The government’s privatisation agenda means UK will ‘never take back control’

PUBLISHED: 09:54 27 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:58 27 February 2020

Boris Johnson during a Vote Leave campaign event. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Boris Johnson during a Vote Leave campaign event. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

As the Brexiteers celebrate leaving the European Union they are yet to realise that their hopes of ‘sovereignty’ will never truly exist.

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The government talk of taking back control from Brussels, but then are quite willing to pass over key strategic sectors to the Chinese. First Huawei are able to bid for the sensitive 5G contract, despite concerns about potential spying, and now the proposed HS2 rail link to Birmingham.

The reckless way that such key assets are sold off is in marked contrast to France, Germany and the USA, who determinedly protect such assets. This raises very serious questions.

ICI was sold to the Netherlands, with patents, research and skills gone. Steel, glass, confectionery, cars have previously gone. National newspapers and media, fiercely protected elsewhere from foreign control, have been taken over by foreign business interests, with ineffective regulation.

Key national airports like Heathrow and Gatwick are now foreign-owned; the British Airport Authority is owned by Spain. Seaports Liverpool, Glasgow and Great Yarmouth are in foreign hands, as is our busiest port, Felixstowe.

At least 71% of the nine English privatised water companies are owned by overseas organisations. Our gas and electrical power companies include the French nationalised EDF and the German E.ON. The UK nuclear industry is run by the French EDF.

The British train companies are state-owned - by foreign countries including German, French, Dutch and Italian companies. Our train fare increases help to keep fares down on their nationalised rail services. Even London buses are owned by the Germans.

With so many of our key strategic sectors owned by our former EU partners, Brexit appears increasingly irrelevant.

Andrew Milroy, Trowbridge

MORE: The problem with the English: England doesn't want to be just another member of a team

The Conservatives are always looking at selling off our public services, resources, assets and infrastructure for profit. So why not privatise Brexit?

We could contract the UK side in the Brexit negotiations with the EU to the experts at the EU, who have the required skills, experience and resources to ensure negotiations are conducted effectively and with good value for money for both the UK and EU.

There's no conflict of interest because that's how all previous privatisations have worked.

That's Brexit sorted and Conservatives can return to claiming money for expenses from parliament and blaming the last Labour government in 2010 for all current political problems.

Safir Ahmed

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