Politicians used the EU as a scapegoat for forty years – are we really surprised by Brexit?

There are a lot of known unknowns when it comes to Brexit: AFP/Getty

Unfortunately there have never been big beasts really supporting the EU. The real political history of our relationship with the EU has been every successive government using it as their excuse for failure or get out of jail card when unpopular. Even Jim Hacker was able to "save the Great British Sausage". Forty years of being the scapegoat has resulted in Brexit.

Remainers can only win if the forty years of negative sentiment is overturned. The only way I see is to undermine David Davis and his gang by persistently juxtaposing their childish fantasy against facts. Here are my favourites:

We will sign trade deals with the rest of the world on Brexit.

No, we will only start what are five to ten year processes on Brexit. We don't have enough civil servants of necessary calibre.

The UK will win back its right to govern.

No, we will end up a disunited kingdom.

We will control immigration.

Actually the capitalist ponzi scheme needs more young than old and our population is ageing.

There are only two politicians during the membership period who could undertake such a fight. Thatcher has passed away and he is fatally wounded.

Come back Tony, all is forgiven.

Nicky Dyne

Address supplied

Only time will tell

It is only now with the formal submission of Article 50 that I believe many of us feel the sheer enormity of what is happening to UK.

To start with we are all going to lose our precious EU Citizenship. The right for any of us as Europeans to live and work or study anywhere we want in Europe. What a terrible and grave offence to the British people.

And this all brought on us by a very poorly thought out referendum thrown together by the previous prime minister who did not even have the common sense to build in a safety net so that the country could be certain what it was doing.

History will tell in the end how this all works out, but from what is being said by the EU leadership it is impossible to see if Brexit will ever work out as a benefit to the UK. The highest risk is that it will be catastrophic with corporations flooding out of UK and the Union itself breaking up.

The only hope I can see is that government will be forced to call a general election. Seventeen million voted to leave but that is not even remotely close to a majority out of 54 million adult population is it?

Jeff Williams


No one can meaningfully foresee the outcome of Brexit. Negotiators will need to tread very carefully on treacherous political, economic, social, cultural and environmental issues. While Britain wants to leave the bloc and simultaneously control its borders and immigration, reduce trade barriers and reap the fruits of free trade agreements; the EU wants Britain out as soon as possible.

Britain must come to terms with the reality that foreigners are the engines of its economic growth and prosperity, technological advancements in medicine, cyberspace, science and social and cultural diversity and political pluralism. It just needs controlled immigration. There can be no substitute to collaborative partnerships to tackle global challenges. Shared problems require shared solutions or we will all sink into oblivion.

Munjed Farid Al Qutob


Where does a united Ireland leave the UK?

I agree with the sentiments expressed by Steve Ford (Letters, 29 March). Geographically the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are part of one island and its current split makes no sense historically, culturally or economically. As an example of integration already taking place, in 2007 the Single Electricity Market (SEM) came into effect with the trading of wholesale electricity in Ireland and Northern Ireland to be carried out on an all-Ireland basis. A reunited Ireland will leave England, Wales and Scotland as another island entity whose proper generic title is not the United Kingdom but Great Britain. This latter title says it all both historically and politically.

The separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of the country should not adversely affect our relationship either with the European Union or the United Nations Security Council. As to the former, since all parts of the territory in question already belong to European Union, there should be no difficulty here (yet another good reason to avoid Brexit). As to the latter, we have the example of Russia. When the Soviet Union broke up into its component parts, no-one suggested that Russia itself was no longer entitled to be a Permanent Member of the Security Council.

David Ashton


Life in the slow lane

I applaud you publishing letters relating to the challenge of reducing anthropological climate change (Letters, 29 March).

However, publicising opinions that place an emphasis on personal ideology and objections to progressive driving is not helpful or factually correct. Yes, poor air quality is killing something like 40,000 people a year and affecting probably millions more. But the answer is not to slow down vehicles; it is to promote clean transport.

Speed has very little to do with climate change and air quality is only indirectly linked. Our roads are relatively safe – our buildings are not. The poor quality and energy efficiency of our buildings is probably killing more people than our roads or poor air quality. No building, new or old should have an energy rating of less than B, preferably A. Buildings should be properly insulated and use energy-efficient systems within five to fifteen years depending on current emissions. Eliminate the worst first.

Adopting electric vehicles along with the necessarily accessible charging infrastructure throughout the country (unlike the still poor broadband coverage) is another way to fight climate change. Diesel vehicles should either be forced to clean up or be scrapped within two to ten years depending on current real emissions.

Get the basics right and you do not need to police the remainder – good buildings, good vehicles, and good drivers don't kill people.

Michael Mann