From: Michael Hodge, Battle Hill, Battle
As I write the Brexit debate is deadlocked. The Prime Minister’s proposed deal is unacceptable to Parliament in its present form.
It may seem disproportionate down here in East Sussex, but the principal issue appears to be the backstop designed to prevent the creation of a hard border in Ireland.
Brexiteers want it removed, the Democratic Unionist Party object to Northern Ireland being treated differently to the rest of the United Kingdom and the European Union is adamant that the backstop cannot be modified without defeating its purpose. There is no majority for any of the alternatives to the Prime Minister’s deal. So we continue to head towards the default position of no deal.
With due respect to Barry Jones and other like-minded correspondents, I continue to believe that it is a mistake for our country to leave the EU. To leave without a deal would be worse. Quite apart from the serious bureaucratic and financial implications for business, we would likely have to get used again to such irritants as customs checks, green cards and international driving licences. Ironically too it would create the hard border in Ireland that the Government is striving to avoid. This threatens the hard-won peace agreement.
There is a solution. After nearly three years of working at it, the Government could concede that, notwithstanding the result of the 2016 referendum, there is no consensus in the country on what Brexit actually means.
Therefore the triggering of Article 50 should be reversed. We stay where we are.