What sort of consequences would a second referendum have?

Letters
From a Brexit-loving Brit in Germany to a Remainer desperate for a Final Say, all of us are unsure what the future holds if we leave the EU: AFP/Getty Images

I feel ever more helpless: it is so obvious to me, a political layman, that we are heading for a total economic disaster with Brexit, not just for my generation but for my children and grandchildren.

Our politicians seem blind to the danger of a no-deal Brexit. They should either choose a customs union/single market solution which would settle the Irish border problem once and for all, or put the whole matter to the people by a new referendum – especially in light of the ever increasing warnings from both finance and industrial leaders and the false information used to sway votes in the last referendum.

It would seem that a vague idea of the loss of sovereignty and the ability to operate as an independent nation has dominated, yet there is little evidence of this in reality. In any future international dealings we would be much stronger as part of the European Union, both from an economic viewpoint and security.

Colin Davies Cumbria

 

I am a British citizen, English by birth. I married a German national, lived and worked until the age of 44 in the UK, but then, owing to lack of work in my field, moved to Germany.

I have three children, all with dual nationality, two in the UK and one in Germany, and have recently obtained dual nationality myself to cover all eventualities.

The vote for Brexit was as I see it legal. I did not vote as I was in Germany and this option was not given. However, as an expat in Germany with strong links to the UK and family still living there, I say the will of the people has been expressed, fully and clearly. It is imperative that the first vote be adhered to. The procrastination of those responsible has been verging on the criminal during the reassertion of sovereignty.

Either the MPs in the UK honour the will of the people or they risk not representing the will of the majority, which will have consequences.

Robert Kime Germany

 

In her Easter message last year, Theresa May said that there was “a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities” of Brexit. She was deluded then and nothing has changed since. The country is split due to the lies and ignorance surrounding the 2016 referendum.

I’m backing a Final Say because it gives the country a chance to reconcile. As a staunch Remainer, even I would accept a Leave result if a second referendum were held, now that the consequences of leaving the EU are better understood by the electorate.

Paul Martin Address supplied

 

The Good Friday Agreement already gives the people of Northern Ireland the right to decide in a referendum whether or not to unite with Ireland. Without a time limit. If the backstop is ever needed, should the people of Northern Ireland not be given the right to decide whether or not to invoke it, in effect making a partial secession from the UK?

Simon Whiteley London

 

Brexit: if an animal was in this much pain, you would have it very humanely put to sleep!

Sarah Pegg East Sussex

 

I read with astonishment that Nick Ferrari said the following today on LBC in reference to the EU summit: ”But can I just point out that save for this country, what they would be eating tonight, would be sauerkraut and sausage and drinking beer, and speaking German. That is the reality of it, save for this country.”

Firstly, what Nick said is utterly untrue. Secondly it is utterly insulting to German people or those who have German ancestry. As a loyal LBC listener, and frequent caller, I am beyond disgusted at Ferrari’s blatant playing to the gallery. There have been plenty of examples of hate crimes directed at EU nationals in this country since the EU referendum such as my friend from France who was told to ‘fuck off’ back to France and kicked in the head. Nick’s comments will drive a wedge against Germans in this country.

I sincerely hope that Nick and LBC will apologise to listeners for his comments today which are not remotely acceptable.

Chris KeyAddress Supplied

 

It’s not just Brexit which is broken

With the Liberal Democrats having the same heartlands as the Remain vote, the Conservative Party lives in open dread of losing 10 or 20 seats, if not more, to them in the south. Had the last parliament run its full course, then that would have happened in 2020.

But here in the areas that decided the EU referendum, we voted to reject 39 years of failure under all three parties, beginning with the Callaghan government’s turn to monetarism in 1977, the year of my birth. Had we not done so, then Remain would have won. We looked up our wealth and power at the point of accession in 1973, then we looked at our wealth and power in 2016, and the question answered itself. Had it not done so, then there would have been no Brexit.

Therefore, Brexit needs to suit us. Free from the single market and the customs union, we need state aid, capital controls, free trade agreements with the BRICS countries [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] even while remaining thoroughly critical of their present governments, the integration of every part of the country into the Belt and Road initiative, an extra £350m per week for the National Health Service and the restoration of the United Kingdom’s historic fishing rights in accordance with international law: 200 nautical miles, or the median line.

Another hung parliament is coming, and our people need to hold the balance of power in it. Otherwise, that balance would be held by 10 or 20 southern Lib Dems, if not more, to whom the economic changes since 1973, accelerating since 1977, have been just fine and dandy.

David Lindsay North West Durham

 

We should test the Tories’ dedication to universal credit

In the 1980s there was a horrible recurrence of Tory MPs aiming to demonstrate how generous the welfare benefits system was by living off a claimant’s income. Usually their demonstration lasted a matter of days.

Famously Mathew Parris tried and failed uselessly to live on benefits but refused to say payments were too low. Later Iain Duncan Smith flirted with the notion and in 1986 Piers Merchant and family tried it in Newcastle upon Tyne, where I lived. The most cringeworthy moment came when his wife complained she’d been unable to afford avocados.

All seemed to deliberately miss the point that even if they could manage on benefits – Merchant could not, even for a week – this took no account of the grinding misery and uncertainty of knowing that it stretches into the future. And most claimants do not have independent wealth, comfortably off families, savings or an MP’s salary to return to.

Now we have another batch of Tory MPs refusing to see the obvious cruel horrors of their new universal credit system.

I suggest they do my “avocado test”. It would work like this: to make the test really comparable, we take MPs off their salaries and allowances. They get nothing for three months (to try to proportionately mimic the minimum three weeks that destitute claimants are expected to live on thin air). Then they go back onto a new payment system we’ll call “Grudging Taxpayers’ Money” which would obviously be at a much lower level than they were previously on. Plus they can borrow against the new payments while they are living on nothing so they begin the new system in debt – just like universal credit...

OK?

Amanda Baker Edinburgh

 

Elizabeth Warren for president

No wonder America’s bloated plutocrats – never mind Trump – are growing scared of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Given a mandate, she’s likely to hand a mauling at the next American presidential elections to anyone stupid enough to stand against her, with her tough-talking pragmatism, saying the world as it is.

Her social contract speech remains the most watertight case for a mixed capitalist and socialist economy, which worked perfectly well until selfishness in all stratas of society poisoned our minds and our reason.

For those unfamiliar, it goes like this: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory – good for you. But you moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You’re safe in your factory because of police forces the rest of us paid for so you didn’t have to worry marauding bands would come and steal it all. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific – God bless! Keep a hunk of it! But part of the underlying social contract is a hunk of that pays forward for the next kid who comes along.”

It’s forgetting Warren’s great simplicities that has brought us to austerity and ruin.

Mark Boyle Renfrewshire