Shifty Tories are masking the truth on Brexit

PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 July 2020

Prime minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street; Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Prime minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street; Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Readers have their say on the latest developments over Brexit and the government’s response to coronavirus.

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Ministers say they trust people to do the sensible thing when it comes to face masks. That presumably includes all those people who have ignored all the advice and instructions so far, refuse to wear a face mask under any circumstances, and simply do not follow the rules.

At the same time, ministers clearly do not trust us with important information, like the whereabouts of the 100-or-so ‘local spikes’ which are apparently occurring weekly, or the report into alleged Russian interference in UK politics, or exactly how we will be impacted by the forthcoming exit from the transition period.

If there’s a spike within our local area, I want to know about it. If Putin is using every trick in the book to break up the EU, I want to know. If young people are going to struggle even more economically in 2021 due to Brexit as well as having their freedom of movement forcibly removed, they should know about it.

I don’t trust this government one inch, but at least they could be really clear about the catastrophic mistakes they are making!

Anne Green

Hold on a minute, Ms or Mr Secret Civil Servant, when in your otherwise excellent article on the governmental threat, you say that the civil service is better and more efficient for being “far younger” than in the Blair years (“On the frontline of Whitehall war”, TNE #202).

Having recently retired after 40+ years of working in Whitehall and central London departments, I witnessed at first hand the targeting of the over-50s in countless redundancy programmes, and with it the loss of extensive corporate knowledge and experience.

While younger people bring lots of fresh new thinking and energy, there is no substitute for the depth of knowledge and experience that us oldies – often dismissed as “deadwood” – can bring to the table, especially as staff turnover levels are so high, and the corporate memory so short.

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Older employees have seen what has worked and what hasn’t worked over the decades, and thus inject much-needed realism into new policy ideas, without being party poopers, nor having to fear for their long-term career prospects.

The Secret Civil Servant may wish to include some unconscious bias training into his or her objectives and personal development plan at their forthcoming mid-year review of progress on the day job.

Iain Newton from Tonbridge

In your fourth birthday podcast, Alastair Campbell mentioned that some in the government are already lining up coronavirus as the reason for the upcoming Brexit catastrophe.

No. It’s the other way round. Brexit is the main reason for the continuing catastrophe from coronavirus in the UK. If it wasn’t for the government’s focus on “Get Brexit Done”, this country would have been far better prepared, and in far better shape, to deal with this

pandemic.

Without Brexit thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of lives might have been saved and the economic hit would have been drastically reduced.

Steve Webber

• Have your say by emailing theneweuropean@archant.co.uk. Our deadline for letters is Tuesday at 9am for inclusion in Thursday’s edition. Please be concise - letters over five paragraphs long may be edited before printing.

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