YP Letters: On balance, Europe is still in our debt following the war

From: Andrew Shaw, Netherton, Wakefield.

Should Britain be paying to leave the EU?

AM I alone in finding the EU’s insistence, led by Germany, that we fulfil our moral obligations to filling their coffers somewhat ironic when one considers past history?

I have a solution. I suggest we agree to pay up in full, but deduct from the bill the sum of money that Germany failed to pay Britain in reparations following the Second World War. We should end up in pocket.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In addition, Germany could pay Poland its fair dues, which may obviate the need for quite as many Poles to be forced to seek work in the UK, and also pay Greece fair reparations which might ease their economic plight.

The same post-war settlements gave Germany favourable trade agreements which encouraged the restoration of its decimated industries, which have helped to place it in the fortunate and dominant trade position it is in today.

Moral blackmail has its place, but not in a pan-European context, and questionably not with Germany at the forefront.

From: Peter Bye, Park Crescent, Addingham.

I DON’T want the United Kingdom absorbed into a European super state, and I certainly do not want the UK to be forced into the euro within the next five years.

However I can see some benefits should we remain. The UK Parliament would exist to simply ‘nod through’ European legislation, consequently the number of MPs could be reduced to about 25 per cent of the present number and the House of Lords reduced to the same number.

This means that Parliament could be moved to a more appropriate building. A modern industrial estate would be ideal. The cost of refurbishing the Houses of Parliament could be avoided saving a fortune and the premises sold. A double whammy if there ever was one.

This would be the start of major changes, but I’m getting a headache.

However I can see the need for an investment in the building of a large trough for the EU legislators to stick their snouts in. Perhaps others have some ideas to transform what was our nation?

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

HOW I agree with Bill Carmichael (The Yorkshire Post, October 20) that we must stop thinking we need to apologise to the EU. They were foolish to compare drinking in a pub to the position we are all in.

They suggested that we couldn’t drink with them and then leave without paying our round. No British citizen would do that, but we certainly should not consider paying them to go on drinking at our expense.

Theresa May must stick to her guns. They and we know that they need good trade relations with the UK as much as we need good relations with them. At the moment they are looking like bully boys.

From: Brian Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.

IF Arthur Quarmby’s nightmare scenario, “Britain successfully quits the EU. An election follows – the Marxist Jeremy Corbyn is elected. Economy destroyed – blame laid on Brexit” (The Yorkshire Post, October 17), were to come to pass, like the referendum, it would be “the will of the people”. That’s democracy for you.

Universal credit fears

From: Mervyn Jones, Chief Executive, Yorkshire Housing, Leeds.

AS the chief executive of a large housing association, I’m increasingly worried about the impact of universal credit, the Government’s initiative to combine benefits into a single payment.

While we support the new system’s principle that work should pay, lessons haven’t been learnt from the pilot.

Imagine that you didn’t know what salary you’d receive each week or month. Then imagine you have no guarantee you will be paid the right amount. And, when you phone for help, no-one has your details and they can’t help. It might also cost up to 55p per minute, although the government intends to make calls free.

That’s the reality for the thousands of people now claiming universal credit.

Goverment pilots show the six-week wait for benefits pushes many struggling with basic day-to-day costs even further into debt. Sixty eight per cent of our tenants who claim universal credit are now in rent arrears, with 35 per cent of them owing £400 or more.

Many areas across Yorkshire are already feeling the impact of universal credit, with others next on the roll-out list, before Christmas. I worry that already- stretched services won’t be able to meet increased demand. This might force the most vulnerable people in our society to take drastic measures just to make ends meet.

Risks of progress

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

I HAVE tried to be impartial about fracking, but still think it is an unknown quantity and the risk to water supplies is a worry (The Yorkshire Post, October 20).

The risk of earth tremors is yet another factor.

I should think that coal mining, which was accepted when it started, would, in today’s terms, cause the same amount of arguments because of subsidence and slag heaps.

Yet, without it, there would have been no heavy industry in this country and we would be still cultivating land and transporting goods using horses.

Language is a fresh brew

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

REGARDING your news item about dialect words for the making of tea (The Yorkshire Post, October 20), I do not mask or scald my tea. I mash it.