Letters to the editor: Government must lead over Brexit
Roland Rudd’s views on Brexit cannot pass unchallenged [“Liberal Britain must stand up against a hard, destructive Brexit”, Comment, October 6]. Brexiteers won, above all else, because a majority of Britons wanted their sovereignty back from an unelected and increasingly distant EU bureaucracy.
The nature of Brexit was never defined, rather like the path from the Common Market to the European Union. Mr Rudd’s carping over the Brexit aspirations of individual politicians is therefore meaningless.
It is for the Government to find the best way to engender prosperity while fully restoring British sovereignty. Mr Rudd wants “maximum participation in the single market”, believing that trading under World Trade Organisation rules would “weaken our economy”. However, our economy will be fine under WTO rules, especially with sterling at €1.14.
Parliament will no doubt debate at length the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, but the handling of trade negotiations with the EU and other foreign powers is clearly a matter for the Government, not Parliament.
Roland Rudd has no right to lecture the Government on future policy since his dire predictions of an immediate post-Brexit “armageddon” failed to happen.
He says “now is the time that progressive, outward-looking liberal people must speak out”, but what is progressive about misty-eyed nostalgia for pre-Brexit Britain? Is there anything liberal about his depression over the result of democracy at work through the referendum result?
In pressing for a second referendum, he says “the Government must trust the people if it is to be trusted itself”. He doesn’t seem to realise that it has done this already.
Like many Remainers I have accepted the referendum result with good grace. However, it is irritating when we hear that key promises made by the Leave campaign before the referendum — such as maintaining our access to single market — will not be kept. What does this say about how we should treat future referendums?
Heathrow pollution report is flawed
After reading your report [“New runway at Heathrow won’t break pollution laws, say experts”, October 6], I wonder whether this research from the University of Cambridge should be challenged?
The data, which looks into the impact expansion at Heathrow would have on air quality, may be respectable science in itself but it is virtually meaningless if it ignores the adverse impact of construction and increased transport to Heathrow as a consequence of expansion.
Environmental issues must be taken into account when designing more efficient and cleaner planes. However, the strength of the economy is equally important and building an additional runway is key to maintaining our position as a world hub.
If we don’t expand we risk allowing other European countries to take our position of prominence.
Cycling is safer if you wear a helmet
Rosamund Urwin’s objections to cyclists wearing helmets following another tragic death sums up the dogma of the cycling movement, which appears to prioritise popularity over safety [Comment, October 6]. It seems safety is a lever used by the cycling lobby only when it suits them but is then abandoned when it becomes politically inconvenient.
Opposition to helmets is not based on any rational argument. Wearing a helmet is an indication that a cyclist is behaving responsibly, in the same way that we expect pedestrians to look both ways when crossing the road. There is nothing wrong with suggesting cyclists wear helmets to protect themselves better.
Ms Urwin’s argument seems to be that cyclists shouldn’t take responsibilty for increasing their own safety. But surely safer cycling is always better than simply more people cycling for the sake of it?
New fracking ruling flouts democracy
The Government’s intervention to allow fracking by Caudrilla in Lancashire is dangerous and unwelcome [October 6]. Whether one is for or against fracking, the point is that the all the local and district councils in the area, having listened to local and overwhelming opposition, unanimously concluded that they should reject the application, which they unequivocally did.
So for the Government to then completely disregard this legal and democratic process is an abhorrence that must be stopped. It not only makes a mockery of the rule of law in our democracy, it makes a joke of Theresa May’s hollow words that this should be a “Government for all and not the few”.