The Tory MP for Twickenham, Tania Mathias, talks about wanting the UK to be a “welcoming country” after Brexit. I share that vision. But sadly, a look at recent immigration cases shows the UK is anything but that at the moment.
The Government only recently deported a lady from Singapore who was married to a British citizen for 27 years and who was his main carer. She lost her residency purely because she left the UK to look after her elderly parents back home.
Not long ago an Afghan national who worked to save the lives of our troops by acting as a translator was about to be deported back to Afghanistan. He killed himself.
Those of us married to EU citizens and those who are EU citizens are repeatedly told that there is “no prospect of them being deported”. Based on what we have seen under Theresa May as both Home Secretary and now Prime Minister, perhaps politicians will forgive me for taking platitudes about the status of EU citizens with a lorry load of salt.
At last, someone has recognised the emotional rather than economic effect of last year’s referendum. Not unsurprisingly, it was a European politician — former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt — not a British one, who acknowledged the sadness that I and many of my friends have experienced.
We feel European but now face being cut off from our friends in the EU. It was therefore heartening to hear his solution that we might be able to apply for European citizenship. I would welcome this and suspect many fellow Remainers would do too.
Unfortunately, I imagine there would be considerable opposition to this and we would need a very large and organised protest if we were to maintain the citizenship that has been so precious to us.
The House of Lords has voted in favour of allowing EU citizens who live here to retain their rights to stay. Almost straight away a Dutch minister spoke up and said Britons in Europe should be treated the same. It takes two to tango.
I hope the European politicians now go further and admit the EU needed reform all along, just as we said.
Nigel F H Boddy
Though a Remainer, I am reconciled to Brexit and wish Theresa May all the best. I hope we can trade productively with the EU without too many barriers and recognise that our need for migrant workers in no way excludes a much harder line on benefit entitlement.
The rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa must be guaranteed, and while there will be financial commitments after the divorce, we needn’t be taken to the cleaners.
Rev Dr John Cameron
Don't bring back grammar schools
I do not mean to offend Habib Masood [Letters, March 10] but I am fed up with ex-grammar school students hoping for a resurgence in grammar schools.
I am 57 and am still angry that an exam I failed when I was 11 prevented me from following my dream of becoming a doctor and cost me four years to reach the same level as the grammar school students.
I have just retired having spent 28 years as a teacher in comprehensive schools and I have had the privilege of teaching very bright students who have gone to Oxford. They benefited from being educated in a mixed-ability environment, as did the less able, who don’t have the feeling of being sidelined like I did.
If grammar schools come back, what happens to the students who fail?
Brexit will cost the country jobs
Your article on General Motors selling Vauxhall factories to PSA shows how Brexit could cost us thousands of jobs [“Cable: Brexit puts Vauxhall plants at risk”, March 6].
PSA is committed to job cuts but these are unlikely to be in France, particularly as PSA is 14 per cent owned by the French government. It will be very tempting to make the cuts here, especially as Theresa May wants a “hard Brexit”.
Boris Johnson promised that by voting Leave, voters could “have their cake and eat it”. That cake will taste rather bitter now for the thousands of British people being made redundant.
We should not blame the Chancellor for breaking the Tory manifesto pledge on Class 4 National Insurance contributions. He is in a cleft stick due to pressures on the economy from Brexit. Infinitely more damage would be caused by leaving the single market.
The Prime Minister should reconsider her stance on our membership and seek a common sense compromise on the four freedoms. If she can moderate her stance on NICs, she can also do so on the single market, on which so many British jobs and livelihoods depend.
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New cycle lane will increase pollution
The Mayor’s rhetoric does not live up to the reality of the outcome of some of his policies [“Sadiq Khan: Ban cars from roads near schools to stop kids breathing toxic air”, March 11].
Hampstead and Belsize Park in north-west London have more pupils per capita than anywhere else. There are around 55 schools and colleges and at least 12,500 children go to school here every day, many of whom are under the age of seven.
Why, then, is Mayor Khan supporting proposals for cycle superhighway 11 (CS11), which Transport for London confirms will force up to 475 extra cars per hour onto the roads on which many of these schools are located? CS11 will increase Hampstead’s traffic and pollution to a whole new level.
While Hampstead residents support cycling, CS11 in its current form is not right for our area. I would invite Mr Khan to come up with a safe scheme for cyclists that won’t affect the young and old lungs in our area.
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The FA Cup has not lost its romance
After watching Arsenal play Lincoln City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday, I had to be reminded that Lincoln were not even in the Football League. They kept an Arsenal side containing the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil at bay for 44 minutes.
The 5-0 scoreline at full-time did not tell the whole story. Arsenal were well-matched for most of the first half and I was not surprised. After all, Lincoln had beaten Ipswich Town, Brighton and Burnley in previous rounds.
While this match did not produce the result neutrals were seeking, it demonstrated the unique quality of this competition. Despite being televised, 9,000 Lincoln fans made the trip to the Emirates and cheered them from start to finish.
If you ask me, I would say the “magic of the FA Cup” is still alive.
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