YOUR excellent coverage of the SPERI report on British manufacturing rightly highlights issues facing the sector.
Over the last 40 years Britain has seen a massive decline in manufacturing with many jobs shipped abroad, to the EU and even more to the Far East. Not only heavy industry but electronics, consumer goods and clothing manufacture that went overseas.
So many Northern areas suffered high unemployment as their industries collapsed. Redcar’s steel works closure is just one, partly forced by predatory policies of Eastern governments designed to force UK firms out of business.
No wonder Britain has a massive trade deficit and whole sectors risk losing the critical mass needed to maintain viability of skills and supplies.
The rot started under Margaret Thatcher, but successive governments failed manufacturing by encouraging an overvalued pound. They wrongly assumed “free markets” and financial services would mop up lost jobs.
Instead the City’s candy floss created financial problems of its own, while enriching a relative few. Britain remains highly vulnerable to shifting jobs (and the tax base) overseas.
Though I welcome the pound’s devaluation following the EU referendum, much more must be done to advance manufacturing. What I’ve seen seems little more than spin. Anyone remember “march of the makers?”
We need a comprehensive strategy to help manufacturing in the UK with policies, skills training, land use planning, research support and financial help to restore manufacturing pre-eminence.
Brexit provides an opportunity but the usual obsessions of our politicians could see manufacturing given token attention. I hope to be proved wrong, but I am not optimistic.
From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill.
THE most difficult final decision in regard to the exit of the UK from the EU will no doubt be taken in Parliament and this will need the input of all the political parties. Any decision which involves the loss or possible loss of large manufacturing plants or financial services in the UK will concentrate the minds of all those involved.
Any political party seen as a major player in a decision which became a national disaster could be subject to the wrath of voters for many years to come, and this could also concentrate the minds of our MPs.
Politicians are paid to make difficult decisions on behalf of the electorate and the decision to leave the EU could prove one of the most difficult and divisive this country has ever seen. Despite all the constant wrangling between the leavers and remainers, the final chapter in resolving our future in or out of the EU will ultimately be left to our MPs.
From: DM Loxley, Hartoft, Pickering.
THE European coterie is methodically and systematically isolating itself from the rest of the world; and they and others have the impudence to accuse the UK of being isolationist.
Out of the EU, the UK will have the freedom to enter into trade agreements with any other country which might wish to create such deals. In the event that a self-isolated European Union finally collapses, it will not take the United Kingdom with it.
From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.
GARY Lineker tweeted “the treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless”.
According to Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke, “Lineker needs to decide if he’s a political activist or a BBC sports journalist, he can’t be both”.
Once again someone with mouth open before brain in gear, too many crisps maybe?
If he receives his P45 he could always adopt a few of these migrant kids.
Not so sure about the schools and NHS services in his area though, mind you he could afford to go private and the benefits he would receive should soften the blow of his job loss somewhat.
From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
IT worries me some of the intemperate language used post the EU referendum. And I don’t mean hate crime abuse directed at immigrants, but that directed at those of us who supported Brexit!
We’ve been called all names under the sun, from racists to little Englanders, while the London-based metropolitan elite sometimes give the impression that we’re a bunch of uneducated Northerners
In fact we simply didn’t believe the “doom and gloom” propaganda of the Remainers, feeling that as one of the strongest economies in the world we didn’t have to be tied to other European nations but could make are own deals with the countries that are the powerhouses in the world.
At the same time we wanted power devolved as closely to the people as possible, restoring the sovereignty of our own Parliament and being allowed to impose measures to protect our own industries.
As for immigration, we happily accept genuine refugees escaping hardship and war, but don’t want a free border which has allowed for unlimited economic migration while unemployment has remained high. We can’t tell what the future will bring, but we mustn’t let Britain be talked down by the Europhiles.
From: Samantha Smith, Ilkley.
I AGREE with Tom Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, October 25) about Theresa May’s style of government. If she, and not David Cameron, had conducted our EU renegotiation, she might have secured far more concessions and Britain might have voted to Remain.
From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham.
FOR what it’s worth, it is my opinion that everyone in the ‘Jungle’ will eventually get into the UK.