Coronavirus response could make case for rejoining EU
PUBLISHED: 13:02 21 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 21 March 2020
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Readers assess the politics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and give their perspective on the news.
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Sir Keir Starmer may feel that currently “there isn’t really a case for rejoining” the EU, but circumstances may change.
A number of possible developments could turn public opinion towards rejoining, such as: increased costs in trade with Europe, a Brexit-generated economic recession, rampant inflation, brought on by profligate government spending (already promised) and the partial collapse of some public services, such as the NHS, due to inability to recruit replacements for EU migrant staff.
Add to these factors others such as a customs border in the Irish Sea, a desire in Scotland to go-it-alone and failure to control immigration or conclude satisfactory trade deals with non-EU countries, and the scope for dissatisfaction with whatever form Brexit eventually takes becomes apparent.
Someone, sometime, must write a history of the 2016 referendum and its immediate aftermath. Should allegations of fraud, outside interference, false promises and illegal expenditure coincide with the predominance of factors such as those mentioned above, around the time of the next general election, who can predict what might happen?
It is to be hoped that Sir Keir becomes leader of the Labour Party. Not only is he clearly a highly competent professional but his public persona casts unfavourable light on that of the present prime minister.
Privations due to austerity and Brexit, exacerbated by coronavirus, might well reward a convincing broadly-based challenger such as Starmer with the kind of majority which another middle-class Labour leader Clement Attlee achieved in 1945, following five and a half years of war.
I see that Donald Trump has dumped on his cheerleader-in-chief, Nigel Farage. Following Trump banning travellers from the EU’s Schengen Area but not including the UK on the list, Nige was straight out of the traps praising his mate for treating the UK as a sovereign state and under-scoring the ‘special relationship’. Two days later the UK was added to the list! Nige has remained silent in response.
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Where is he? Is he here hunkering down with the rest of us as we prepare for coronavirus? Or has he found himself an overseas bolthole where he can peruse the Brexit Party accounts in comfortable satisfaction?
Bob Hale, Portishead
There is one upside to Covid-19. We now have a dress rehearsal of what life will potentially be like immediately after a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Panic buying; NHS under the cosh; travel chaos; societal upheaval. Welcome to the land of powdered milk and golden syrup. Every cloud, and all that.
Will Goble, Rayleigh
“Wash your hands” is another of the three-word slogans, Dominic Cummings likes so much. “Wash your hands” is also what the PM tried to do of our health service. Very apposite.
By the end of the year, we’ll have another three-word slogan for the economy: “Blame the coronavirus”.
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