NORTHERN IRELAND remaining within the Customs Union does not seem to me too high a price to pay for Brexit.

On principle DUP MPs must vote against such an arrangement, but that is not to say that Ulster cannot prosper under it; attracting businesses from the rest of the UK which are particularly focused on the EU market.

Would this be, as some feel, a surrender or simply a fulfilment of the surrender contained in the Good Friday Agreement?

If Labour MPs are sincere about wanting Brexit with a deal (and what other deal do they have to offer?) then there should be no shortage of votes to replace the missing DUP ones.

Some will regard this as presaging the breakup of the United Kingdom, especially if we add the option for Scotland also to remain within that Customs Union.

To counter this, I suggest a further concession to the EU; that we agree to respect the sensitivities of members such as Spain and France on the issue of secession. We should pledge not to grant separate sovereignty to any part of the UK.

Given the possible degree of autonomy, this could amount to little more than the entirely reasonable refusal to allow an independent armed force to be established upon the island of Great Britain or the option of foreign armed forces being based here without our invitation.

This would require vigilance against our again having a Prime Minister with a referendum gambling addiction and against our own well-intentioned inclination to accept the claim of minorities that they are oppressed.

The Union arose, after all, not from the conquest of Scotland but from the throne of England being gifted to the Scottish King.

The rest of the UK has since hosted so much migration from Scotland that arguably the genetic centre of gravity of the old Scottish nation now lies south of the border.

John Riseley, Harrogate.