We must stand firm against the bullying EU

Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker speak during a press conference: Getty Images

The cat is now truly out of the bag with Brussels, in the form of the EU negotiators, having little to offer the Brexit negotiations except intimidation, bullying and fear. Hopefully those who voted to remain in the EU (not to be confused with a common market) will now recognise the real face of this dictatorial club – recent events in Catalonia clearly highlighted how the EU interprets and abuses democracy.

Remember also when the Danes voted against the Maastricht treaty in 1992 for greater integration and a second vote was instigated to get the “right” result – then it was the turn of the Irish to be “convinced” they had it wrong in rejecting the Lisbon Treaty – now it is the turn of the UK to be…err…coerced!

Project Fear has been given life again with talk of another Blitz from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which is based in Paris – but no doubt the British spirit will prevail, as it does against all bullies, and our representatives will clearly let the EU negotiators and their cronies know what they can do with their inane doomsday scenarios.

Dave Haskell

Don’t leave the remain argument to Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell

The possibility of a hard Brexit is not the issue. It would so obviously be a lunatic course for Britain to take, that Parliament would awake from its fence-sitting lethargy and stop it. The real problem is that almost no one is now rooting for Remain. Even Nick Clegg and Open Britain seem to be campaigning only to stop a hard Brexit; and many well-known Europhiles seek feebly to find some positives in soft Brexit options. But a soft Brexit will still present considerable economic disadvantages for the UK compared with the status quo.

Must it really be left to such tarnished political figures as Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell to state the bleeding obvious in this debate, that Remain still has to be an option? Moreover the polls now seem to suggest that the electorate is gradually coming to the same conclusion, and would prefer government to get to grips with our many social problems rather than being totally preoccupied with this insane Brexit project.

Perhaps this present ghastly process could prove a salutary purging of the national psyche of many old demons. With the right leadership, a positive decision to remain in the EU really could be the making of a new Britain, with fewer colonial hang-ups, less xenophobia and less nostalgia for former greatness; but more socially at ease with itself and with its place in Europe and the wider world. We still have the potential to punch above our weight in so many ways: in business, science, education, the arts, sport etc. But we could do it better within the EU than in any of the fallback positions offered by a putative soft Brexit.

Gavin Turner

Pollution is a real and pressing problem

Thank you for drawing the much-needed attention to the consequences of air and water pollution in rich and poor countries alike. The world is tilting toward an environmental abyss. It’s not beyond imagination that we could reach a phase when the living will envy the dead.

Widespread hunger, burgeoning populations, mass displacement, droughts, sweltering temperatures, raging wildfires, hurricanes, extreme floods, melting glaciers and ice sheets and rising sea levels are taking their toll on human health and wellbeing. This poses grave threats in countries suffering from severe scarcity of water and receiving tides of refugees like Jordan, where one of the most revered waterways in history, “the Jordan river”, is teetering on the verge of oblivion and where competition for arable land and water could ignite a war whose repercussions were never felt before.

It is time to tap on the vast potential of the region, initiate partnerships between governments, peoples, civil societies and public and private sectors and scale up efforts to crystallise a vision based on blossoming economies, global governance and sustainable development.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Theresa May’s speech is enlightening

I see that Prime Minister Theresa May has told other European leaders that she wants the UK’s future relationship with the EU to include a “close economic partnership” supporting “prosperity for all our peoples” and that she envisages us being a strong partner on issues from security, defence and climate change to trade. If only there were some simple way for us to stand together, united over all of those things…

Julian Self
Milton Keynes

We need more women in football

Astonishingly, reports are that the Football Association chiefs, Greg Clarke and Martin Glenn, have both been told their jobs are safe following the Mark Sampson scandal, where they were clearly culpable of downplaying vile racist comments, just because they were in the form of puerile jocular remarks. What is it with these football administrators? Are they totally out of touch? I note that the Scottish Football Association have just handed over the temporary management of their national team to Malky Mackay, hardly a man with an unblemished record in this same subject.

I suggest it time to appoint women to these top administrative jobs in football. And that will bring with it an additional blessing: it will mean that we will no longer have to view characters like Clarke and Glenn wearing England training kit in press conferences, like they have just come from a hard training session with the players. Both are clearly an “international footballer manqué”: a condition understandable in an adolescent, but pathetic in a grown, highly paid administrator in the not so sweet FA.

Dai Woosnam

What has America come to?

Isn’t it ironic that Donald Trump now makes George W Bush sound like Albert Einstein!

Sarah Pegg