AT the time of the Brexit referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier stated that negotiations for the UK’s departure would be long and arduous. Ever since, they have made sure it is, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The picture portrayed is that the UK will be punished for asking to leave the EU, whereas we are telling them we are leaving. Michel Barnier should be summoned to London and presented with our proposals for a fair departure.
We should give them a deadline to agree in principle of, say, two months and a further two months to “iron out any wrinkles”.
This would enable businesses here in the UK and those in the EU to know where they stand and make arrangements accordingly. Any fudging by the EU would automatically introduce the No Deal scenario and our trading under the World Trade Organisation rules.
Trade loss to the poorer parts of Spain and Italy could cause potential riots if they couldn’t economically export to the UK.
Remember Seville oranges are predominantly bought by the UK for making marmalade, a commodity which is normally the preserve of the British!
From: John Van der Gucht, Cross Hills, North Yorkshire.
THE thorny issue of Brexit is complicated because there is no written constitution.
Referendums are therefore not covered. Our constitution has evolved over many centuries to our representative Parliamentary democracy of first past the post, two party system. Brexiteers claimed victory in a binary, essentially first past the post victory. But following the last election, the Government found themselves critically weakened by this first past the post system.
Large swathes of the electorate feel disempowered by this system. Perhaps the upshot should be, dare I say, proportional representation!
Remote from the reality
From: Su Ibbotson, Tholthorpe, York.
I WAS very interested to read about the sucess of Topp and Co based in Tholthorpe (The Yorkshire Post, August 18), but was a little bemused to see Tholthorpe described as “remote” – a very well kept secret yes, but remote? As well as a pub, we have an amazing butcher, TS Hartley, we are five minutes from the great village shop at Tollerton, 10 minutes from Easingwold, 15 minutes from Clifton Moor Park and Ride and another two minutes gets us to Tesco. Try getting to Tesco from the other side of York in 17 minutes! Remote? I don’t think so – a lovely place to live, most definitely.
On track for good relations
From: David Hagerty, Treasurer, Slaithwaite & Marsden Action on Rail Transport.
IN Tom Richmond’s column (The Yorkshire Post, August 18), he refers to a TransPennine Express spokesperson saying that there’s no need for MD Leo Goodwin to meet residents of Marsden and Slaithwaite who have endured hundreds of trains being delayed or cancelled since May, because its staff have good relations with the community. Maybe that’s because SMART are rather more polite in our dealings with TPE than passengers would like us to be.
From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.
TOM Richmond’s transparency test over the pay of rail chiefs is spot on (The Yorkshire Post, August 23). When is it going to be implemented? Your columnist seems to be applying for the post of Transport Secretary!
Defence of the realm
From: Philip Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
I REFER to the launch of the latest British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. To those who criticise the £3bn cost of this wonderful ship, I say to you this is money well spent.Never forget one cannot negotiate from a position of weakness. Any countries which harbour a belligerent attitude to the UK and its allies, please be aware.
From: MP Ward, Swithens Drive, Rothwell, Leeds.
REGARDING your continued negative stories about food banks, when people come to them, can I suggest that there may be someone who could advise them on how to spend their benefits or go with them to the local supermarket? It is far cheaper to cook your own food than go to the take-away.
From: Terry Morrell, Willerby.
THERE is no labour shortage in Hull and Leeds, as the Centre for Cities contends (The Yorkshire Post, August 22). There are plenty of indolent people sat on sofas drawing state aid. Enough said!
From: A Hague, Bellbrook Grove, Harehills, Leeds.
I READ of Parliament approving a price cap on energy bills yet I have just received a second gas increase since May. It seems the horses are bolting before it comes into force.
From: Rory Mulvihill, Palmes Close, Naburn, York.
AFTER 46 years, I can at last brag about my Grade 9 Physics O-Level (The Yorkshire Post, August 24).