From: Nigel Bywater, Oak Grove, Leeds.
THE year 2016 will be remembered as one that changed all our lives, for better or worse. The UK voted narrowly to leave the European Union. We don’t yet know what that means, although it was six months ago.
The effects of that vote is now being noticed by rising inflation and higher holidays costs. The fall of Sterling, and the downward pressure on the London Stock Market, are still having an effect on the prices in our High Streets and our pensions.
The people who voted to leave the EU still feel it was justified. Those who voted to remain in the EU feel very strongly that the vote has divided everyone and has led to an increase in the fear of others.
We have seen terrible images from Syria, and terrorist killings around the world. The terrorist acts have come from people born into that country, and also from people around the world.
Some of the weapons used in the Middle East come from the UK.
The UK has had record numbers of inward immigration, which has fuelled the UK’s growing economy, but it has not helped to increase people’s living standards. It has exacerbated our housing crisis, with many young people excluded from the housing market.
So whilst we have some issues made worse by immigration, in 2017 our decisions need to be made in the interests of making the UK a safe and prosperous place to live. We must campaign to fix the issues caused by immigration, that is what our MPs are elected to do, but they are failing.
In the last three Westminster by-elections the Liberal Democrats have been the only party rising in popularity, although they only gained one parliamentary seat. The values of the Liberals Democrats will help to make the UK a better place to live. The old two party system seems to be waning. Vote for the wrong party and the result could be the election of the divisive right wing, or a wasted vote for the Left.
From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.
THE referendum offered a binary choice, Leave or Remain. There was no option on the voting paper to remain in part of the EU. Both sides, before the referendum, accepted the question was fair and clear, even though both sides consisted of a number of groups and politicians all with slightly different opinions.
Our constitutional process is occasional referendums where the choice is binary, as in the Scottish independence and the 1975 EEC referendums. Following the result the government – which instigated the referendum – carries out the wishes of the winning side in good faith and to the best of its ability. In this case the decision was to leave the EU.
I am all for more direct democracy, and therefore suggest a referendum to decide on the terms of our leaving the EU. Having already decided to leave, the question would be along the lines of: “Should the UK leave the EU under the terms negotiated by the Government, or directly leave the EU without let or hindrance?”
From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon.
THE Schengen Agreement in 1985 paved the way for the abolition of border controls in EU countries.
However, with the recent terrorist attack in Berlin and prior to that in Nice, the influx of refugees throughout Europe highlights the ease with which terrorists can travel unchallenged around Europe.
The Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri was taken out in Milan following his horrific attack in Berlin. It begs the question, do the administrative costs and complexities of everyone in the EU having verifiable personal ID to improve security outweigh the existing freedom to travel across borders unchallenged?
From: John Turley, Dronfield Woodhouse.
IN response to the letters by Terry Palmer and Andy Shaw (The Yorkshire Post, December 21 and 22 respectively), I feel I should point out that MPs stand for election on the basis of their manifestos and the policies of the political parties they represent, rather than to reflect the view of the views of the majority of their constituents on all matters.
At the last general election in 2015, the policy of the Labour Party was quite clear in so much as they fully supported Britain’s continuing membership of the EU. If Messrs Palmer and Shaw disagreed strongly with this policy they were quite free to vote for another candidate.
Staffing crisis in our jails
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
HOW many more prison riots have to happen before the Government realise that cutting staff is to blame? I know a prison officer and the staffing levels she talks about appal me, as they would any sensible person.
There is a simple answer, ignore the legal eagles who tell us we can’t deport foreign criminals and empty our prisons of them and get rid of a major cause – overcrowding.
Get real, Mrs May.
From: David Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.
NICK Clegg, Ken Clarke and Jacqui Smith say prisoner numbers should be cut to 45,000. The number at present is around 85,000, so what do they suggest be done? Just let them out back onto our streets (The Yorkshire Post, December 23) or maybe stop sending criminals to prison?