JACOB Rees-Mogg has been recently been appointed the Minister for Brexit Opportunities (The Yorkshire Post, February 15).
He is offered my hearty congratulations, or is it commiserations? One of his first acts was to appeal to the public for ideas on how to make Brexit better.
We are seeing on a daily basis, lengthening queues of lorries up to 20 miles at Dover and other ports waiting sometimes up to 16 hours to get on board a ferry.
Last week we discover that our exports to the EU have reduced by over £20bn in the past year. On top of that many firms large and small have had to transfer all or part of their operations to mainland Europe in order to survive.
We see how our farmers are troubled about trade agreements from Australia and New Zealand, and how it will lower food and animal welfare standards as well as impacting negatively on the viability of their farms.
The destructive effects of trade are being felt in Northern Ireland as it risks aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.
In the the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum, Mr Rees-Mogg was telling us that Brexit would give us cheaper food and energy. We are now having to live with the hollowness of that claim as food and energy prices spiral out of control to the point that many families have to choose between food or home heating.
So Mr Rees-Mogg here is my suggestion on how we can start to make Brexit better:
1) Apply to join the European Free Trade area, while remaining outside of the EU.
2) Rejoin the Single Market Agreement and the Customs Union.
3) While remaining outside of the EU we can still foster a healthy agreement which should be to the benefit us both.
Although these imply a small degree of compromise, it should have the benefit of doing away with damaging bureaucracy which impacts on industry, commerce and agriculture. Hopefully it may also help in re-building bridges with our European friends and partners.
Blame Greens for price rises
From: Keith Massey, Bishopthorpe, York.
THERE has been much talk of our energy costs soaring which is disconcerting when you add the other inflationary costs of food and fuel that we are all having to cope with.
Now, as a pensioner on a non-inflation proof useless private pension, for the first time in my life I feel vulnerable.
I put £40 of petrol in the car and it only seems to give me three or four short road trips.
The reality came home to me last week when our excellent energy supplier, Octopus – who we have been with several years and recommended by Which? and Martin Lewis – informed us that our contract was coming to an end and that new contract arrangements would have to be signed up to.
We moved and downsized seven years ago into a normal-sized semi-detached house and on our present contract with Octopus we have been paying £198 a month for gas and electric. They informed us that the new contract based on our energy usage would have to go to £480 a month, or to take out another plan based as a ‘loyalty customer’ would be a mere £420! To say I was shocked would be an under statement.
We installed LED lighting so the kilowatt use is minimal in comparison. I had been planning on something like a possible 80/90 per cent increase but this is a 142 per cent hike. And a war in Ukraine hasn’t even kicked off and the Russian gas taps have not been turned off.
The current energy situation is completely un-necessary as the green lobby have been far too influential on irresponsible government policy for at least 10 years with British oil, gas fields and power stations closed and not utilising shale gas under our feet which would give us control and protect us, the public, and business. To now seal them is criminal and absolute madness.
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