THE Brexit fiasco can be laid fairly and squarely at the door of Parliament.
All parties – and both sides of the Brexit argument – have let the people of Great Britain down.
Since the day that David Cameron so badly misjudged the mood of the country and then ran away, our politicians have obfuscated and misled us over Brexit. The very people who should have had all the facts and figures were either unable or unwilling to put the full true facts for and against Brexit to the public.
There has been a lack of clarity, honesty and leadership with far too many politicians putting their own personal hobby-horses and ambitions before the good of the country.
Far too many Ministers have chosen to resign on ‘principle’ rather than knuckle down and do the hard yards. Too many politicians have sat on the fence or huddled in corners tut tutting rather than putting their shoulder to the wheel.
In a situation where all our elected representatives should have been promoting our case, the phrase ‘for the good of the country’ has become an anathema to many.
The democratic vote of the country in a referendum was to leave the EU, it should have been the duty of all politicians to abide by the referendum result and get the best deal possible – not undermine negotiations and try to wind the clock back with yet another vote.
If anything, this debacle should show that a national referendum is a bad idea because the public cannot make a balanced reasoned decision on anything because our politicians don’t – and won’t –give us the full true facts.
Now who is going to pick up the poisoned chalice of either trying to negotiate a better deal or going back cap in hand to ask to be let back into the EU? I cannot think of anyone in our current crop of politicians who is good enough – or brave enough – to do either.
From: Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs, Federation of Master Builders.
THE future is still looking uncertain for the UK construction sector because the Government has set out plans for a post-Brexit immigration system that would severely worsen the skills shortage (The Yorkshire Post, December 10).
The Government has said it will limit the number of low-skilled workers entering the UK from the EU and further afield. This would include thousands of tradespeople, including bricklayers and carpenters, and these roles are ones that the construction sector relies on.
More than nine per cent of the UK’s construction workers are from the EU and this rises to one third in London. It is therefore imperative that the Government listens to the needs of the sector and delivers a post-Brexit immigration system that allows us to draw on essential migrant workers.
Without this, we won’t be able to keep building at the current rate and construction output will continue to fall.
From: John Cole, Oakroyd Terrace, Baildon, Shipley.
MANY of those who voted Leave can be characterised as “the left behind” (Diana Johnson, The Yorkshire Post, December 11). They are the less affluent in precarious jobs who might have left school at 15 or 16. The future for them did not look particularly bright and they were invited by the right-wing tabloids to lash out at Europe.
Their dim prospects were not the fault of Europe, but of policies pursued in London. The “left behind” are lashing out at the wrong target.
Brexit is proving a terrible mess and will make the UK less well-off than we otherwise would be. Better then to cancel the Article 50 letter, remain in the EU but devote ferocious energy to dealing with inequality and the lack of opportunity in this country. Reverse the “austerity” that has been so destructive and, among other things, institute a vigorous policy of regional renewal.
From: Mike Jennings, Halifax.
THERE seems to be a lot of extra chest beating and wailing about Brexit these last few weeks. What were people expecting to happen?
I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed by any stretch of the imagination, but the situation seems obvious to me: negotiations about the UK leaving the EU were never going to leave us in a situation which was better than staying in.
Why? Because if you run a club you can never let a member leave, stop paying subscriptions etc. and yet still give them the same (or similar) benefits as your existing members.
Isn’t it blindingly obvious? You have to be either in or out – there is no possible negotiated position which leaves you better off because “negotiation” means talking to the club owners who will tell you what you can and can’t have, and they’ll reserve the good stuff for their members.
No, the choice is a simple binary one: we walk away and take the pain or we stay put and work with the club. Either of those can work – anything else achieves nothing.
Pity the poor accountants
From: Bob Watson, Baildon.
PARTNERS at accountancy firm Grant Thornton have suffered an eight per cent pay cut after a difficult year (The Yorkshire Post, December 8).
The payout to partners has reduced pay to “just” £373,000.
How dreadful! What a terrible Christmas these people can now anticipate. How on earth will they manage?
Lay off service
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
THE “Me Too” movement has gone too far when Lesley Garrett (The Yorkshire Post, December 7)) suggests that females should be included in the King’s College Christmas carols. This is a great 100-year-old tradition and should not be interfered with in the interest of political correctness.