BREXIT: Roll on the public inquiry

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The UK is a parliamentary democracy in which sovereignty is held by the Queen in Parliament.

Richard Spotwood displays a disturbing attitude to that sovereignty and our democracy by stating that MPs seeking to protect the welfare and livelihoods of their constituents by expressing views which clash with his own should be consigned to ‘the dustbin of history’ (Northumberland Gazette, March 21).

What a contrast it makes with the million-strong display of truly British good humour in London last weekend.

It was not just the electorate who were unaware of Brexit’s implications. Silly Latin quips are no compensation for shocking ignorance of vital issues like the Northern Ireland border and cross-Channel manufacturing chains.

The EU is not just the biggest market on the planet, and by far our major trading partner, but it has negotiated favourable trade deals on our behalf across the world. Canada and Japan have recently agreed and talks are under way with China. Recent UK discussions with Japan make it obvious that we can never achieve such good terms on our own.

Bloomberg has calculated that the UK would need to find 11 more Americas to compensate for our trade with the EU. We are now starting negotiations with President Duterte of the Philippines, who is under investigation by the International Criminal Court. Do we really want to go down that sort of road?

Our chief markets will remain 22 miles across the Channel, with alternatives being dictatorships, small or thousands of miles away. Almost every country mentioned seems to be for the benefit of city slickers, doing deals in exchange for buying animal-welfare-free food stuffed with hormones and antibiotics, which will drastically undercut Northumberland’s rural economy.

The EU costs the average UK taxpayer on £25,000 per year just £32, only 0.7 per cent of the £4,600 they pay in income tax and National Insurance. Compare £32 with £1,100 on welfare, £920 on the NHS, £590 on state pensions, £555 on education and £245 on defence.

Those hated EU ‘laws’ only exist to set cross-border standards on fair working conditions, animal welfare, food safety, clean seas, beaches, rivers and air. Who wants to scrap them? That £32 also gives us international collaboration in scientific research and on crime and security.

We in the North East pay the EU nothing, gaining more in grants and support than we send. Our children are free to travel and work across Europe.

This slender budget makes nonsense of the scare-stories about an EU super-state overwhelming our sovereignty, a European army, etc. The EU is the only club of nations to come together in a spirit of equality, mutual respect and values, making ours a very fortunate and democratic part of an unstable world.

Roll on the public inquiry into this national disaster.

Aidan Harrison,

Snitter