Friday, December 15, 2017

It is striking to note the warning from the intergovernmental economic organisation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that reversing the Brexit process would boost the UK economy.

According to the OECD, a new referendum or a change of government leading to the UK staying within the EU would have a “significant” positive impact on growth. It also warned “no deal” would see investment seize up, the pound hit new lows and the UK’s credit rating cut.

On the same day it was announced that UK inflation rate is now at its highest level in five years, one factor being the fall in the pound since Brexit, which has seen the costs of imported goods rise. With incomes squeezed tighter and poor economic growth it is no wonder that polling is showing an increasing majority of people now advocating staying in the EU, a clear sign of buyer’s remorse.

Firms based in the UK are slowly but surely looking to implement contingency arrangements as the reality of what Brexit will mean to the UK begins to hit home, especially as we head towards a “cliff-edge” Brexit with the likelihood of securing a deal by March 2019 diminishing.

The trickle of jobs, such as those in financial services, will soon become a flood as companies look to safeguard their interests and relocate to the likes of Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam.

There is still time for the UK to step back from the brink, to think again about this decision and look at matters afresh. As people become more aware of the likely impact of Brexit on both them and their families, and the cold reality hits, it is no shame to revisit the debate.

Alex Orr
Edinburgh

Brilliant to read the story about the OECD’s suggestion for a second Brexit referendum. I think it’s a great idea to stop all this uncertainty in the country. What would be even better would be first a referendum on the Brexit deal – that’s assuming we ever get one.

Winifred Browne
Address supplied

I’m a Catalonian who wants peace

I’m one of those Catalans who was fine with how things were in Catalonia before all this happened. I myself never had any need for Catalonia to be independent. I was ok with the level of autonomy we had and with us being a part of Spain. I never had a problem with it. 

I don’t condone nor agree with the tactics used by the Spanish government to repress the Catalonian independence supporters. I don’t agree with the arrests currently being made and I believe we the Catalans should have been granted our right to a legal referendum.

However, the fact is now there’s all this turmoil and conflict, all of it caused by the independence supporters, a fraction of the Catalonian population that I do respect but that does not represent me at all. Why do I have to deal with this situation now, which they have created, when I was perfectly fine with how things used to be before all this? 

I don’t want to fight your fight. I don’t need to fight for independence. Frankly, I just want peace to come back. It’s not like I was feeling like my identity was being oppressed by the Spanish government before, because I didn’t, not at all, so I never had a fight to fight to begin with. 

I have however felt oppressed in the past by both the Spanish and the Catalan government in certain other areas pertaining to my basic human rights, for example. 

But I have nothing to fight for in this situation as independence from Spain was never an issue for me, so my only wish right now is for this terrible situation to be solved peacefully, hopefully with no further violence from either side. 

And if Catalonia becomes independent then wonderful, so be it, and if it doesn’t then so be it as well. Just stop fighting and get to an agreement, for peace’s sake. Don’t let this escalate any further please.

And if both sides won’t stop fighting then either a third party will have to intervene, or one of the two parties will have to surrender in the name of peace. Whatever it takes, let’s stop this conflict please. Thank you for reading. 

Name and address supplied

A letter to the Government about the imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Kamal Foroughi in Iran

It is an absolute disgrace that both these people are still in prison in Tehran. I find it appalling that any country could abandon two of its own citizens.

Theresa May needs to keep pressure on the Tehran authorities and demand the release of both these two people. I wonder how anyone would feel if they had a family member who found themselves in the same situation. 

I would suggest that the UK Government gets itself into gear and starts demanding the release of both Nazanin and Grandpa Kamal now. The sooner these two people are back home safe with their families the better.

Frances Simpson
Address supplied

It’s not just green belt land we must protect

Letter writers rightly reject Chris Grayling’s claim that post-Brexit Britain will grow its own food. But besides allowing building on farmland, which is diminishing food production, the Government is allowing allotments to be taken out of service for building. 

Allotments are a valuable source of food for many people in our country. If Grayling is rational he should commit the Government to protecting and expanding our allotment and community garden system, for this will make a contribution to the food security that Brexit is undermining.  

Francis Beswick
Stretford

The Government must provide better funding for homeless services

News that from next week an emergency out-of-hours service for homeless people in Glasgow won’t open through the night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays should worry us all.

The Hamish Allan Centre, where people go at the lowest point of their lives to look for a warm and safe bed for the night, will no longer have a person on-hand but will ask homeless people to call a telephone number for help.

As someone with first-hand experience of homelessness, I can tell you that when you’re in that desperate situation, all you want is someone to speak to in person. 

Asking the most vulnerable people in our society to telephone a stranger in the middle of the night, whilst at their lowest point in life, will only go to further stigmatise and isolate them.

Homeless people deserve more than this, especially with winter just around the corner.

David Duke
Edinburgh

Stop being snowflakes 

Why do Remainers claim to be “morally superior” to Leavers? Is it because they lost the referendum and refuse to accept the democratic result? 

They had bigger lies eg World War Three, an imminent stock market crash and mass unemployment.

I was a second World War baby born into a home with no central heating, no bathroom, an outside toilet, no fridge, no TV, no washing machine, no car, no telephone, no mobile phone, no computer and we ate under rationing. 

We had inflation of 20 per cent plus in the 1970s and mortgage rates of 12 per cent plus so please stop saying we had it easy and stop being the snowflake generation.

P Gosling
Edinburgh