ES Views: Financial markets are in control, not the Brexiteers

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

I find it surprising that Brexit is still regarded as “taking control” [Letters, January 19].

Given the large amount of currency transactions out of any sovereign nation, it is always the currency markets that look at the situation and make their decisions accordingly.

The Brexit vote in the referendum resulted in an immediate fall in the value of the pound and a comparable rise in the value of other currencies. The financial markets, whether we like it or not, are ultimately in control.

It is not an unreasonable bet that the pound will fall even further as the British withdrawal comes closer.

Those who are concerned about sovereignty conveniently overlook a relevant feature: trade and working agreements in a globalised international economy are the result of international treaties and agreements, not the sovereign power of Brussels.

There is no guarantee that the same discussions and decisions would be reached in a sovereign post-Brexit Britain within the same time frame. It has taken Britain nearly 40 years to embrace the European idea of building high-speed train routes, for example.

For the rest of the world, it is always going to be the standards of the European Union which will be the mandated baseline.
Michael Rolfe


Do the “democratic principles” for which Mark Wingate [Letters, January 19] claims Leave voters stand up for include the labelling of anyone who wants to continue the debate as “mutineers”, “saboteurs”, and “enemies of the people”? That attitude is the very antithesis of democracy.

It was another European war which led Winston Churchill to subsequently advocate “a kind of United States of Europe”.

The EU, whether it is with or without Britain, is what he had in mind.
Alan Pavelin


What an excellent letter by Mark Wingate, eloquently arguing against Matthew d’Ancona’s anti-Brexit diatribe in his column last week.

What some people fail to appreciate is that the vast majority who voted for Brexit are not rabid racists, xenophobes, bigots or any of the other labels used to demonstrate perceived moral superiority.

It was a realisation that we were involved in a project that is doomed to fail. From the euro to unemployment, waste, fraud and countless other shortfalls, 17.4 million people saw fit to vote to leave the EU, and the democratic vote must be honoured.

Those intent on overturning it should consider the consequences, should they be successful. An unprecedented crisis would ensue.
Carl Westover


Reunite refugees with their families

I very much enjoyed reading Susannah Butter’s recent account of having dinner with refugees [“How breaking bread helps refugees rebuild their lives”]. Such initiatives seem to capture the spirit of generosity and openness that characterises London at its best.

What the article did not mention, however, is that many refugees who live in this country cannot access the support of their families. They have been separated from them by war and persecution. Yet unfair and restrictive Government rules prevent them from being reunited.

They do not know the next time they will be able to hug their family members. This includes children who arrive in this country alone but are not able to apply for their mother or another close relative to join them here.

On March 16, a debate will take place in Parliament and I am asking my MP to turn up on that day and vote to change the rules. I would urge all Londoners to do the same. We can reunite families and refugees with the people they love.
Giles Masters


Carillion should end trust in accountants

The Carillion debacle has been hailed by some as signalling the end of public-private finance, neo-liberalism, and even capitalism. Well, how about the end of accountancy?

Far from guiding business decisions and helping to assess tax, this expensive alchemy — practised on a vast scale — seems to have become an irrelevance, if not an instrument of misinformation. How many business owners/shareholders, let alone potential investors, would rely on income statements, balance sheets or price-earnings ratios? And how many are still taking seriously the veneer of objectivity provided by auditing?

Unable to see through conventional accounting, it is no wonder most of us turn to sales figures, market share, order books and, yes, even PFI contracts won, for indications of a company’s health.

While this may be a case of a few bad eggs spoiling the game, surely a game so opaque and vulnerable to abuse needs overhauling?
Dr Nicos Zafiris


King's patients are not in cupboards

I would like to assure your readers and the wider public that at no time has King’s College Hospital placed patients in cupboards or storage spaces [“King’s College hospital put ‘patient beds in storage space’ amid health crisis”, January 18].

Like other hospitals around the country this winter, we are working in challenging circumstances but King’s prides itself on providing high- quality care for all our patients in conditions both safe and suitable.

We have on occasion converted meeting rooms — never cupboards or storage space — but always ensured they have met the necessary health, safety and care criteria.
Nick Moberly, chief executive, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Why only specify ages for actresses

At a time when treating women and men equally is a hot topic, it was depressing to read Robert Dex’s article about The Birthday Party [“Wanamaker goes back to her Seventies party”, January 19].

To quote Dex, when naming the characters, he refers to Zoe Wanamaker as “Wanamaker, 68” and Pearl Mackie, who plays neighbour Lulu, as “Mackie, 30”. When mentioning the roles of Peter Wight as husband Petey and Stephen Mangan, however, their ages are not mentioned.

If Dex feels it is important to include the ages of the cast, why not include those of the male actors too?
Diane Burstein


Beckham need not count the pennies

I found it highly amusing that in last week’s ES magazine, David Beckham says he has to “save the pennies because he has so many children to be extravagant with”.

With such a huge personal fortune and his name on so many lucrative contracts, he could afford a whole football team of children and never have to worry about money. Beckham is just another celebrity who doesn’t know how well off he is.
Paul Casey