I am a member of the Labour Party. Like Stefan Wickham and Sasha Simic (Letters, 18 February), I did not want to hear the speech from Tony Blair promoting resistance to Brexit. On the contrary, I wanted to hear it from the party’s leaders and MPs. To read suggestions that a couple of passing by-elections should have kept him quiet, merely adds to my frustration.
I am tired of hearing MPs say that Brexit will damage the country, but they are going to vote for it anyway. I do not underestimate the dilemma facing them since June. They will be damned if they vote, damned if they don’t. In those circumstances could I ask that they might consider giving their support to the policy they believe to be right.
The EU referendum was “won” by a narrow margin on the back of misinformation and playground level arguments about “they come over here”. Tony Blair has been wrong in the past, and that’s putting it mildly, but on the importance of standing up for full membership of the EU, he is spot on.
Blair’s support for Scottish independence is misguided
Does Tony Blair’s pro-EU position and back-handed endorsement of Nicola Sturgeon’s indyref2 ambitions improve her chances of winning another UK break-up referendum? Or even grow her standing amongst dyed-in-the-wool separatists?
Opinion polls show many of her core supporters don’t want to replace Westminster with Brussels. Plus they also suggest the UK is more important than the EU to most No voting Remainers.
Blair was once as popular as Sturgeon but associations with the Iraq War have tarnished his reputation. The nationalist leader daily disparages Labour but has pragmatically put aside her prejudices and backs Tony Blair’s stance on the possible impact on the UK of leaving the EU.
I however very much doubt Blair’s comments have progressed the only cause genuinely close to Sturgeon’s heart: separating Scotland from the rest of the UK.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research predicts the gap between what Scotland raises in taxes and spends on public services will rise to 9.5 per cent of GDP in 2017-18. This is clearly unsustainable and in the event of a “Scexit”, Scots will suffer catastrophic recession and Greek-style austerity cuts of about £20bn.
As the new Greece, it should beware former Labour leaders bearing gifts and Tony Blair’s support for Scottish independence can be taken in a number of ways. I suggest he means that if England wants to make a go of Brexit, it needs to shed as many Celtic industrial graveyards and economic black holes as possible.
Reverend John Cameron
Boris Johnson is a Brexit hypocrite
With Boris Johnson’s classical education he should be ashamed of his latest outburst over warnings saying that people should turn off their televisions when warnings about the miss-selling of the Brexit route are aired.
He attempts character assassination, craftily changing the subject from the uncovered reality of what Brexit leads to to criticising an ex-prime minister for matters unconnected with the dangers Britain faces over this Little Englander rush towards exiting the EU.
Memories of Johnson’s untruthful claims for Brexit photographed in front of the £350m Brexit NHS red bus flood into mind, along with several of his other antics and exaggerations.
We need to urgently check on how many of the 17 million voting for Brexit now feel differently now that Brexiteers ring masters and clown’s claims of what Brexit will bring is crumbling.
MPs are torn over Brexit
Rob Merrick’s article raises some interesting points.
Firstly, I find it fascinating that Chapman recognises one of the main reasons so many people voted to leave last June was not through a desire to reduce immigration, but that they were “tired of being ignored”. I wonder how many other MPs share this view, and how they think the very time not to ignore the electorate is when they get dragged into making a life changingly ruinous decision to “Brexit”.
May I suggest it was a statement of deep frustration at our collective politicians for their history of making impossible promises, and looking after various select groups, of which the average citizen will never be a member. It is our politicians who have generated a need amongst disenfranchised electorate to find “another way” of shaking up the system. Much as I hate to admit it, there was a time when at least some people would have hoped that if the Labour and Tory parties had no interest in the ordinary (so called “just about managing”) families, then perhaps the Lib Dems would come to their rescue. This last hope was for most destroyed by the disaster which was the coalition. Now all that’s left are Brexit and the extreme parties. Just watch Ukip once the full realities of Brexit finally sink in.
Caroline Flint commented that “terms of trade may not be settled for five years plus after we leave”. This has always been obvious form the outset, but not mentioned, for fear that the electorate might realise the consequences are that, during this protracted period, our industry and commerce would have to operate under highly unfavourable World Trade Organisation terms. How many businesses (that have not already been bought out by foreign asset strippers, or moved out of the UK will be able to survive this shock, and what will it mean to the cost of essential imports such as food, clothing and fuel?
Boris Johnson (the man who gave us straight bananas, European Cornish Pasties and a big red bus/lie), tells us that Tony Blair should be ignored because he “insults the intelligence of the electorate”. It seems he did not insult anyones’ intelligence because they swallowed his insults hook, line and sinker back in June last year.
We must push for a final referendum once full, clear and final details of Brexit negotiations are published. According to the noisy Brexiteers, Brexit will be the best thing since sliced bread. So why are the Brexiteers so afraid?