Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Now that we have witnessed the official opening of the Scottish Parliament and of the Welsh Assembly, is it not time that the people of England were given an equal opportunity to control their own affairs through an English Parliament? Alternative arrangements proposed by the European Union would have our country broken up into eight regions; each would simply become "a region of the European Union" and the name of "England" would disappear altogether.

KATIE DAVIES

Woodbridge,

Suffolk

Sir: You report that the Financial Services Authority is not releasing the name of a large financial institution on millennium bug red alert ("Leading firm in bug 2000 danger", 26 June). This is because customers might take their money elsewhere. Is that not how the market is supposed to work? Schools and hospitals are exhorted to be open about their facilities so that the public can make judgements and the marketplace rules - but not the big financial institutions, the proselytes of the market place.

Dr LESLIE MORRISH

Windsor, Berkshire

Sir: Charles Allen (letter, 2 July) is wrong in saying that the UK could not join the Schengen passport-free zone without introducing a national identity card. The Dutch are members of the Schengen group, yet the Netherlands - like Britain - has no compulsory national ID card scheme.

CHRIS PIENING

Head, European Parliament Office

London SW1

Sir: So belief in God is beneficial to health ("Getting well can be a religious experience", 1 July). This is not really surprising. But history shows that disagreement with some religious points of view often has a severely deleterious effect on the dissenter's life expectancy.

ROBERT SMITH

Merstham, Surrey

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