Talk of economic partnership a pipedream
IT never ceases to amaze how the PM still spouts catchphrases. Instead of concise details and end point outcomes for a future economic partnership with the EU, she resorts to vague imagery. After “strong and stable leadership” and then “calm leadership” we now have her latest image for an economic relationship with the EU post-Brexit – a “bold and deep economic partnership” (“Rebellion on Brexit will not be tolerated, warns May”, The Herald, November 11).
One must speculate first what is intended by “bold”. One doubts if such a term would be traceable in the academic literature pertaining to economics. If it were, what would be the detailed indicator? The next term used is “deep”. We must leave that one aside for the moment, as it is truly meaningless.
However, Brexit has begun to challenge John Redwood, Tory Arch-Brexiter and financial pundit. He has been advising in print clients to invest abroad and away from the UK. There are fears that the UK economy is sliding now while we have still got full membership of the EU, in contrast to the current growth of the other 27 members.
The future looks bleak. Estimates of UK productivity have been downgraded and the IMF indicates the UK is a “notable exception” in an improving global economy. The UK will trail Greece over the next five years. National UK tax rises will be needed to fund the Westminster mismanagement of the increasing National Debt, currently at £1.8 trillion, or 87 per cent of GDP. Interest rates are rising, which will add to the bill, as will the still-falling pound, and static pay will squeeze spending by consumers and reduce the indirect tax return further.
How an ill-defined “bold and deep” economic partnership with the EU, which can never better full membership of the EU and the as-yet non-existent bilateral trade deals in the global British nirvana will turn the economy round in the immediate future is beyond the bounds of comprehension when a warring Westminster Cabinet is holed below the waterline and a PM only spouts catchphrases in place of substantive policy initiatives.
4 Merrygreen Place, Stewarton,
THE “take it or leave it” vote offered to Parliament on any Brexit deal or no deal should be offered instead to the British electorate (“MPs to have final say on Brexit bill as Government caves in to rebels,” The Herald, November 14. Britain’s future is more important than that of any one political party; in this case one that is ham-fisted, in disarray, and in thrall to rebel diehard politicians, who are here today and will gone tomorrow.
R Russell Smith, 96 Milton Road, Kilbirnie.
THE Scottish Government should not be criticised for lack of support for Catalonia, they have previously used the lack of devolved authority to avoid even a simple act of “speaking out!” Just after the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where Scotland had successfully showed itself off to the world, Sierra Leone was hit by the Ebola virus epidemic. Some of their athletes who recently competed in Glasgow were effectively stranded in the UK, all civilian flights had been stopped. Regardless of this team members were threatened by immigration officials with deportation. To where begs the question? Their athletes were apparently living rough in London unable as “illegals”to get any assistance. Their High Commission had other more pressing problems than dealing with what were guests of Scotland.
For those with short memories this was when nurse Pauline Cafferkey and many others were risking their lives to fight the epidemic, and aid workers could only get there by RAF transport. I wrote to the Scottish Government asking if it could assist. Several weeks later an obviously unhurried letter arrived from a civil servant in Edinburgh saying Scotland had no responsibility for competitors once the games were over and their visas lapsed, importantly it was stressed that “international relations are not a devolved responsibility”.
So to remain silent over Catalonia is not new. Individual SNP members wishing to express their feelings about the heavy handed actions in the recent referendum should note that Spain has two consulates in Scotland – Edinburgh and Aberdeen – where a strongly worded “note” could be handed in.
Finally, is the EU a body that is silent over the way Catalonia has been treated, the sort of club Scotland wishes to belong to?
Cravells Road, Harpenden, Herts.