Letters - August 14, 2019

Democratic to hold second referendum

Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 2:10 pm

In reply to S. Wheatley the (Your Say, August 10) his inference is that the Liberal Democrats should drop “Democrats” from the title as we refuse to simply give up our opposition to Brexit because by a small majority the UK voted to leave the EU.

Yes 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, however 16.1 million people voted to remain. Should the 16.1 million voters simply be ignored? I would argue not.

Brexit is the most divisive political issue in my lifetime not only in Parliament, but in the country as a whole. The Liberal Democrats accept that in a democracy the only way to overturn a referendum is another referendum.

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We were told by the Leave campaign that doing a deal would be easy, as they need us more than we need them. Well that has not worked out and if Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets his way we will leave with No Deal at all.

To ask for a confirmative referendum in these circumstances I would argue is reasonable. I could go into all the reasons why the Liberal Democrats believe that Brexit will be disastrous for the British economy and a No Deal will lead to a breakup of the UK, but I will be accused of promoting Project Fear.

So don’t listen to me just listen to the CBI, and Mark Carney Governor of the Bank of England.

So why did I join the Liberal Party which became the Liberal Democrats? I’m sure I would have had a far more successful political career if I had joined Labour or Conservatives. Well I wanted a party that is not populist and will continue to argue for it believes in, rather than vote something in for short term political gain. Where members can vote with their conscience rather than as their political masters dictate. That is why I’m proud to be a Liberal Democrat.

Kevan Benfold

Blackpool Liberal Democrats


Both sides need

to compromise

The most important piece of foliage in the Brexit Jungle is called ‘backstop’. It is poisoning all else. The only way to avoid a disastrous no-deal Brexit is to find a way to dump the backstop.

The best way to avoid the backstop and a no-deal exit would be to agree an indefinite standstill agreement, where the UK would be outside of the EU but continue to be part of the single market and customs union until the future-term long-term relationship between the EU and the UK is agreed.

The backstop would disappear. Citizen’s rights would be guaranteed by both parties.

Temporarily joining the European Economic Area (EEA) would be the easiest way to securing a back-stop free deal.

The UK could use EEA institutions without formally being part of the EEA architecture.

This option has its drawbacks, as have all others. There is no perfect solution. What is needed is for both sides to be willing to compromise.

Intransigence on both sides will only end in disaster.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys


Roads unsafe due to mobile menace

How can you ban burgers (become vegan) to reduce carbon emissions, and not ban using a mobile phone etc at the wheel?

By using a mobile phone, it has the potential to slow/stop traffic, and hence make our road transport system inefficient, and machines/systems that burn fossil fuel are no good to man or beast!

Even worse, the ‘mobile menace’ makes roads unsafe, and kills cyclists, e.g. father of two, Lee Martin, 48 was killed by a driver with six previous mobile phone convictions. Three out of five adults in England think cycling on roads is too dangerous, according to Department for Transport (DfT) figures.

The worst case of driver distraction was the death of the entire Statham family - David, 38, Michelle, 33, Reece, 13, Jay, 9. Mason, 20 months, and Elouise, 10 weeks - died after their car burst into flames following a five-vehicle collision on a stretch of the motorway in Cheshire, in October 2008 when a Portuguese lorry driver ploughed into them. Paul Jorge Nogueira da Silva received a three-year sentence after being found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

In 2009, I created/submitted a petition on the government website - http://petitons.number10.gov.uk/mobilemenaceban - calling for drivers using a mobile phone (phones) to be banned, the same as with drink/drug driving.

With our climate emergency, e.g. Whaley Bridge evacuation, and the cancellation of Boardmaster, (estimated loss £45m), and our NHS and prisons in chaos, how can we not now have an automatic ban for ‘mobile menaces’?

Another ban should be stopping at the roadside (blocking the nation’s arteries) to eat/drink/phone. Last year congestion cost the UK economy £7.9bn. Had phone box designer, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, suggested siting them on the road, he would have been classed insane. The likes of a 4x4 is 10 times bigger than a phone box, and the melting Greenland ice-shelf is 10x bigger than the UK.

Allan Ramsay

Address supplied