Four selected letters from last week's Bucks Herald, mainly focussed on Brexit and the "people's vote" demonstrations this weekend.
Last Saturday, I was with hundreds from Buckinghamshire who crammed onto trains to join over 650,000 people marching for a People’s Vote on Brexit.
We now know that this has not been the “easiest negotiation in history” (Liam Fox and David Davis); we know that there will not be an extra £350 million a week for the NHS (Boris Johnson). We still don’t know what, apart from vapid generalisations about getting the best deal for the British people (Theresa May), are the government’s objectives for our future relationship with the EU. We do know that Jacob Rees-Mogg and his rich cronies would like a deal - probably No Deal - which let them grind down wages, remove protections from workers and wreck the environment. British business is in despair, investment and the exchange rate has plummeted and peace in Northern Ireland is in danger.
We’ve had two referenda on the EU; the one in 1975 produced a large vote in favour, the one in 2016 a small vote against. It must be democratic for the People to Vote for a third time on whatever deal this chaotic, self-interested, squabbling government finally manages to propose.
How disappointing it is for all true democrats to read that Mr Bloxham and the Green Party ( Letters 12 Oct ) still persist in attempting to undermine the result of the 2016 “people’s vote”.
I think it would be fair to say that the British people were voting in 2016 on what the EU had become ( after 40 years of membership without a “people’s vote”), not on what it may become in the future.
I doubt whether Mr Bloxham, or his fellow travelers,have any more idea than anybody else as to how the EU will have to develop in the future. Its current practice of beggaring its members (Greece and Italy), no doubt to the satisfaction of irresponsible big banks, suggests that its present structures are going to require some fundamental re-adjustments if the EU is not to fragment . Would German fiscal transfers and debt forgiveness be a good start?
Possibly sensible heads will prevail in the future, to widen the EU into a more open,diverse, flexible,and less dictatorial entity. Could the UK, as an independent nation-state not happily and enthusiastically co-operate with such a structure?
At present, Mr Bloxham ,many see the EU as a bureaucratic Empire- what do you continue to see?
Dear Mr. Lidington,
Time to put our country first
In the lead-up to the referendum in 2016, we campaigned together to remain in the EU on a couple of occasions. I am writing earnestly to request you to now put your best convictions first and the interests of our country rather than continuing to sacrifice our future placating the Brexit extremists (Johnson, Davis, Farage etc.) and the minority hard-liners of the DUP in Northern Ireland. Since the current Prime Minister replaced careless Cameron in 2016, you have been one of the key government figures responsible for the disastrous management of the post-referendum developments: the premature triggering of Article 50, the failure to discuss a strategy by the Cabinet until December 2017 – almost 18 months after the vote, the attempt to deny Parliament a say in the final settlement, the failure to outline clearly to the British public the various options, and the failure to address the irregularities of the various Leave campaigns, which have been exposed through the Information Commissioner and Electoral Commission investigations. The government has dodged and fudged, twisted and turned in the wind, and has resorted to meaningless statements such as “Brexit means Brexit” and “a red, white and blue Brexit”. The choices that we faced were always complex. There never was one straightforward option.
I have no doubt that you are very conscious of the dangers of “crashing out” of the EU. We shall be denying opportunities to young people that we enjoyed in our younger lives, trade and the economy will be severely battered, red tape over international transactions will increase and Britain will be more isolated in the world, stuck between the dangerous regimes in power in America, Russia and China, and our former friends on the continent of Europe. Cultural and scientific collaboration and exchanges will become much more difficult. Britain will become a meaner country, I fear.
Now is the time to stop vainly trying to appease the extremists in the manner of the Munich Agreement of 1938 and to build a strong consensus for a sensible withdrawal which allows Britain to remain in a customs union. And if you and the government are incapable of demonstrating the necessary courage and statesmanship, then make way for a further referendum (the so-called People’s Vote) at which the electors are given a choice between the real options, not a simple in / out decision with no serious consequences as it was presented in 2016.
Colin Bloxham (Aylesbury Vale Green Party)
My message to Phil Jones, Member of the European Movement, UK, who has been gnashing his teeth for quite a while is, Brexit was a binary vote: stay or go. Leave won by a majority and Stay lost. It is obvious that you did not listen to Cameron and Osborne or read the very expensive propaganda delivered to every home in the UK. You need to move on and get over it.
Hard Brexit and Soft Brexit are the invention of bitter Remainers who can’t believe they lost, despite the Establishment trying to fix the vote. The Nazis were also supporters of a one nation Europe.
During the referendum debates we were told by both sides many, many times, we would leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. That is what I want and an end to freedom of movement and an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. If leave did not mean leaving the single market, the customs union, the ECJ and the EU Parliament, what did leave mean?
Also, in accordance with EU legislation, why is Her Majesty’s Government not restricting the number of EU citizens coming to the UK in areas where the local infrastructure cannot cope?
The UK taxpayer is paying money to foreign countries to allow us to trade with them. Who does this? It's a strange paradox that we have tariff free trade but pay for it on the side. It is like writing a cheque to Tesco to allow us to shop there!
The Conservative Government seem to have forgotten whom they serve and who it was put them where they are. All in good time, they will re-learn that they are the servants of the electorate and not their masters. The lesson will be a hard and bitter one because a governing party that overrides the stated will of the people has no future.
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