From: Lord Bamford, Chairman, JCB.
JCB is the UK’s largest manufacturer of construction equipment. I have worked in the family business since the 1960s, taking over from my father as chairman in 1975, the year of the first referendum on our membership of what was then called the Common Market.
As the clock ticks down to our exit from the European Union, following the second referendum in 2016, I feel compelled to say this about a no-deal Brexit: there is nothing to fear from trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
I have decades of experience selling British-made machinery to WTO and EU countries. Nearly three-quarters of what we manufacture in the UK is exported. Likewise, my company buys components from all over the world. Trading with Australia on WTO terms is as natural to us as trading with Austria on EU single-market terms.
To underline the point, 40 per cent of JCB’s exports go to WTO countries, 27 per cent to EU countries. We import components worth over £250m from WTO countries.
This two-way trading arrangement happens every day as a matter of routine for JCB. It can work just as well for other British businesses.
I accept that, after March 29, any changeover to trading on WTO terms will prove somewhat disruptive to businesses. My message is simple: businesses will adapt. It will not be the end of the world.
Ports will also adapt to the change in the regulatory landscape and, besides, Dover is not the only UK port. There are about 120 other commercial cargo ports. These will take up the slack if Dover can’t handle everything.
From: Jonathan Holmes, Shire, Cumbria.
IN response to S Galloway saying Philip Hammond had set aside £6.2bn for a no-deal Brexit, stating the money could have been used for extra doctors, nurses, hip replacements and paramedics, and that Leave voters should look in the mirror for someone to blame if their operation is cancelled.
Might I offer another view. I voted to remain, but I was part of the minority vote and I accept that. If the deal which the UK and Europe have come to is such a poor one, perhaps a better one could have been reached if the aforementioned had backed the democratic decision of the country instead of trying to create divisions.
If their behaviour didn’t influence the deal which Europe offered us, and it is such a bad deal, perhaps it shows how the deals Europe have given us in the past have always been to our disadvantage, hence the reason the majority vote was to leave.
So come on smell the coffee, let’s believe in this great country and push on and do the best we can for it, rather than following people who either don’t believe in it or want to further their own ends.
From: John Turley, Dronfield Woodhouse.
PRESIDENT Donald Trump has recently been described as being impulsive, irrational, and unreliable over his recent decision to pull out American troops from Syria and Afghanistan without any prior consultation with his allies.
Is this the same Donald Trump that several Brexiteers have been saying that we should put our blind faith and trust in to get a trade deal, rather than the EU?
From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.
HAPPY New Year and welcome back to Brexit. As now appears likely, we may suffer a second referendum. Should this result in a majority in favour of ‘remain’ it will leave the score at one all. In this event democracy demands that their be a decider after a decent time for reflection, possibly a couple of years.
This will inevitably cost money – a great deal of money – maybe a billion or so. No problem to any government of whatever persuasion. They all know that money grows on trees. Better plant some more, just in case.
Selfish young hogging A&E
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
NOT surprising to read (The Yorkshire Post, December 29) that young people misuse A&E. Many young people are extremely selfish and only think of their own convenience and attend at a time that suits them.
Usually they are on their phones in the waiting room.
Surely they are the ones who are able to look for alternative care as opposed to the elderly who, in this study, seem to be the more discerning as to what is an emergency, despite most not being smartphone-savvy.
From: John Watson, Sheffield.
HOW can I take Elaine Lemm’s reviews seriously any longer when she rates the food at the Dog & Gun at Knayton five out of five (The Yorkshire Post, December 22) when she hasn’t even tried it? The article states that “Not a hope with food but the drinks were fine” and “they cannot even offer us a sandwich”.
From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.
THE restoration of the castle along Scarborough’s cliff-top ridge would propel the town into the top league of holiday destinations, and bring such wealth to the resort.