Coronavirus response is a reminder all EU countries are sovereign

Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith gives a speech as part of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referend

Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith gives a speech as part of the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images) - Credit: Getty Images

Every EU country's response to the coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that each are sovereign.

Some Brexiters are gloating over the EU27's lack of coordination in dealing with the coronavirus crisis and a few European nations even closing their borders.

First, it must be said that most European nations have opted for similar policies. But more importantly, these differences prove one thing which the Brexit propaganda has always denied: That EU nations are, and have always been, truly sovereign.

Through a video conference last Wednesday in particular, Brussels tried to establish a common policy to deal with this crisis, but failed partly.

So 'Brussels' is not and has never been the tyrant that Brexiters have made it out to be. Sadly, this is one of the lies which won them the 2016 referendum, and a FPTP-based, 80-seat parliamentary majority last December.


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Suzanne Martin

Look on the bright side. It's not as if we are facing this pandemic while in the quagmire of departure from our closest allies, being led by a buffoon and an hysterical chancellor who plans to spend billions without knowing where any of it is coming from, or whether we will in fact have any money at all because we don't yet have a clue about whether we will get a deal with the EU…

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Amanda Baker, Edinburgh


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Are we confused by the government's often contradictory coronavirus advice? Maybe that is the idea!

I am reminded of the Russian response to the shooting down of the Malaysia Airways airliner over Ukraine.

John Castell, Suffolk

Leaving aside the conspiracy theorists, the coronavirus has lots of advantages for populists and authoritarians.

The new populists hate international unity and open borders; we are already seeing the incentive now for nationalism and resurrecting borders and walls. They hate globalisation, and again it is impossible yet to guess the long-term consequences of the disruption to global trade and supply-lines.

Other major economies than the USA might consider re-imposing self-sufficiency rather than relying on China in the future. For smaller countries (which now include post-Brexit UK), a possible anti-Chinese blame-game might impact Chinese expansionism.

For Brexiteers the virus is a perfect excuse why the 'Great Global Britain' utopia will not materialise – now, or in five, 10, 15 years' time. Our economy down the toilet? Blame the virus.

For those with authoritarian leanings, the virus is ideal to seize greater control, arrest or remove dissidents or rivals, shut down free media, limit personal freedoms. It is a dictator's dream – provided you don't succumb yourself!

Garth Groombridge, Southampton

Matt Hancock is paraded alongside Boris Johnson as the health minister and Prof Chris Whitty as his chief medical officer. They are not; they're England's health secretary and England's chief medical officer. We in Wales have our own, as do Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It's symptomatic of the Anglo-centric viewpoint of this 'government'. Little wonder they disregard the views as pertains to post-Brexit reality of our democratically elected politicians in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

This Anglo-centric viewpoint is accentuated through this blather about investing billions in 'the north'. They're usually referring to places such as Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, all indisputably in the south of the UK but the north of England. And as they attempt to bribe those in northern England with baubles and billions, the Tories in Wales are proposing slashing even more off public spending here.

Ian Parri, Caernarfon

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