I write in response to Geoffrey Brooking’s extraordinary letter published on 14 February, which was full of ill-informed anti-EU bile and fantasy typical of the so called ‘hard Brexiters’, of which he is presumably one.
The EU will most certainly not go under if we are stupid enough to leave with no deal. Yes, it will hurt them, particularly a few EU countries with whom we do most trade such as the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands, but nowhere near as much as it will hurt us. Having seen what a complete shambles our so called Government is making of Brexit, the other 27 EU countries realise how important the EU is to them and remain totally united in their negotiations with us over Brexit.
Popular support for the EU has risen significantly across the EU, contrary to what Mr Brooking alleges. He and his like will have an awfully long wait after 29 March for the EU to fall apart. As one of hundreds of thousands of totally committed ‘Remoaners’ (as he derogatorily calls us) across the country, I can assure him we have not given up and will continue to fight all the way to stop the insanity that is Brexit. The 2016 referendum was won by a small majority, comprising just 37 per cent of those eligible to vote, where millions of those most affected were not allowed to vote, after a campaign based on misinformation and downright lies, in which the Leave campaign broke electoral law on spending limits, and the Leave campaign’s largest donor is being investigated for possible criminal offences in relation to the sources of the money he donated.
We were out campaigning in Chichester last Saturday (16 February) for a ‘People’s Vote’ and of the many people we engaged with, the vast majority were totally supportive of remaining in the EU, either via another referendum, or by the Government simply revoking Article 50 and us remaining in the EU. Brexit is no longer the ‘will of the people’ as demonstrated by opinion poll after opinion poll showing that a significant majority would now vote ‘remain’.
I would also comment on Mr K Newby’s letter of 7 February which is full of misleading ‘facts’. About 70 per cent of our economy may be based on the services sector, but this is on services as a whole, not as Mr Newby says on the financial sector alone. The Government’s proposed deal totally ignores the services sector, and our service sector trade with the EU will suffer very significantly under both a ‘no deal’ Brexit and the Government’s deal.
Much of our trade in goods with non-EU countries is done via trade agreements between the EU and these countries, and so far Dr Fox has only managed to ‘roll over’ those deals with the Faroe Islands and Switzerland.
South Korea and Japan, who are much more significant traders with us, have both recently said they will not roll over their agreements with the EU.
Our current trade with the EU is about 44 per cent of our total trade, not the 30 per cent Mr Newby alleges.
Mr Newby then goes on to suggest that the EU will wither once we have left, whilst we will prosper after leaving. Has he ever wondered why Germany is a much more successful exporter of goods, whilst being a member of the EU than we are?
John Wilton, York Road, Chichester