothing more than political ideology.

The only thing that anyone seems certain about is that negotiations between the UK and the European Union are 95% complete, which sounds great, except that the Irish border question remains the stumbling block. It has assumed an importance which overshadows all the other work being done on the UK's exit strategy.

For the people of Northern Ireland, who are becoming increasingly tired of the Brexit debate, the real problems in their daily lives come from local politicians, who show no inclination to return to the devolved administration at Stormont.

Indeed, they are unlikely to begin any serious discussions on the issue until after Brexit is signed off.

In the meantime, the problems continue to mount up here. This week we saw the dastardly work of the paramilitaries again, which led to a desperate teenage girl offering the thugs her moneybox to spare her dad being shot. Her plea was dismissed.

We also heard that parents at one cash-strapped primary school are donating toilet rolls to the headmaster.

This is a shocking indictment of a society falling apart at the seams. The would-be ministers who could make a difference meanwhile continue to sit on their hands, impervious to the pleas of the public to carry out their duties.

Belfast Telegraph

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