Letters - Thursday, January 6, 2022

Dire predictions over Brexit not come true

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 3:45 pm
European union flag

It is now one year since we finally left the EU and so a good time to review the progress of Brexit, although the picture has been clouded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

My own opinion is that it is so far, so good.

Certainly, many of the dire predictions made by Remainers have not come true and probably never will.

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Unemployment has not soared, there have been no 100-mile queues of HGVs on the approaches to Dover, we have not run out of food or medicines, and we were not short of turkeys or petrol over Christmas.

Trade with the EU is sharply down but that is to be expected when you leave a protectionist cartel such as the EU.

The important point is that, according to figures produced by the Office for National Statistics, imports are down much more than exports. We therefore have the opportunity to repair our manufacturing base which has been so much weakened by the flood of imports from the EU.

Amongst the benefits of Brexit, the vaccination programme against Covid-19 got off to a much quicker start than would have been the case if we had remained.

What about the famous £350m slogan on the side of the bus?

That figure has been left far behind with spending on the NHS now exceeding an extra £1bn per week, although admittedly that is largely due to the pandemic.

The only remaining significant problem is that of Northern Ireland which could be lost to the UK in the form of a united Ireland.

I recall that, a few days after the Brexit vote, a senior EU official said in public that “the price of Brexit will be Northern Ireland”.

Everything said or done by the EU with regard to the province should be viewed in the light of that statement and treated with the utmost caution.

Tony Galbraith

via email

HEALTH

NHS not being sold off to the USA

A correspondent claims that the NHS is being “sold off” to the Americans (Your Say, December 31).

The Labour Party peddled this untruth during the 2019 election campaign and thankfully the electorate saw straight through it.

As someone who actually works on the frontline of the NHS, I can safely state that the Government is not allowing it to fail and there are not and never have been any plans to sell it off.

The USA is not getting the NHS and they never were.

The Government has supported the NHS strongly during the pandemic.

It is certainly not “crumbling”, it continues to deliver free at the point of use care and there are no intentions to take that away.

Christian Cox

Blackpool

VIRUS

Vaccine opinions

The internet has proved to be beneficial in many areas, but allowing people to communicate remotely can sometimes lead us to believe that our opinions are shared by many, without ever discussing or being challenged face to face.

Currently, despite the fact that at least 90 per cent of the population have had at least one Covid vaccination, the media seems to focus on anti-vaXxers who, by definition, must be in the minority, rather than on the increasing percentage who are getting vaccinated.

The unfortunately ever increasing number of deaths over the norm bears witness to the impact of the virus – not to the fatal effects of vaccination.

Everyone has a right to an opinion but not a right to suggest that their personal, sometimes unsubstantiated, opinions are the way forward.

In future, those helping us through this crisis will definitely be able to look back with pride on their contribution. Anti-vaxxers and their ilk could perhaps reflect on how they will feel in years to come, should their views prove to have worsened our crisis.

AF

Address supplied

BREXIT

Pint stamps and trade concerns

The Prime Minister has recently been trumpeting that the return of the crown stamp on pint glasses and the scrapping of the ban on selling goods in pounds and ounces are “key successes” of Brexit.

At the same time a warning has come from a body representing the refrigerated supply chain trade, the Cold Chain Federation (CCF).

The chief executive, Shane Brennan, has said that speciality food imports could suffer the same 70 per cent decline that hit exports of food by small businesses after Britain quit the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

He said that when new customs checks take effect, imports from the EU will be more expensive, less flexible and slower. Business groups have called on the Government to soften its stance in negotiations with the EU to prevent a collapse in trade with the bloc. The chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, Mike Cherry, has said that “Unless the Government steps in with more support, the situation is set to worsen.”

In the meantime it is possible to buy a pint, admire the stamp on the glass and rejoice.

John Prance

Address supplied

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