Brexit Thoughts

This England - - Nelson's Column -

Sir: Con­grat­u­la­tions on re­claim­ing your coun­try from the EU mono­lith! I hope the other EU coun­tries will soon fol­low suit, and judg­ing by the amount of Euroscep­ti­cism now ap­par­ent in Europe, that pos­si­bil­ity may not be far away.

Brexit opens up many op­por­tu­ni­ties for the Union (although I think the knee-jerk re­ac­tion by Scotland is very ill-ad­vised), both within the EU (as Ger­many has in­di­cated that they are still open to trade), and with­out the EU (for ex­am­ple, the re­draft­ing of var­i­ous trade agree­ments be­tween Bri­tain and the Com­mon­wealth is on the cards, plus a strength­en­ing of the spe­cial re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and Bri­tain).

This de­ci­sion will help farm­ers, fish­er­men and peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas. I also pray that it might pre­cip­i­tate a domino-ef­fect and

bring the whole ed­i­fice of the EU crash­ing down about Europe’s ears. It was a 1950s so­lu­tion to a 1940s prob­lem un­nec­es­sary in 21st-cen­tury pol­i­tics and busi­ness.

Brexit has brought about a new par­a­digm, and the chal­lenge now for Bri­tish academia is how to work within that par­a­digm. It has brought sci­en­tists and the in­tel­li­gentsia out of their com­fort zones, and now it is time for Bri­tain to rise again to the chal­lenge pre­sented to them by a new set of circumstances. —


Sir: Colin Bullen’s emo­tive let­ter (“Post­box”, Win­ter 2016) branded re­main­ers “spoilt chil­dren”, but wouldn’t Brex­i­teers have con­tin­ued cam­paign­ing had they lost? Like 48 per cent of oth­ers I voted to re­main, but fully re­spect the re­sult with­out sug­gest­ing ev­ery­thing is per­fect in Europe.

At 86 years, a pensioner and not part of his “met­ro­pol­i­tan elite”, I am just as pa­tri­otic as any­one but ex­tri­cat­ing our­selves from Europe is more com­plex than imag­ined.

One rea­son I voted to re­main was that the ma­jor­ity of young peo­ple de­sire it, see­ing them­selves as Euro­pean as well as UK cit­i­zens. Un­like me they have 60 or more years in this world. Brexit al­most cer­tainly means that higher in­fla­tion will rear its un­wel­come head this year. Young fam­i­lies and the poor will suf­fer most, not Boris or Nigel.

The UK econ­omy was my sin­gle most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion, not “go home you for­eign­ers”. Europe was a huge and cer­tain trad­ing mar­ket pre-brexit. I hope over­seas work­ers re­turn this year to pick our straw­ber­ries etc. on dis­play an­nu­ally in su­per­mar­kets, and al­lay the fears of anx­ious grow­ers fol­low­ing Brexit — UK work­ers won’t. Also I hope we shall see the end of mind­less vi­o­lence against, of all peo­ple, the Pol­ish who did so much to de­fend our coun­try in the war when Poland was bru­tally over­run by the Nazi war ma­chine. — A.J.


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