Time for Re­main­ers and Leavers to get a grip and de­vote their tal­ents to build­ing up the na­tion

The Daily Telegraph - - Letters To The Editor -

SIR – How­ever we voted in the ref­er­en­dum, we’re now in it to­gether, for bet­ter or worse. It is time to get a grip. We must all be pre­pared to give more than we take from this re­de­fined na­tion, re­gard­less of our age, gen­der, race or po­lit­i­cal bias.

If you are en­ter­pris­ing, be a wealth and job cre­ator; if you are un­able to work, be an en­cour­ager or a vol­un­teer.

Never pass on by. Pick up lit­ter, or help a neigh­bour in cri­sis. Should none of this be pos­si­ble, then pray for the rest of us, that we may seize the op­por­tu­nity thrust upon us. Mal­colm Lit­tle Gosport, Hamp­shire

SIR – Given Bri­tain’s £8 bil­lion trade deficit with the EU, should they not be ask­ing for ac­cess to our mar­ket? Carol McCul­lough High Wy­combe, Buck­ing­hamshire

SIR – Every­one who voted Leave, for what­ever rea­son, must now re­flect on the fact that they have pushed the EU into an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis.

Ev­ery­where from France to the Nether­lands, far-Right par­ties have been em­bold­ened. The risk to lib­eral democ­racy in west­ern Europe has not been greater since 1945.

Leave cam­paign­ers claimed that a vote for Brexit wasn’t an act of xenophobia and iso­la­tion­ism. If you are a Leave voter, what are you go­ing to do to prove it? Alex McAu­ley Pran­gins, Vaud, Switzer­land

SIR – In 1992, a slight ma­jor­ity of Swiss vot­ers re­fused to join the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area (50.3 per cent to 49.7 per cent).

Ac­cord­ing to the pun­dits – and most na­tional news­pa­pers – the country was go­ing to break up. (It was in­deed di­vided be­tween a French-speak­ing Eu­rophile mi­nor­ity and a Ger­manspeak­ing anti-Euro­pean ma­jor­ity.) The econ­omy was go­ing to crash and the Swiss franc was to be worth less than the Zim­bab­wean dol­lar.

Calls for a sec­ond vote came, and com­pa­nies warned they were ready to leave the country. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties talked of in­di­vid­ual can­tons join­ing the EU. The gov­ern­ment was warn­ing of a mas­sive haem­or­rhage of tal­ent.

None of this hap­pened. In­stead, af­ter a slight re­ces­sion, the econ­omy started to grow again. Nowa­days, even if the country’s re­la­tion­ship with the EU is far from set­tled, al­most no one se­ri­ously en­vis­ages join­ing the EU or the all-but-de­funct EEA. As Bri­tain goes through sim­i­lar times, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing this. Ni­cholas An­te­nen Geneva, Switzer­land

SIR – Some EU lead­ers have in­di­cated that they will make our exit dif­fi­cult, to dis­cour­age oth­ers. This ac­knowl­edges that other coun­tries want to leave. Pres­sur­ing them to stay sim­ply puts off the in­evitable, as we saw with the even­tual break-up of the Soviet Union. Michael Thomas Uff­in­g­ton, Ox­ford­shire

SIR – There may be un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture, but there is no cause for panic. Bri­tain is a great country – the founder of par­lia­men­tary democ­racy. We have taken back our free­dom, our sovereignty, our voice in the world.

We need to unite and fight for those ideals, and to prove that, with the help of our al­lies in Europe and round the world, we can pros­per by stand­ing on our own feet, un­ham­pered by a fail­ing Euro­pean gov­ern­ment in Brus­sels.

I urge ev­ery­body who voted to re­main to have faith. Give us a chance to prove our­selves, and we will. Rose­mary Mar­shall New Malden, Sur­rey

SIR – It is im­per­a­tive that a new Con­ser­va­tive leader, and thus Prime Min­is­ter, is cho­sen with all despatch. The longer David Cameron lingers, the longer the country will be in limbo. RJH Grif­fiths Ha­vant, Hamp­shire

SIR – I’ve never pre­vi­ously been a fan of Ge­orge Os­borne, but his speech yes­ter­day morning changed my mind. He was the voice of rea­son and hope.

Michael He­sel­tine, on the other hand, con­tin­ues to fan the flames of fear, neg­a­tiv­ity and divi­sion. Anne Payne Mac­cles­field, Cheshire

SIR – I voted to re­main. But now that we are leav­ing we must not give in to fur­ther EU bul­ly­ing by giv­ing our no­tice be­fore we are ready. Caro­line Wa­ter­fall Bed­ford

SIR – The Es­tab­lish­ment, the Houses of Com­mons and Lords and the de­volved Par­lia­ment of Scot­land – not for­get­ting the EU hi­er­ar­chy – will pre­vent the ref­er­en­dum be­ing im­ple­mented by con­sti­tu­tional and le­gal ma­noeu­vres.

The will of the Bri­tish peo­ple will then be tested in a gen­eral elec­tion, with an equally ac­ri­mo­nious re­sult. Ge­orge Noon Pre­ston, Lan­cashire

SIR – I was gravely con­cerned that Pro­fes­sor Ver­non Bog­danor (Com­ment, June 27) re­gards the ref­er­en­dum as put­ting “a weapon in the hands of the peo­ple”. The ref­er­en­dum was a de­lib­er­ate trans­fer of con­sent by an Act of Par­lia­ment, the Euro­pean Union Ref­er­en­dum Act 2015, to the vot­ers of the United King­dom. The Third Reading was op­posed by a hand­ful, in­clud­ing the SNP.

There is there­fore no con­sti­tu­tional jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for MPs, pro­fes­sors of gov­ern­ment or oth­ers to seek to un­der­mine or over­turn that fun­da­men­tally demo­cratic vote.

Nor is Pro­fes­sor Bog­danor right, for the same rea­sons, to sug­gest that “more than two thirds of MPs” would be jus­ti­fied in ex­press­ing op­po­si­tion to its out­come. This was the demo­cratic will of the peo­ple and there is no case for a gen­eral elec­tion. Sir William Cash MP (Con) Lon­don SW1

SIR – As the ma­jor­ity of MPs wish to re­main in the EU, surely they could vote for a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum.

This would en­able all those who thought they would give the EU a nasty shock, but did not think Brexit would win, to have sec­ond thoughts. Pro­fes­sor M MR Williams East­bourne, East Sus­sex

SIR – A sug­ges­tion that there should be a gen­eral elec­tion is a trap de­vised by dis­ap­pointed Re­main­ers. They hope to achieve an­other ma­jor­ity of MPs who favour stay­ing in the EU, and thus claim a man­date for dis­re­gard­ing the ear­lier pop­u­lar vote.

The Gov­ern­ment has a ma­jor­ity of 12 and is only one year into a fixed five-year par­lia­men­tary term. The peo­ple were en­trusted with a plebiscite by Par­lia­ment, which should re­spect the demo­cratic de­ci­sion.

The Con­ser­va­tives must elect a new leader in favour of Brexit and ne­go­ti­ate our in­de­pen­dence from the EU as soon as is prac­ti­ca­ble, or they will drag pol­i­tics into fur­ther dis­re­pute. Michael Sta­ples Seaford, East Sus­sex

SIR – The most wor­ry­ing as­pect is the re­fusal by peo­ple to ac­cept the re­sult of a demo­cratic vote. Sara Bastin Stroud, Glouces­ter­shire

SIR – Dur­ing the cam­paign, some on the Brexit side said that if the re­sult was close, and not in their favour, they would con­tinue to shout loud and clear. That’s fine. Now we Re­main­ers are en­ti­tled to do the same. What’s more, we on the cen­tre ground of the Con­ser­va­tive Party may well also be need­ing a new party to join. Ann Lazarow Lon­don W5

SIR – Why is there sud­denly all this talk of us as a “di­vided” na­tion? Fifty per cent of the na­tion did not si­mul­ta­ne­ously all change their minds last Thurs­day. The ref­er­en­dum sim­ply counted how many have changed their view in re­cent years, and found that a ma­jor­ity now feel the EU has gone too far.

If we are a di­vided na­tion on this is­sue, then we have been one for some years. Nor are we alone: if a sim­i­lar count were to be taken in other west Euro­pean na­tions, such as Hol­land, France or Den­mark, then th­ese too would be found to be di­vided.

Now is a time for us to pull to­gether to make the best of our new po­si­tion in the world. AB Cowl­ing Ep­som, Sur­rey

SIR – Why did a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple vote Leave? Was it be­cause Labour and the Scot­tish Na­tion­al­ists both mounted lack­lus­tre cam­paigns? Was it be­cause vot­ers were dis­af­fected with the po­lit­i­cal classes and wanted to “send them a mes­sage”? Was it be­cause so many wit­less celebri­ties and un­trusted ex­perts sup­ported the Re­main cam­paign? Was it be­cause Project Fear back­fired? Was it be­cause the Re­main cam­paign was re­garded as ma­nip­u­la­tive and even men­da­cious?

Or was it – just pos­si­bly – be­cause a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple wanted to leave the EU? Dr Neil John­son Carn­forth, Lan­cashire

SIR – I went shop­ping at the week­end and there ap­peared to be a glut of sour grapes. Tim Rann Mir­field, West York­shire

SIR – My 17-year-old daugh­ter Katie was cross that she could not vote. But she told me that she was glad that she had got up at 4am to watch the re­sults, and to have lived through this his­tory, as she said, be­ing made.

I am Leave, she is Re­main, but her point unites us: the peo­ple have been given a voice, and have spo­ken. If only a few of the spit­ters, haters, and de­niers could recog­nise what a mo­men­tous tri­umph for democ­racy this has been, af­ter so many years of be­ing pa­tro­n­ised by a pro­fes­sional po­lit­i­cal elite.

This ref­er­en­dum will have been a vic­tory if politi­cians across Europe start to pay a lit­tle more at­ten­tion to the peo­ple they claim to rep­re­sent. Vic­tor Launert Mat­lock Bath, Der­byshire

SIR – Those from the 18-34 age group who now com­plain that the votes of the older generations have “stolen their fu­ture” im­ply that their vote should be worth more than oth­ers.

This is a fun­da­men­tal mis­un­der­stand­ing of how democ­racy works. Per­haps they should re­flect on the fact that I, like many of my con­tem­po­raries, was, at a sim­i­lar age, just as en­thu­si­as­tic about the EU.

Years of frus­tra­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence under the bu­reau­cratic and un­ac­count­able rule of Brus­sels dashed that zeal and turned it into dis­dain. They should thank us for sav­ing them from the same fate. Julian Waters Stand­ford, Hamp­shire

SIR – I see that Jeremy Cor­byn leapt into ac­tion by re­plac­ing – with the ex­cep­tion of Hi­lary Benn and Diane Ab­bott – one bunch of peo­ple I’ve never heard of with an­other. William T Nut­tall Rossendale, Lan­cashire

SIR – Right, so it looks like we’re di­vorc­ing Europe.

Do we get to have France at week­ends? Do we take Ger­many bowl­ing and then sit in Mc­Don­ald’s af­ter­wards in awk­ward si­lence? Jonothan Plot­nek Grimsby, Lin­colnshire

Ex­port drive: a Nis­san worker at Sun­der­land, which as­sem­bles half a mil­lion cars a year

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