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Letters: May’s undue credit for EU card charge ban

Theresa May during the 2017 General Election campaign. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Banning hidden credit and debit card charges was not a Conservative government measure but the result of an EU directive. Our readers set the record straight.

It was intriguing to note so many Conservatives, including the Prime Minister, claiming credit for banning hidden charges for paying with credit or debit cards.

This was in fact nothing to do with the Conservative government, but was due to the European Union and Directive 2015/2366 on Payment Services.

It was a measure proposed by the European Commission in July 2013 and agreed in 2015 by the European Parliament and Council Ministers.

This is the latest in a series of laws adopted by the EU in order to provide for modern, efficient and cheap payment services and to enhance protection for European consumers and businesses.

It is more than a little ironic for the Conservative government to take credit for something implemented by the European Union, a Union that we are leaving.

Once wonders, if in advance of the EU referendum, the government had in fact highlighted the positive benefits of EU membership such as this to the public, there may have been a different result.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

I enjoyed the interview with Boris Johnson in which he said he had grossly underestimated the amount of money Britain sends the EU every week and that his notorious £350 million figure was in fact far too low.

In several conversations with my family and friends over the past 20 months, I have called Boris Johnson a big fat liar.

I now realise this was a gross underestimate of what Boris Johnson is. He is a huge, massive, enormous liar.

I apologise to my family and friends for any confusion.

Jane Hill, Birmingham

Our cause desperately needs a leader and spokesperson. This person needs to be at least as formidable a debater as Nigel Farage (at least, he would have the advantage here of delivering the truth, not lies or half-lies passed off as truths!).

He also needs to be well-known and popular, and inspire respect and especially trust.

Karan Bilimoria, a former BBC Dragon and keen Remainer, fits the bill perfectly: he recently appeared at least twice on Sky News’ The Pledge, and, especially on EU-related topics, really made his mark – not a surprise, since he once won a debating competition.

The added bonus is, he is not a politician – certainly not a professional one anyway – and this too will appeal to most people. Has anyone approached him to fulfil that role? Or at least play an active part in our campaign?

Paul Smith, Bournemouth

In the week which saw Trump’s mental health seriously questioned, is it surprising that Nigel Farage should announce his support for a second EU Referendum in order to boost the Brexit position once and for all?

But wait. Which Nigel Farage is it making this call?

Is it Farage the (Genius) Political Analyst? Hardly, since that would mean he has failed to see the parallel with Theresa May’s similar reasoning in calling the 2017 election.

Is it Farage the (Genius) Political Strategist? Possibly. If it is, watch him soon call for this referendum to be in-line with ‘constitutionally legitimate referendums’ so that only a 60% Remain majority would be enough to overturn the original vote. Is it Farage the (Genius) Media Celebrity who needs to revive his flagging attraction and consequent requests from the BBC and others to feature him in their programming? Probably.

Or is it just another case of Nigel Farage instinctively following his fundamental policy of exploiting the current situation by being ‘A Man for All Seasons (of Discontent)’?

But where’s the Genius in that?

Paul Stein, Pickering

Nigel Farage is actually suggesting there maybe should be a second EU referendum.

What exactly are his motives? Even he seems to have realised that his political muse Donald Trump has pressing concerns of his own and quite frankly isn’t reciprocating the adulation bestowed upon him.

He’s left the ‘legwork’ of Brexit negotiations to far more capable people and taking phone calls from the hoi polloi on LBC probably isn’t really that exciting.

If there was a second referendum and Leave won decisively rather than narrowly I’m sure he would like to take all the credit.

No doubt as he was disappointed not to get a knighthood (despite being ‘anti establishment’) he’d expect one next year. At the very least a peerage (despite of course his disdain for ‘unelected bureaucrats’.

Of course if Remain won his options would be campaigning for a ‘best of three’ (or possibly more) or settling for his MEP role which, despite his less than impressive attendance and voting records, isn’t a bad little number to fall back on.

David Sanderson, Grimsby, London, SW12

The assessment from the Scottish Government report that Scotland’s economy could be £12.7 billion a year worse off by 2030 under a so-called hard Brexit, is deeply disturbing and demonstrates why the economic suicide that is Brexit must be reversed.

The report notes that even if the UK were to remain in the single market and customs union, and even if the UK government’s preferred option of securing a free trade deal were to be realised, there would still be a cost to the Scottish economy compared with remaining in the EU.

Such impacts should however come as no surprise, as we will be leaving the largest single market in the world of over half a billion people, and by far the best option for the Scottish economy is to stay in the EU. This brings not only considerable economic advantages, but also immense social, environmental and consumer protections.

As the costs of Brexit become clearer and the public mood begins to shift, more people are realising that Brexit is seeing us sleepwalk to economic suicide and must be stopped, to the benefit of both this and future generations. Brexit is no longer the ‘settled will of the people’ in the UK, and it should be noted that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Given this we require a fresh public debate as support for Brexit wanes.

Although another national referendum isn’t legally necessary to stop Brexit, we recognise that political reality may require a further test of public opinion before a majority in parliament is prepared to stop Brexit altogether. If another referendum is held, over-16s and EU citizens settled in the UK should be able to vote, just as they did in the Scottish independence referendum.

Vanessa Glynn, Chair, The European Movement in Scotland, Edinburgh

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