Leaving EU was never going to be simple

This letter sent to the Star was written by Veronica Hardstaff, Northfield Court, S10

Friday, 17th May 2019, 6:59 am
An EU flag flies in the face of Parliament

The issues surrounding leaving the EU after forty years of membership and signing up to a number of international treaties to integrate our economy through the Single Market with our fellow EU members was never going to be as simple as the two Leave campaigns made out.

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Lies were told about £350million paid to the EU each week, which ignored our rebate, the money we get back for areas like South Yorkshire, and the import levies passed on from our receiving ports which were always EU money anyway. A huge scare story was run by Mr Olsen’s hero, Nigel Farage, days before the referendum, using an image of Syrians fleeing their homes to escape civil war, that Turkey was about to join the EU and millions of Turks would all immediately rush to the UK. ( By the way, the UK already has complete control over non-EU immigration.)The Northern Ireland Peace Treaty is based on both the UK and Ireland being members of the EU with an open border.

It was completely irresponsible of David Cameron to promise a referendum in order to get Brexit supporters in his party to back him for the party leadership. He knew leaving would be bad for the country, and failed to campaign on the many benefits of EU membership, again to appease his Brexit backbenchers. It is true, as Cyril writes (May 7), that there was no mention of a deal on the ballot paper, which was why so many people voted with no idea just how complicated leaving such a close relationship would be, given how closely we are aligned with our neighbours and how many commitments we have made with each other over the years. Companies all over the country are moving their business elsewhere to avoid losing the benefits they currently enjoy.

Mrs May handed responsibility for negotiating our leaving to the people who campaigned for Leave, Johnson, Davis and Fox, who in two years totally failed to deliver what they promised. She has now had to take over the task and is desperately trying to find a formula which will limit the damage to our country. Dropping out without a deal will require years of further negotiations with the World Trade Organisation, as we will have left all the trade agreements we currently enjoy with the rest of the world through the EU. The best way to get out of this impasse is to go back to the people for a confirmatory vote, ask them “Is this what you want, or would it be better to remain?” If the majority still want to leave, then so be it.