Negotiations must fail between a pragmatic Britain and a vindictive EU
sir – The real and immovable issue preventing agreement in the EU negotiations is that the two sides have very different objectives.
The British Government is seeking a fair, mutually beneficial arrangement that returns legal and political control to Britain, while in every other aspect maintaining a close relationship with the EU. The Government side is prepared to compromise and negotiate pragmatic solutions to problems such as EU citizens’ rights and the Irish border.
The EU negotiators, however, clearly have three objectives.
First, to extract as much money as possible from the United Kingdom.
Secondly, to make the process as difficult and humiliating as possible in order to create uncertainty in Britain and to discourage other countries from leaving.
Thirdly, to retain as much legal and political control as possible in order to restrict Britain’s freedom to operate as an independent state, and thus hinder us from competing effectively with the EU after separation. They actively seek problems and not solutions.
This approach is working well for the EU and will continue through every phase of the negotiations. There is no realistic prospect of reaching an acceptable agreement.
It is time for the British Government to withdraw from the negotiations and take control of our exit from the EU. Paul Maloney
sir – Why doesn’t the Prime Minister simply ask Boris Johnson and Michael Gove the answer to the Irish border question? Surely the two of them must have solved such an obvious problem before they recommended the electorate to vote for Brexit? Richard Barlow
sir – When I was at Sandhurst we were taught that the master principle of war was “selection and maintenance of the aim”. This was to be an unambiguous aim as the keystone of successful operations. Field Marshal Bill Slim similarly said: “Experience had taught me that before rushing into action it is advisable to get quite clearly fixed in mind what the object of it all is.”
It is as clear as day that a main problem of the Government’s negotiating position is that it has not decided what it wants to achieve, in an even vaguely unambiguous manner. Stuart Leasor
sir – The Prime Minister told the Commons on Wednesday that the Government had a plan for Brexit.
It would appear her plan is to give the EU everything it asks for. Nick Martinek
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
sir – Arlene Foster’s splendid intransigence represents the last hope for those who want to leave the EU.
Someone wrap her up warm and see that she doesn’t catch a chill. Alan Duncalf