Fear that Brexit could impact harshly

Veronica Hardstaff

Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 6:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 6:25 am

Northfield Court, S10

Ron Sanderson, (Letters, December 1), claims I assume that those wishing to leave the EU do not care about the well-being of our less well-off citizens.

This is not my view, and a distortion of my previous letter responding to an accusation that remain supporters 'never go near ordinary people'. My point was that many of the people I have spoken to over the last few months who did vote Leave now have concerns that leaving the EU is not as simple as they were led to believe: they fear that Brexit could impact harshly, particularly on our Health Service, care of the elderly and vulnerable, and on our universities and employment. Already redundancies are being announced as many manufacturing industries fear losing vital markets in our neighbouring countries, with which we currently have seamless trade. The governor of the Bank of England is not a 'fifth columnist', (T Walker, December 3), but doing his job of warning of possible/probable problems the economy could face post Brexit.

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The loss of our coal industry and the running down of steel manufacturing in favour of the financial sector was not the policy of the EU, but the decision of Mrs Thatcher's government in the 1980s, just as austerity is the policy of the British government since 2010. Our own government chose not to match-fund European grants to our fishing fleet to modernise their boats and nets, (which helped to reduce catching immature fish, so maintaining our fish resources), which is why many sold their fishing quotas to boats from countries which did help their fishing fleets to modernise. While both those administrations took millions out of our local economy by cutting  government grant, European money has come in to South Yorkshire to build new factory units and roads linking former mining villages to the motorway system, to modernise rail and bus stations, to fund the Advanced Manufacturing Park and Universities, and to underpin many other new developments like the Millennium Gallery and the refurbishment of the City Hall and our theatres, all of which create jobs.

We are not 'governed by an undemocratic unelected set of individuals'. National legislation is decided by national parliaments. The job of the European Commissioners, who usually serve for five years, having been nominated by elected governments and approved by the elected Members of the European Parliament, is to oversee the working of the Single Market to ensure trade is as smooth as possible, and ensure, in partnership with the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, that rules on workers' rights, consumer protection, food safety and environmental protection are the same throughout the EU to maintain a level playing field. Some of the leading Brexiters like Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and the rest want to get rid of these protections for ordinary workers. If we do go ahead and leave without the people having a chance to say whether this is what they really want, - and our parliament is hopelessly split-, it will not be these individuals who will suffer the consequences. There is nothing undemocratic about having a second vote after two years as things become clearer '“ ask Mrs May who called an election in 2017 only two years after the 2015 election!