Fortunately for our sanity, Brexit is not the only thing worth talking about. While accepting the importance of the negotiations that have now started, I cannot bring myself to trust London based politicians and bureaucrats any more than those in Brussels (Jack Hunter, The Yorkshire Post, March 30).
I believe it is absolutely imperative Yorkshire has a strong voice of its own and have been impressed with the number of recent articles in The Yorkshire Post supporting this view.
Yorkshire’s current, largely city-based elected politicians have failed to work together in the interest of people across Yorkshire, and this has to change. The present system is clearly not ‘fit for purpose’ and we did not ask for it; it was imposed on us by Edward Heath’s government without effective consultation, as the ‘consultation’ that did occur concerned Harold Wilson’s earlier proposals discarded by Heath.
However, what was ‘imposed’ can therefore be ‘deposed’ without consultation.
If the UK Government feels it can only work with a unified system, then it should establish a Yorkshire Parliament with democratically elected MYPs. Yorkshire has as many voters as has Scotland and as in Scotland the cities will continue to exist, but with reduced powers. A Yorkshire Parliament will have a sufficiently important voice to be heard nationally and planning can at last take place on a regional basis.
In the absence of a regional assembly, how about our regional newspaper taking the initiative and inviting its many contributors on this theme to support a petition to the Government for a Yorkshire Parliament, much of the cost of which should be covered by money released through no longer having to support Members of the European Parliament and the remainder coming from the Government, money to which we are currently denied access.
From: Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive, The Patients’ Association.
IN the coming negotiations, the Government must be alive to both the risks and the opportunities of Brexit for patients, and avoid any errors that jeopardise health and care provision.
Safeguarding the NHS and social care workforce is vital, in terms of continuing to bring in vital workers from abroad, and ensuring European professionals already here can remain – and wish to. Availability of medicines will also be a vital issue for patients: it is not clear how we will replace the functions of the European Medicines Agency once we have left it.
The ramifications of Brexit are immense, and these issues are just the beginning. We also need clarity on future health coverage for UK nationals travelling within the EU, the impact of exchange rate changes on the price of imported medical products, and whether there will be any changes to the wide-ranging EU regulation relating to public health, including food standards and pollution, once it is brought into UK law.
Over the longer term, if Brexit suppresses GDP growth, as is widely predicted, funding available for health and social care could well reduce. It is certainly clear that anyone who expected the NHS to benefit from Brexit by £350m a week will be disappointed.
From: Ian Hunter, Monkwood Road, Wakefield.
THERESA May has now activated Article 50. She will be claiming that she has the “backing of 65 million people”. She does not.
She does not have my support or approval. She does not have the backing of 16 million people who voted Remain. She does not have the backing of a majority of the electorate in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Gibraltar.
She does not have the backing of a majority of the electorate in London, Brighton, Cambridge, Bristol, Exeter, Liverpool, Manchester or Leeds.
The question of Brexit is highly divisive and has become more so under her premiership. She has had nine months to find some compromise but has failed to make any attempt to do so.
She has had nine months to demonstrate that leaving the EU will yield a net benefit to the UK.
She has failed to do so.
Jonny on French leave
From: Ken Hopkinson, Marsh Lane, Oxenhope, Keighley.
RE the letter (The Yorkshire Post, March 24) about Jonny Bairstow joining Leeds and Bradford councils on a trade mission.
I think Jonny Bairstow would be better off staying there for another month because the powers-that-be at Lord’s certainly won’t let him play cricket, which I’m sure he would like to be doing, and which is what most Yorkshire members would wish him to do.
From: Ian Riley, Rodley, Leeds.
MAY I express my total agreement with the comments of your cricket correspondent (The Yorkshire Post, March 29)?.
I prefer the opinion of Vic Marks – another fudge – to the highly optimistic thoughts of Michael Vaughan. The observation of Chris Waters that the game is in a mess rings true.
Who writes the script?
From: Don Bramley, Sherburn-in-Elmet.
RE Horace and Doris cartoons: I can understand Morris fitting his excellent drawings to the script, but who, or how many, think of the words? I collect them all to fill the corners of my scrapbooks. Keep them coming!