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Letter of the day: If the DUP had practised what it now preaches on divisive language, we'd likely be in a better place

Brexit bickering

NIGEL Dodds' language, in asking the Irish Republic's Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to tone down his language (News, January 25), deserves to be welcomed by all concerned about the impact of Brexit on these Britannic islands, interrelated as they are in the movement of people and in culture and commerce.

Here, I use 'Britannic' as it was used by the classical geographers - without political connotations - for the archipelago close to the mainland of Europe, rather than 'British', given the connotation that term has come to acquire for some people.

It is, however, regrettable that Nigel Dodds' language was not the language of the DUP at the beginning.

Instead, we had snarling reminiscent of Ian Paisley in party reactions to Leo Varadkar's concerns about the impact, not of an Irish border, but a EU border, and not only across Ireland, but down through the Irish Sea.

If it had been what Nigel Dodds is now advising, there might have been a different discussion concerning east-west relations (a neglected dimension of the Good Friday Agreement) across these islands.

Similarly, Leo Varadkar's recently expressed concern about troop deployment is not to be met with antagonistic dismissals, but a cool appraisement.

He was not thinking about the English, Irish, Scots and Welsh regiments providing the troops for deployment, but troops from the Irish Defence Forces, at the behest of Brussels.

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It will not be an Irish border (as some media commentators, along with the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs muddy the waters by so referring to it); it will be an EU international border should Brexit take place.



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