ES Views: EU is cherry-picking on security and intelligence

Will the UK still co-operate with EU nations on security matters: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Using our national security services as a bargaining chip to negotiate a good trade deal is not a threat — it is called a trade-off. The same EU leaders who have stressed that “there will be no cherry-picking” now wish to cherry-pick themselves as to what Britain can and cannot negotiate.

According to the EU leaders, sharing information gathered by our superior intelligence services is non-negotiable — arrangements must stay in place. However, regarding everything else, we must first cough up a sum of money and agree to citizens’ rights before we can even begin to discuss trade agreements.

That megalomaniacal attitude of “thou shalt do as we say or pay the consequences” is the very reason the majority of British voters rejected the EU.
John Harrington

Theresa May’s threat to withdraw security and crime-investigation co-operation with Europe shows just how bankrupt her position is. By refusing to guarantee the rights of EU citizens, it appears May is prepared to sacrifice them as pawns in the Brexit trade negotiations.

In threatening to withdraw essential co-operation, she is prepared to throw away the “queen” of our power: our national security. In this age of international terrorism and criminality, it is we who will suffer more than Europe.

And for what? To preserve the façade of national sovereignty or, worse still, to preserve the unity of the Conservative Party?

We are heading for a spectacular checkmate, a “fool’s mate” in two moves. Evidently, there is no Boris Spassky in charge at No 10.
Simon Diggins

I can’t help feeling sad at the depressing opinions on Brexit given by Londoners in your poll [March 30], which I cannot recognise from the City professionals I work with. The banks and fintech firms I met last week held an optimistic view that Brexit is an emotional lift and a great chance to ditch the EU’s baggage, which has been holding the UK back in global trade.

We now have a chance to modernise our attitudes and move away from the rather provisional and protectionist old European bloc and head towards the rest of the world’s nations.
Paul J Weighell

In his letter, Andrew Smith [Letters, March 30] makes the familiar but now tired point that fewer than half the electorate voted Leave.

He will know that there is no obligation to register to vote. In the end, more voters chose to vote Leave than chose to Remain. Mr Smith also thinks we already have a good deal with the EU. If that were the case, then clearly this was not successfully marketed during the referendum campaign.
Paul Lebby


Tall buildings can enhance London

The Shard is a world-class skyscraper that Londoners love. It has not ruined the skyline — rather, it has enhanced it and given people the opportunity to get a unique view of the capital.

I have never heard anybody complain about this great piece of architecture. It fired the gun to start many other regeneration projects around its base and has helped turn the surrounding area into a magnet for tourists.

On the other hand, the Paddington Cube is a chunk of glass that will sit where Paddington could have had the Pole. This might have been a skyscraper but has now been replaced by something that looks like nothing more than a standard city office block.

We live in one of the most exciting cities in the world and we have to build upwards to provide necessary housing for a growing city.

Congratulations to Westminster City Council for considering well-designed tall buildings in certain areas of the borough. At last we have a council with some flair and imagination.
Dean Rodgers


New train operator has a lot to prove

I have worked for South West Trains for nearly 20 years and, while it was half-expected that the consortium of MTR and FirstGroup would win the franchise, it was still a surprise. The rail company that should be given its marching orders is Southern Rail.

Even before the most recent strikes over guards on trains, Southern offered an unreliable service for commuters. With regard to whether SWT’s parent company, Stagecoach, should have lost its franchise, it will all depend on whether MTR invests in the South West franchise and its staff. Passengers want staffed stations from morning to night, staff checking their tickets and a good service.

Staff and passengers should be concerned about the new company taking over. FirstGroup has had its own problems in the past and employees will need to know their pension scheme is safe and that terms and conditions will not get worse.

Let’s hope the future is positive and that MTR runs on the right track.
R Walker

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Buses don't cause that much pollution

So the Mayor is drafting in six 13-year-old buses fitted with Euro 5 engines to replace newer and cleaner vehicles [“Dirtier diesel buses put onto route near pupils”, March 29]. However, they won’t be there for long — generally the oldest buses used on TfL contracts can not be more than 14 years old.

I would also ask how many hundreds of diesel cars, vans and lorries these buses will pass on a journey and how much filth they pour into the atmosphere? Indeed, how many parents drive their children to the 19 schools the route apparently passes?

I wish people would stop knocking the use of buses and remind themselves that public transport is an infinitely cleaner method of transport than a private car.
David Flett


How irresponsible of Sadiq Khan to craftily move six “dirtier diesel buses” from Putney High Street to a route that includes where I live in Streatham.

This service runs for more than a mile along a stretch of Streatham High Road, which is known to be one of the most congested roads in the country and already has some 10 other bus services running along it.

So much for the Mayor wanting to clean up London’s air.
Mike Morfey

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The FA should step in to save our club

I wonder if the Football Association is bothered about how Leyton Orient FC, one of the Football League’s oldest clubs, is being run into the ground?

Since owner Francesco Becchetti took over the club, which was on the verge of promotion to the Championship, he has proceeded to dismantle it bit by bit, and his disgraceful treatment of club legend Dean Cox last year was the final straw. I would question how he managed to pass the FA’s “fit and proper” person test.

Orient has been in my family for more than 100 years — is the FA really going to let Becchetti ruin it?
Graham Goodall

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