WITH fewer than 50 days until we vote on the UK’s membership of the European Union, the anti-European camp still can’t count one major ally or international independent body as a backer of Brexit.
Their endorsements to date from the leader of the National Front in France Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump in America and Vladimir Putin in Russia stand in stark contrast to the Remain camp supporters who have come out in droves.
From the Prime Ministers of India, Australia, New Zealand and Japan and President Obama to the IMF, World Bank and five former Nato chiefs, our allies have made it clear that we thrive when we play a leading role in Europe.
Through the EU, the UK can magnify its power on the world stage and use its strong position to heavily influence decisions that directly affect over 500 million people.
Most crucially though, democratically-elected leaders around the world simply cannot comprehend why we would turn our back on the world’s largest trading bloc at a time of global economic uncertainty.
From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.
I HAVE scratched my head over the detailed economic and political arguments for leaving and not leaving the European Union and I am no wiser. My guess is that many people, like me, will be voting out of a sense of public responsibility or a gut feeling. An eminent historian came on TV the other day and startled his interviewer by asserting that if they voted out Britain would be “hated” by other nations.
Barack Obama has been told to mind his own business when he is only doing his job, which is to do what suits the US. Rightly or wrongly, the English have a reputation for arrogance abroad.
So, does it matter if dislike turns to hatred? “Out” campaigners would say no: other countries are not going to be fussy about whom they do business with. But, surely, a diminution of respect among nations cannot be helpful for anybody. With the simplest of arguments, the learned historian has put the issue beyond doubt for this reader.
PFI burden on hospitals
From: Dave Rawnsley, Honley, Holmfirth.
WHAT a disaster it was for Huddersfield back in 2000 when it was agreed to merge its NHS administration with Halifax and Calderdale. We didn’t realise then, but it’s clear now what the present CCGs are up to.
They want to flog off the site of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary – in a prime residential area with high land values, to cover some of the exorbitant repayments on the Calderdale Royal Hospital; in the process depriving a borough of 434,000 people of A&E and other hospital services.
The then Labour government forced NHS bodies to use the inflexible and disastrously expensive PFI model to build new hospitals. Instead of trying to deflect the blame onto the hapless CCGs, the Government should pay up and relieve them of the burden of this PFI deal. Why should Huddersfield people, who had no say or interest in the Calderdale PFI, pay so dearly for these mistakes?
Thanks to the life savers
From: Ian Thomas, Leeds.
YOU reported a road traffic accident just off the roundabout of the M621 Elland Road slip road (The Yorkshire Post, January 2).
The driver, a 53-year-old female, had taken ill at the wheel of her car because of some kind of “medical incident”.
That lady was my wife, who passed out because of a brain aneurysm. She was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary; had a life-saving operation and was in the LGI for 20 days.
I am pleased to say she has now recovered and is even back at work at a Leeds school. I would like to say a massive thank you to West Yorkshire Police, the staff and surgeons at Leeds General Infirmary and the After Care Stroke teams.
Their compassion and professionalism is something we will always remember.
Cheques and balances
From: CD Round, Lee Lane East, Horsforth, Leeds.
I READ with interest the column by Greg Wright about the abolition of cheques (The Yorkshire Post, May 10).
The increase in online banking has only resulted in an increase in fraud. I refuse to pass my bank details to all and sundry on the internet.
If people want to do business with me, they are paid by cheque or I take my business elsewhere.
Make Sunday special again
From: Mary Hellawell, Cross Lane, Scarborough.
THERE was a time when the majority of people practiced Christianity. Sunday was a day of rest from the daily toil.
Sadly Sunday has just become another day of the week. Bored children are dragged around shopping centres, or spend time in their bedrooms on computers or games on consoles.
How many families find time to talk to their children? Time to change things for the better.