A US-UK trade deal that puts the Good Friday Agreement in jeopardy is not worth having

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Sunday 06 October 2019 15:59
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Nancy Pelosi says no UK-US trade dead if Good Friday undermined

Boris Johnson views the great trade deal he want to do with Trump’s America as the trump card (excuse the pun) in his Brexit dealings. This, unfortunately for the UK, is not a foregone conclusion and has roots in many ways in the great Irish famine.

The great famine or great hunger was a period of mass starvation, death and emigration between 1845 and 1849. There was a failure of the potato crop and the cause was laid squarely at the feet of our English masters at the time.

The population then was 8 million and even now, 170 years later, it still hasn’t recovered.

A million-plus people died and over a million emigrated in those coffin ships to a new life in America and thus began our special relationship with the USA. Like the roots of a growing sapling tree, the emigrants spread to every part and into every facet of America and its society.

A trade deal is not the personal gift of an American president, but of the congress, and the powerful bipartisan Irish bloc (many of whom can trace their ancestory back to the famine) has stated that a US-UK trade deal will not happen if the Good Friday Agreement is put in jeopardy.

The ghosts of the great hunger and the humble potato may still have a large part to play in the Brexit endgame.

Dr Aidan Hampson
Dublin

Revoke Article 50

Since the news has emerged with regard to the visit of a high-level Hungarian delegation to the Cabinet Office, which sparked a huge amount of debate, more evidence has emerged that Boris Johnson is indeed actively seeking Hungary’s veto against an Article 50 extension.

Remember, he said he would obtain Brexit “by any means necessary”. This apparently includes collusion with a foreign government that has become notorious for inciting fear and hatred of migrants, for corruption, and for using antisemitism against its opponents.

There are no depths to which Johnson and Dominic Cummings will not sink.

As it would appear that an extension would be vetoed, it is surely time for Article 50 to be revoked prior to 31 October, after which plans can be made for either another referendum, a general election, or both.

May I say that I originally voted to Leave but have most definitely, 100 per cent changed my mind, along with thousands of others. I am planning to travel to London on 19 October to join the protest.

Judith Sweet
Lostwithiel, Cornwall

Brexit stress

It’s not surprising that Boris Johnson has made spending on the NHS a priority. Because, if he succeeds in getting Brexit done, the shock could result in countless people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Roger Hinds
Surrey

EU talks

Not strictly a mea culpa, more of an observation and praise for the amusing use of words in the third paragraph of this piece: EU cancels weekend Brexit talks because Boris Johnson’s plan ‘does not provide basis for agreement’. “David Frost, the prime minister’s Brexit negotiator, was in Brussels on Friday for meetings but further talks have been put on ice until the coming week”.

Icy, frost. I did laugh, full marks to the writers!

Robert Boston
Kingshill, Kent

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The Bible and hate speech

J Longstaff (Letters, 5 October) asks “how much more of the Bible ... is not respected by our ... judges”. I suspect that our courts would not endorse Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lieth with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

Indeed, I have wondered why hotels and cruise ships which persist in leaving Gideon Bibles including this text in their customers’ rooms have never been prosecuted for a hate crime.

Michael Clarke
Portishead, Somerset

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