Keir Starmer’s Brexit plan is cowardly and devoid of principle

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<span>Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Your editorial (4 July) welcoming Keir Starmer’s “pragmatic” (some might say unprincipled) reversal of policy on Brexit is disappointing. The terms for rejoining could not be as good as previously, but the EU regretted our departure and would quietly welcome us back. The public are progressively disillusioned with Brexit, with a poll of 200 polls now showing 49% counting it as a mistake against 38% still clinging to it. They realise that it was sold on a lying prospectus by a now proven liar and his cronies, who have demonstrably failed to deliver on their promises.

Now was the time for a radical denunciation of the whole failing enterprise, coupled with similarly radical economic policies aimed at credible levelling (up and down) towards equality, undoing the damage of the last 12 years.
David Pollock
Stoke Newington, London

• Labour’s Brexit policy is not pragmatic, it’s cowardly. Keir Starmer is so afraid of upsetting the “red wall” reactionaries that he surrenders to them. That isn’t leadership – it’s followership, and the country deserves much better from its main opposition party. If he can’t face rejoining the EU, he could at least propose the only pragmatic solution: rejoining the single market in order to alleviate the worst of the damage that Brexit has inflicted on our economy.
Dr Richard Carter
Putney, London

• I watched Sir Keir Starmer’s speech on Brexit with ever deepening despair (Starmer ends Labour silence on Brexit as he rules out rejoining single market, 4 July). Brexit was and is an extreme libertarian rightwing plot, achieved by a foul combination of outright lies and the legitimisation of Farage-ist xenophobia and racism.

Now that the country is beginning to experience its disastrous effects, it is ludicrous for Labour to gag itself from pointing out what is happening or to rule out the obvious remedies of rejoining the customs union and single market. Starmer’s message was devoid of idealism or principle. Who does he think he will inspire with this?
Marie Catterson

• Keir Starmer must care more about Labour’s success in UK politics than the existential threat of climate disaster. The energy cost of shifting the UK’s trading focus from the EU to faraway countries is not something that a responsible party leader should be prepared to contemplate.
Diana Francis

• In explaining how Labour would make Brexit work, why on earth would Keir Starmer rule out rejoining the customs union? Jacob Rees-Mogg’s vacuum of Brexit benefits represents an open goal that Starmer has failed to recognise, and he is now missing the opportunity to adhere to what the referendum vote mandated, while clarifying and seeking to reverse the folly of a hard Brexit that no one voted for.
Dr Tim Lambert

• Keir Starmer’s “pragmatic” Brexit policy has a few consequences for the psephologists to peruse. I’m a 74-year-old white working-class northern bloke who voted to remain, and for the first time in my life I will not be voting Labour – and I’m not alone.
Dr Mark Wilcox
New Mill, West Yorkshire

• Never have I invested such hope in Durham police.
Michael Ayton

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