Michael Howard comparing the Brexit situation in Gibraltar to the Falklands War is tasteless

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Sunday 02 April 2017 14:39 BST
Britain has vowed to protect Gilbratar’s interests
Britain has vowed to protect Gilbratar’s interests (Getty)

Lord Howard,

Today as you know is the 35th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War. Hundreds of soldiers lost their lives on both sides.

Yet today you used the Falklands as a precedent of what Theresa May might do in relation to Gibraltar.

As someone who is married to an Argentine I am appalled by your remarks.

How do you expect the UK to get a Free Trade deal with the EU and other Spanish-speaking countries if this is the tone we hear from senior politicians like you who used to be leader of the Conservative Party?

Today should have been a day for reflection and to think of the war dead. Instead you use it to score political points against a country which 300,000 British citizens call home.

Chris Key
Address supplied

Rupert Cornwell’s commentary will be missed

Rupert Cornwell. One of the great Independent journalists. Dismayed to learn of his passing. Sadly missed.

He was the only writer who could make me read about baseball.

Mark Ogilvie
Address supplied

How sad to read of Rupert Cornwell’s death. He was a foreign correspondent par excellence: his writing was always based on good, solid reporting, attention to detail, political nous and the priceless ability to give you a feel for the country he was writing about: you learnt something from his articles, as well as enjoying the stylish writing.

His pieces were the antidote to the alt-truth, post-truth tsunami in today’s media: it was hard to tell which were yesterday’s April Fool stories. Despite, maybe because of, the plethora of tweets and other contributions from the social media, we seem to know less of the outside world and foreign cultures than ever: even the rare reports from abroad tend to be little more than captions for pictures of dramatic, but isolated events.

Cornwell’s articles were a constant reminder of the need for informed journalism. Thanks for sharing them, and RIP.

Rod Chapman

A massive thank you to the Indy for the commentary and insights of Rupert Cornwell. He will be much missed.

Beryl Wall
London, W4

Will the EU turn against us?

I recall my Edinburgh University history professor saying in the 1970s that the cardinal principle of British foreign policy since the beginning of the 18th century was that there should be no agglomeration of power on the continent from which we are excluded since a Europe united without us was likely to become a Europe united against us.

I did not expect his observation to be put to the test in my lifetime.

Rev Dr John Cameron
St Andrews

People’s response to Brexit is part of the problem

Whilst The Independent is to be congratulated on publishing letters on both side of the European argument, the sheer nastiness of Mr Mitchinson’s (Letters, 1 April) sentiment cannot pass without rebuttal.

When couples divorce, when people leave a job, they develop reasons to retrospectively validate their action, such as the unreasonable behaviour of the spouse or the employer.

The key to the unpleasantness of Mitchison’s position is his claim “we” do not need Scotland. Who are “we”? It is he who really wants to destroy the British, which is the name for those of us who live in the United Kingdom, especially on the island of Great Britain.

Once we know he is against the United Kingdom we can begin to get the rest of his perverse interpretation of history into perspective: spiteful rejection of people or organisations that have done us much good but which we want now to cast in the role of attacker to our victim.

Steve Hills
Milton Keynes

The disadvantaged in our society are suffering

The Government is playing with hot water. Its austerity measures are bound to hit the most disadvantaged and deepen inequalities in society. Theresa May cannot preach decency, equity, fairness, inclusion and social justice while at the same time introducing social security cuts, punishing the incapacitated, the poor, the vulnerable and those in the twilight of life.

Most work advisors are not qualified themselves to advise claimants of the good opportunities lying on the horizon. They want to push whoever come in their way to poor quality, low-skilled, paid, insecure jobs irrespective of their disability, illness or mental status. This creates an atmosphere that weakens family bonding, lowers life expectancy, exacerbates poor mental health conditions and childhood poverty.

What is needed is a system that is efficient, responsive that builds on the strengths of individuals, helping them to overcome insurmountable barriers and being cognisant of their housing, transport, education, health and social care needs.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London, NW2

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