One-sided on Brexit


October 14

I would like to thank your column writer Dave Jones for his prompt reply. It amazes me how anyone can have such a one sided view of the fact that the UK could be free of the restrictions from the EU.
We all know that the EU has gone beyond its original purpose. He only brings up the fact that he was able to travel anywhere in Europe when he was young and work with the thought that a pension would come at the end. This is a very naive way to look at the facts that could follow the UK leaving. Do you think they are going to set up borders in all the countries to stop UK residents crossing the continent? That would cost millions in additional expenditure and I do not think that will happen. That disposes of his argument in one fell swoop!
He keeps quoting economic points issued by various organisations and invariably they turn out to be wrong. We were at a talk by two people who worked for the United Nations the other week, and afterwards I spoke to them regarding some of the points they raised. He did say that someone senior had asked him where he could find a one handed economist. Why, because they always say their opinion, and to finish they also say, but on the other hand! That sums up unequivocally the people who forecast doom.
You do not talk about the way the UK fishing industry has been decimated by allowing other nations into our waters and take our fish. Towns, once proud for their fishing have been devastated. Even Michael Gove MP has been involved with the problem. His father lost his wholesale business due to the lack of fish being landed.
Mr Gove has now given assurances that we will not be giving the EU any rights for their boats to come into our waters and we will give out quotas from the UK where necessary. I hope that improves the employment in the UK for the towns that have suffered. Someone did say that there are people now on the streets in some of the old fishing towns due to the lack of employment. Do you think that is right?
All the downgrading from the IMF does not mean a thing. They never seem to get it right! He quotes the fact that business is against the split but he fails to mention other people who are in favour. Just to quote two very successful people- Tim Martin-Wetherspoon’s restaurants and bars – Mr James Dyson – another of our top entrepreneurs.
Some of the others only regret that they will not have handouts in the future. It has been quoted that Mr Heseltine receives £90,000 from the EU for various allowances. He was very outspoken about the break but once someone found out what he receives, he has gone very quiet! It has been a ‘gravy train’ for some, where other people have suffered.
Farmers in our area are very wealthy with the annual allowance they receive. Never see a farmer in an old car here. Other parts of the country do need help especially where animals form the main part of their living.
You fail to mention why NO audit has been taken for the affairs of the EU. Your quotes are from organisations where they receive handouts to give an opinion, and I expect that is ‘skewed’ towards the people who are paying them! Not a true forecast!
I come from the ‘fens of England’ where we need migrant workers. If they are limited then this area will suffer. A company, where I live, employs 10,000 people during the summer season so there is a real concern. They are now growing radishes in Africa so we could allow people from that continent to come and work instead of those from the EU. I know several people from the EU and they say that their rents where they originally lived would only cover the weekly wage. Some have to work in more than one job if they want to live a reasonable life. You have failed to mention that fact. They will still come to the UK as they can have a better life and they ALL work hard. I know as I am now a landlord and some who live in front of me, leave at 05.30 in the morning and do not return until late evening. They all have good cars and that would not be possible if they had to return home.
I have been self-employed for 49 years and the pension from the UK government is derisory. You must have been a government employee where you receive an inflation proof pension at the end of your career paid for by the rest of us! I paid into the system for 42 years to then receive an unacceptable pension! We cannot all work for the government!
It will be very interesting in the next few years to see how the UK economy moves forward. I am sure that after years of being a trading nation and dependent on no one, we will succeed again. You will be saddled with the debt filled countries of Greece and Italy and high unemployment even in Spain, so I think this could be the end of the EU as we know it. By the way-did you hear the comments from Christine Lagarde MD, IMF, stating that Spain will need to take 3 million MORE migrants? What would that do for the economy of this country?

Geoff Spinks

Ding, ding – round two. Hello again Geoffrey.
No I do not think that we will be prevented from travelling in Europe after March 29. What I was lamenting was that the concept of ‘freedom of movement’ is set to disappear for British people, ie, that as members of the EU we could work in any European country with the same protection and rights as a national of that country and – if we wished – move on to another country and still maintain the rights to a state pension, etc.
I am very sad that those rights will disappear for young British people who may have wanted to do as I did, safe in knowledge that they would not be compromising their future. I have never worked for a government, Geoffrey. I have been a journalist for pretty much all my working life – apart from a six-month spell as a postman.
In past correspondence, I have quoted different predictions from the IMF, Bank of England, CBI, etc – and none of these diverse organisations is able to give a cheery outlook for the UK over Brexit.
All think that it will damage the British economy. If you are able to provide some evidence to the contrary from a similarly reputable organisation then it would be interesting to read it. The CBI represents 190,000 businesses in the UK. I don’t think they would be able to get away with providing duff information to talk up the EU. They are simply very worried about the effects that Brexit will have on their members’ businesses.
As for Michael Gove and his fishing promises… I know you don’t like The Guardian but this is a recent quote:
“British fishing fleets will face a tough struggle to wring a substantial advantage from Brexit, despite the prime minister’s promises, owing to key concessions in the government’s fishing proposals and the difficulty of persuading other EU member states to give up their current rights in British and shared waters, the Guardian has found.
“Michael Gove, the environment secretary, published a white paper on Wednesday setting out the UK’s approach to fisheries after 2020, when the Brexit transition period is likely to end. He hailed ‘a sea of opportunity … we can take back control of our waters and revitalise coastal communities’.
“But fishing experts have told the Guardian the detail of the white paper shows the reality may be much less sunny for the UK’s 11,000 fishermen. One of the key statements hidden in the 60-page white paper is: ‘We do not intend to change the method for allocating existing quota’.”
You mention that people from the EU work very hard in the UK. From the evidence I have seen I agree with you. That is one of the problems with Brexit. Have a look at the proposals from the UK government about how this will change. It will be more difficult for workers from the EU to work in the UK.
‘The majority of EU workers in the UK would not be eligible to work in the country following Brexit if they were subject to proposals put forward by the government’s chief migration advisers’, according to recent study.
“EU citizens currently in the UK are expected to be protected under the terms of the UK-EU withdrawal agreement but findings by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) illustrate how proposals by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) will potentially restrict businesses recruiting migrants from the EU in future.”
This is one of the beefs of the CBI – that proposals from the UK government on migrant workers will seriously damage their members’ businesses because there will be a shortage of workers. I don’t think your fellow Brexiters would be overly keen on your suggestion that large numbers of workers could be brought in from Africa…
Fortunately, the IMF does not decide immigration policy in Spain, so I don’t imagine any such comment from Christine Lagarde would worry the government here.
And finally, there is another point that we can agree on Geoffrey! I too will be interested to see how the UK moves forward from now on.
The next six months in particular will be a very interesting time from a journalistic point of view – although as an expat I would have to admit that there is an element of worry in there too.
No matter what happens – and let’s face it, just about anything could happen at the moment (ranging from no deal to Britain not leaving the EU at all) – I hope that the UK is able to overcome the great social divide which has been created since the referendum and the country is able to recover some of the qualities that other countries have admired over the years – above all, British ‘fairness’ and tolerance.
Unlike you, I am not overly optimistic about the future for the UK at the moment. But the next few months will go a long way to deciding what Britain will be like in 10 or 20 years’ time.
All the best and enjoy your life in Jávea.
Dave Jones

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