I write in response to two letters published on February 28, one of which was in response to my letter of the week before, one to M. Corfield’s letter. Firstly, Rory Murphy’s letter, where he take issue with several points I made.
I acknowledge that several EU countries have in recent years elected right wing or so called ‘populist’ governments in (e.g.. Hungary, Poland, Italy) that have many quarrels with the EU, particularly over external immigration, but as far as I am aware none of them actively propose leaving the EU altogether.
Also. opinion polls in many EU countries since our referendum show increasing popular support for EU membership, after seeing what damage Brexit is doing to us.
When I spoke of ‘millions of those most affected were not allowed to vote’ I was not only referring to 16 and 17-year-olds (who were given the vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum) who will have to live with the consequences of Brexit for most of their lives, but also of the many thousands of UK citizens who have been living abroad for 15 or more years, many of whom will be drastically impacted by Brexit (e.g., in relation to their rights to medical care), and the three million or so EU citizens from other EU countries living here, whose lives in many cases have been turned upside down by Brexit, creating great uncertainty and stress for them and their families. Mr Murphy does no favour to his arguments by trivialising the issue of 16 and 17 year olds being allowed to vote in another referendum, which day by day looks ever more possible.
Turning to Steve Haynes’ sarcastic letter responding to M. Corfield’s letter, after denigrating those with degrees, he lauds the wisdom of Messrs Farage, Gove and Johnson – what a trio of wise and trustworthy sages they have proved to be! I would not trust any of them to do my shopping for me, let alone run our country.
Both Tony Blair and Sir John Major have run our country for a total of about 17 years between them, and whilst I do not agree with everything they did, they made an infinitely better job of leading the country than the current and previous Prime Ministers who, by putting party before country, have created the sorry mess we are currently in.
Mr Haynes then goes on to parrot the anti-EU right wing press’s oft repeated lie that the EU accounts have not been signed off by its auditors for many years. If he likes to check the facts, he will find that in October, 2018, the European Court of Auditors gave the EU annual accounts a clean bill of health for the 11th year in a row, finding them ‘true and fair’. He can check this for himself at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-5984_en.htm
It is a strange sort of ‘common sense’ that leads him to support Brexit, which will by the Government’s own admission, in whatever form it takes, make the whole country worse off, the degree varying between moderate for a ‘soft Brexit’, to medium for the Government’s proposed deal, to catastrophic for leaving without a deal.
The only common sense way out is to remain in the EU with the deal we already have.
John Wilton, York Road, Chichester