Britain must rejoin single market to end labour crisis – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Jas Olak, Vice Chair, Leeds for Europe, Roundhay, Leeds.

Brexit continues to divide political and public opinion.

BREXIT isn’t working and it’s not done, says its UK negotiator Lord Frost (‘UK could suspend NI Protocol to protect peace process, says Frost’ – The Yorkshire Post, October 13).

Of course, he was only talking about the Northern Ireland Protocol. But can’t the same be said for everything else he negotiated on Boris Johnson’s behalf? The Protocol was drawn up in “great haste”, says Lord Frost.

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If time and the pandemic were getting in the way, then the Government had the opportunity to extend our European Union transition period. The Prime Minister chose not to do so, presumably after seeking Lord Frost’s advice.

Northern Ireland remains a major Brexit sticking point.

The Protocol keeps NI in the EU’s single market for goods. Some NI social media users echo comments from counterparts in EU countries about not seeing the kind of fuel and other shortages reported elsewhere in the UK.

A solution for NI and the rest of the UK would, of course, be to negotiate the kind of single market access Boris Johnson and his allies were promising Leave voters in the 2016 referendum campaign. What they got bears little resemblance.

Terry Palmer complains Labour “have no solutions…(just) blame Brexit” in the same edition. Please note, Sir Keir Starmer.

From: Peter Brown, Shadwell, Leeds.

Lord Frost is the Brexit Minister.

TERRY Palmer asks if any other readers recall Shadow International Trade Minister Emily Thornberry being on TV and radio on Sunday. I do, and suspect his reason for asking is to distract our attention from somebody else.

On the same media merry-go-round that day was the Conservative Party’s Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng. Rishi Sunak’s Treasury subsequently felt it necessary to brief the press that claims Mr Kwarteng was making about it taking part in meetings on the energy crisis affecting firms were untrue.

How far over the line does a Minister in Boris Johnson’s own Government have to go to be accused of lying – by a government led by Boris Johnson?

Ms Thornberry’s responses were typically robust and appropriate challenges to the Government from the main opposition party. The absence of the Tories’ A-Team that day probably helped, though.

Contrary to what Mr Palmer says, she didn’t “blame Brexit for everything”. I rewatched one of those interviews on BBC iplayer. The B-word cropped up only three times and only towards the end of the interview.

The real takeaway was we have an incompetent Conservative government lacking foresight, and which abandoned initiatives introduced while Labour was in power that might have mitigated the current energy crisis.

From: Keith Jowett, Woodland Rise, Silkstone Common, Barnsley.

YOUR correspondent, Thomas Jefferson, provides a lesson in semantics when he writes about the Brexit debate (The Yorkshire Post, October 12).

His use of the term ‘jingoism’ reminded me of my old history teacher’s explanation of the origin of the word, dating from the time of the Crimea War (1853-56). I was told that the word came from a music hall song popular at the time:

We don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do

We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too.

We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true,

The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

I can still sing the song 70 years after I first heard it.

From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton.

IT was with absolute incredulity that I read in your excellent paper that our government is preparing to pay the French government £50m so that they will have the decency to stop our shores being inundated by refugees presently residing in France. I don’t know what the rest of your readers think, but that sounds suspiciously like blackmail to me.

It is particularly poignant when we remember that in June 1944 we sent thousands of brave British boys, many of whom never came home, to rescue the French from the Germans and to the best of my knowledge we never sent them a bill.

Perhaps we ought to consider what level of payment the French nation still owes us for rescuing them from the Nazis before handing over the £50m which they are demanding that we pay them.

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