Everyone but the UK government seems to understand that a no-deal Brexit will be catastrophic

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Monday 07 September 2020 14:29 BST
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Boris on Brexit

There is clearly an enormous risk that the government’s proposed new Brexit legislation will  “torpedo” the current talks with the EU. I wonder how much discussions have – from the UK side – just served as camouflage for the government’s wish for a final, decisive break with Europe?

The results of leaving without a deal are almost certainly going to be calamitous. Taxes and border checks will be placed on British goods entering the EU. 

These will make our goods dearer and harder to sell in Europe. Border checks, as we have been frequently told, could well bring about great delays at the ports.

Also, and very importantly, our vital service industries, such as banks and catering, would lose their guaranteed access to Europe. Our good faith – or whatever remains of it – will also come into question with the apparent government willingness to renege on the Northern Ireland agreement.

All the opposition parties (and the more enlightened Conservatives) now need to unite to defeat the proposed legislation, and seek to persuade the British people that only by hanging together with our European neighbours can we avoid, in the present world crisis, hanging separately.

The Rev Andrew McLuskey

Address supplied

Deal or no deal?

The prime minister says no deal can be good for us.  So why then does he not agree a no deal today (or indeed did he not agree one ages ago ) and save the country millions in money and vast amounts of time in (pretend) negotiating?  

Jenny Backwell

Hove

What did I miss?

So worrying was the prospect of a no-deal scenario that parliament passed a bill to prevent such an outcome. Micheal Gove sought to reassure the public that there was only an infinitesimally small chance of leaving without a deal, which was even described as “oven ready”.

Now, according to Boris Johnson, it seems that no deal is the best outcome for Britain. What did I miss?

Geoff Forward

Stirling

No extension of furlough beyond October, says Rishi Sunak

Rishi’s money trees

It would appear that the money trees which form the basis of Rishi Sunak's Covid and Brexit economic plans are planted in rocky soil.  Further, it now appears that their shallow roots will require inordinate amounts of expensive tax fertiliser.

Matt Minshall

Brittany, France

Stop universities reopening

The large jump in the number of new coronavirus cases in the UK underlines the point that the virus in this country is once again following the trajectory of numbers of cases in France, Italy and Spain. This may well mean that in this country we will now have several weeks of high daily cases.  

Armed with this foresight, should the government not postpone for several months the reopening of universities and colleges to prevent the likelihood of cases rising even higher as the result of hundreds of thousands of students moving around the country?

Peter Coggins

Oxford

The right to offend

It had been my intention to write a letter about how easy it is to offend someone these days. When I started to write the letter it dawned on me that this letter itself may cause offence, so I decided to write a different letter entirely. However, I now realised that I was offended by not being able to voice my opinion without upsetting somebody else. 

Why should my thoughts and opinions cause offence in a land of free speech? Surely, if I wish to say black is white, that is my business and should cause no offence in others.

Whatever happened to the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, who wrote in her book, The Life of Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”?

Colin Bower

Nottingham

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