Readers' letters - September 12
We cannot rush Brexit
It is evident that a surprising number of people clearly believe that leaving the EU is akin to leaving a sports club or not renewing your railcard. Hence, the demands to get a move on and suspicions that the PM is rowing backwards.
The sheer complexity of leaving, plus the negotiations necessary to cement new trade agreements, is clearly not appreciated. On average, a single major trade deal prior to us joining the EU has, since 1945, taken up to three years. The legal requirements alone are incredibly complicated. The negotiations require huge expert teams of civil servants to administer. They are being sought and put together.
When David Cameron held the referendum, he believed the result would be to remain in the EU. Thus, there were no detailed plans to deal with the consequences of a vote to leave. Months would have had to be spent on an exercise which it was firmly believed would not materialised.
Theresa May, therefore, and her colleagues are having to start from scratch. They have a blank slate on which to formulate a sound solution to the single most complicated economic and social issue facing this country since 1945.
Another myth, one that persuaded many to vote Leave, is that leaving the EU will end the migrant crisis. It won’t. The reason is because we cannot access the single market unless we agree the free movement of people. We cannot have a bespoke arrangement that is different from the remaining members of the EU. We cannot pull up the drawbridge, and it would be economic madness not to access the single market. This is the single most complicated problem facing us. Boris Johnson was wrong when he said you could have your cake and eat it. But then he has been wrong over many things.
It is no use crying out for immediate action. We need to await a solution that has been carefully thought through and is in the best interest of our country. It will take years.
Churchill once said it would be wonderful in politics “if wisdom could be made to spread as easily as folly”.
Dr Barry Clayton
My dream manifesto
Thank goodness there is no general election coming up. I cannot vote for ‘sneering bullies’, more intent on ridiculing Jeremy Corbyn than addressing serious issues affecting our lives, nor can I vote for a party more interested in fighting among themselves than for the people. All I want is a wise party, with the right combination of common sense and compassion. My dream party would care for all people, animals (domestic and wildlife) and the environment. It wouldn’t waste money on such things like MPs’ expenses, instead money would go towards public services. It wouldn’t want to bulldoze the countryside for ‘affordable’ homes (five and six-bedroom ‘affordable’ houses anyone?) Instead it would create more council houses and aim to make renting cheaper. City and town centres would be transformed. Derelict and empty buildings would be restored to become council/affordable housing and, where practical, the surrounding area would be turned into wildlife gardens and nature reserves – benefiting wildlife and people’s health. Farms would be encouraged to become wildlife-friendly and there would be a crackdown on inhumane battery farms and slaughter. My dream party would be neither ‘PC’ (which I consider patronising) nor racist. It would treat people as, well, people, with a helping hand for those genuinely disadvantaged – the poor, ill, elderly and disabled.
Jane via email