LET me pick up on some aspects of Ros Snowdon’s recent “Toys out of the pram” column (Yorkshire Post, January 29). The UK’s trade with the EU, in surplus before 1973, has been in deficit in all subsequent years. In the last six years the UK’s cumulated deficit with the EU was £190bn, but it had a £21bn surplus with the rest of the world.
The UK’s trade with non-EU countries is 59 per cent and rising. The EU’s share of global GDP was 25 per cent a decade ago, it has fallen every year since. It is economically and demographically in decline.
Some 13 per cent of our GDP is dependent on exports to the EU, but 100 per cent is subject to EU regulations.
Any small businessmen or women reading this will understand this mad phenomenon. We now have no direct say on our international trade as we no longer have a seat on the WTO. We are bound by the Common External Tariff and our fishing, energy, agricultural and employment policy, all disastrous, come from Brussels.
The cost to the UK in membership fees alone is £1bn per month and growing. Thirty eight countries across the globe have completely free trade with the EU and a free trade agreement has been offered by Jacques Delors and Lord Kinnock, both Europhiles to the core (and ex-commissioners). Turkey enjoys such an agreement.
Tariffs are declining worldwide, customs unions are out of date apart from crucifying third world countries’ exports.
So let’s move on. A free trade agreement with the EU, and maybe North America the Commonwealth and the Pacific Rim where they are growing and not declining.
Throw off the shackles of the moribund rotting corpse and look to a wider future.
Nowhere fast on blue badges
From: Paul Wheatley, Rycroft Gardens, Leeds.
IN response to the letter from a Mr Peter Thorpe (Yorkshire Post, February 7) regarding people parking in disabled bays at Asda Killingbeck, the blue badge scheme is not applicable nor legally enforceable on private land.
Under the Equality Act the persons in the vehicle had a legal right to park in that space if he or his passenger had a disability, irrespective of whether they had a blue badge or not, otherwise Asda would be discriminating. Any business has to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people and someone without a blue badge can be disabled.
As regards the so-called “wardens”, they are nothing as such. Nor do they give out tickets or fines. They are merely speculative invoices, for a breach of contract, and the PCNs that they stick on your car should be thrown in the nearest bin and ignored accordingly.
Yes, I do have a blue badge. While I do not condone the language used by what is referred to as a “yob”, Mr Thorpe may best in future concentrate on things he knows about, and ignore those he doesn’t.
I personally do not display my badge on any private land, and I enjoy all of these parking companies writing to me and wasting their money getting my details off the DVLA.
Smoking gun of hypocrisy
From: David F Chambers, Sladeburn Drive, Northallerton.
THE occasional flutter is one thing, but gambling is an addictive practice which can ruin lives and destroy families. I find the frequent and increasing TV adverts which encourage gambling to be irritating and somewhat offensive, but so long as gambling is a legitimate industry there is little to be said.
Another legitimate industry of course is tobacco, but here the Government sees fit to impose a complete advertising ban, to forbid smoking in public places and the display of smoking materials in shops. All this despite its income from tobacco duty, the investment by local authorities in tobacco firms and the granting of EU subsidies to the growers.
So we obviously don’t look to our leaders for moral guidance in these matters, but we should expect some degree of consistency. Either advertising which supports gambling should be banned, or the ban on tobacco advertising should be lifted.
In search of old comrades
From: Colin Javens, Ridge Street, Lawson, New South Wales, Australia.
AT 81 years of age, this could be my last ditch effort to reach my old friends in the Territorial Army based in Vicarage Street, Wakefield, my home town. I was born on November 5, 1931.
Thanks to being burgled, I lost many pictures and memorabilia of my time in the Territorial Army. I am looking for contacts and/or pictures of the 230 Field Squadron, part of 106 Fld Eng Reg Somme Barracks, Sheffield, now both disbanded.
Who knows, there may be a few elderly people left who served at the same time.
I now live in the Blue Mountains and I can be contacted via my daughter Lynn McKenzie on email at [email protected]