Letters - February 4, 2019

A pro-Brexit leave the European Union supporter demonstrates with placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
A pro-Brexit leave the European Union supporter demonstrates with placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
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The harm’s already being done to the UK

Denial is a defence mechanism in which a person, faced with a painful fact, rejects the reality of that fact. They will insist that the fact is not true despite what may be overwhelming and irrefutable evidence.

The evidence that Brexit damages our economy is not speculation and can’t be denied. What has happened since the referendum is fact and clearly visible for anyone who chooses to keep an open mind.

The pound in our pocket has fallen by 12 per cent as international markets passed their judgement on our decision. Imports now cost more and when we travel or work abroad, our money is worth less.

Before the referendum, the UK economy was the fastest growing in the G7 and heading the European economic league table. Now we are in the relegation zone. Our gross national product has taken a £24bn hit, the equivalent of £870 for each UK family.

Banks and other companies, faced with barriers to business when we leave Europe, have started to move jobs and assets overseas. Just two examples are renowned Brexiteer Sir James Dyson’s decision to build his new factory in Singapore and move his HQ there too and Barclays plan to move £190bn of assets to Dublin.

Only this week, the car industry reported that investment had halved since the referendum with Jaguar cutting 4,500 jobs. Not all down to Brexit but a significantly worse level of investment than in other EU countries since the EU is the biggest destination for British manufactured cars and additional tariffs will make them uncompetitive.

I could continue but I know from talking to hardened Brexiteers that all I’ll get in response to evidence and facts are simple slogans and empty rhetoric. Like a tiny child who doesn’t want to hear the sound advice of their parent, they cover their ears and just shout louder.

When the leading Leave luminaries say we won’t be any worse off, they are talking about themselves, not the great mass of their voters. For example the decision of arch Brexiteer, Rees-Mogg to move his hedge fund to Ireland.

The foreign billionaires and tax avoiders hate the EU because it bears down on tax cheats and expects them to pay their fare share.

It’s not too late to take a step back and think rationally. We can’t easily undo the damage that has been done to the UK but we can prevent it getting worse for ourselves and in particular for future generations who will bear the real costs of our decisions.

Bill Matthews

Via email


Helping young use internet for good

In an increasingly digitised world, we are exposed to a myriad of opportunities and pressures online.

With mounting pressure on the industry to be more regulated, we welcome the Science and Technology Committee’s report examining what more needs to be done both by, and to, online companies to improve children’s online lives.

This will add value to the policy making that will follow the Government’s forthcoming white paper on online harms, and their plans for regulation.

These important discussions will be ongoing, but we all have an opportunity to do something right now. All of us – from individuals to industry – have a vital role to play in making the internet safe and empowering for young people.

Whatever regulation is coming down the track we must still also equip young people, parents and teachers with the tools to navigate online challenges.

Next week, such an opportunity exists for everybody.

Thousands of organisations will join together on Safer Internet Day, tomorrow (February 5), to highlight the support available to young people, parents and teachers. This gives us all an extraordinary opportunity to start the conversation, and empower young people to use the power of the internet for good.

Will Gardner OBE

Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre


Help do your bit to stamp out disease

Thank you so much for all the support that your readers are giving by sending as many stamps as they can for Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT).

In 2018 we raised £12,775 and in 2019 we are aiming for £25,000! Please ask everyone you know to support our appeal! Every stamp, collection, first day covers and so on sent to us will help raise vital funds. On Facebook? Join our group for regular updates – BCRT stamp appeal volunteers and collectors. My new year’s resolution is to get a supporter in every country in the world. can you help with that challenge?

Every 10 minutes somewhere a child, teenager or adult is diagnosed with primary bone cancer. Each year since the charity started we have endeavoured to grow our research to save lives.

Over the last three years we have encouraged more researchers to explore primary bone cancer and have funded more research projects than ever before in our history - but critically our income has fallen. We need your support now.

Stamps can be sent directly to me or if trimmed up to 1cm of paper around the stamp and sorted into UK. Pre-decimal or overseas stamps can be sent directly to our buyer at: BCRT, PO Box 6198, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9XT, where we raise 25 per cent more. Please send horizon labels to me.

Thank you for your time and much needed support… 
until there is a cure.


Volunteer Stamp Appeal 
Bone Cancer Research TrusT