WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

READER'S PICTURES: Regular contributor Malcolm Pepper has sent us this picture of a tired bee resting on a finger.
READER'S PICTURES: Regular contributor Malcolm Pepper has sent us this picture of a tired bee resting on a finger.
0
Have your say

Your views on Brexit and road safety

Electorate made a fair decision

John Elson's Free Press cartoon.

John Elson's Free Press cartoon.

I fortunately do not know Alan Meekings, other than as a bad loser.

Before the historic 2016 referendum, advocates for both sides of the argument debated with respect and good manners, the many issues - good reasons both pro and con.

It was put to the electorate and they made their decision. In my mind it was correct and fair.

There was a quote on Radio 4 recently, repeated many times, that “Brexit was the equivalent of exchanging a three course dinner for a packet of crisps”.

Of course we all would rather eat a packet of crisps than a rancid three-course dinner prepared in a rat-
infested kitchen.

Richard Fairman

Cowbit

Project Fear 2 is well and truly sunk

Mr Meekings’ call for evidence is timely as leading academics and economists from Cambridge, Ulster and Oxford University and the London School of Economics – all remain voters – have published a report titled “How the Economics Profession Got it Wrong on Brexit”.

This report exposes the serious flaws in the Treasury’s economic forecasts and the more recent so-called Brexit Impact Assessments. They say most estimates of the economic impact of the Leave vote are based on modelling that exaggerates the negative effects and Treasury forecasts before and after the referendum were too pessimistic.

The report also explodes the myth that EU membership has improved the economic performance of the UK since we joined in 1973. It states that this view is categorically incorrect.

The report notes that rather than improving our economic growth since joining the then EEC, in fact “GDP per head clearly grew more slowly after accession than it had in pre-accession decades”.

The evidence therefore demonstrates that Britain’s economy would have grown more rapidly if we had never joined the EU, than it has done since 1973. Fact – EU membership has acted as a drag on Britain’s economic performance rather than enhancing it. The report says: “We can conclude that there is no evidence that joining the EU improved the rate of economic growth in the UK”. Newsflash – Britain was more prosperous when it was not in the EU, conclusion, it will be again.

Vocal Remainers should have a read of this enlightening report – link below – and wake up to the fact that the ‘Gravity Model’ which Mr Meekings so vociferously defended last week is not fit for purpose.

Maybe now he will admit that the Treasury’s economic forecasts are just that, rubbish and agree with me that their ‘Gravity Model’ is outdated and no longer applicable to the modern global economy of the 21st century.

The report can be seen at: https://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/

And go to WP493

Lets look at some of the highlights; Treasury experts used “unrealistic” assumptions, “flawed analysis” and “exaggerated” evidence for their Brexit predictions. Not a bad start, a bit more –

Gloomy civil servants have a “poor record” and their sums were “flawed”. It is “unacceptable in an open democracy” for the Treasury to refuse to discuss their approach to the forecasts… And they hit out at the Remain-supporting media for only jumping on the very pessimistic predictions made about our EU exit. “Much of the economic assessment of the impact of Brexit has been flawed,” they argued. “Most estimates of the impact of Brexit in the UK, both short-term and long-term, have exaggerated the degree of potential damage to the UK economy.”

It would appear that not only has ‘Project Fear and the Gravity Model’ been blown out of the water but the sequel “Project Fear 2’ is also well and truly sunk.

Ouch that must hurt for the Remain campaign.

Craig Jackson

Vote Leave Constituency Co-ordinator

Patriotism takes many forms

I am deeply concerned by the divisive and, for some I’m sure, outright offensive language used by our MP John Hayes in his column on February 27.

Before I start my “snarling” or “whining”, let me ask this. Who, exactly, is the control being given to once we take it back? The people? The government? The ERG, who at present are a minority even within the Conservative Party, let alone Parliament itself?

The very fact that our government is being held to ransom by such a group shows that our own political system is unfit for purpose. Would it be a sensible decision, then, to reform our own internal 
democracy alongside our departure from the EU?

Then of course, there’s this whole idea of a “clean Brexit”, whatever that’s supposed to involve. As we’ve heard from our Prime Minister this week, no-one will get everything they want from Brexit, and thus there’s not a chance of us achieving a clean Brexit. What do the statistics show in terms of a dirty Brexit, as I now feel compelled to call it.

Was it not the Department for Exiting the EU that discovered that all of the realistic outcomes of Brexit resulted in the nation being worse off? Is that really the legacy we wish for this parliamentary term to have?

The term “unrepentant” when used to refer to those of us who have a fondness for Europe and the European Union is abhorrent. There is absolutely nothing wrong about liking either, or wishing to remain a participant of the latter. The term “snarling”, as if to try and liken us to some kind of uncouth beasts is a clear attempt at trying to turn even more of the public against a perfectly valid opinion.

And to suggest those that voted Leave in the EU Referendum are patriots, and thus by natural logical progression that those who voted Remain can’t possibly be, is outrageous. Patriotism takes many forms. Some of us show our patriotism with flags, with renditions of God Save The Queen, with cups of tea and a jolly good roast dinner... and there are those of us who see the cliff edge and opt to try and steer our country away from it.

Whilst I understand that our constituency voted, as you say, 74 per cent in favour of Leave and that your actions are predominantly in support and supported by, the masses within our constituency, I for one have had enough of being demonised simply for having a different opinion on what is best for this country.

Attacking those that think differently to us, with offensive terminology, is not the way to change people’s opinions and it certainly won’t help to heal the divide that Brexit has exposed. One of the essential aspects of a democracy is that everyone, regardless of how popular it may or may not be, is entitled to voice their opinion.

If you wish to discuss Brexit in a polite manner, you can reach me on jordan.swallow.ld@gmail.com

Jordan Swallow

Spalding

Referendum on exit terms

I’m aware my MP, John Hayes lumps me in his category of “a snarling and whining Brexit denier and unrepentant Europhile” (Lincolnshire Free Press, 27 February) as I happen to see things differently from him and passionately care about the best interests of everyone locally.

Having spoken to thousands of Leave voters locally, it’s clear people are complaining about things that adversely affect their lives, like access to affordable housing, healthcare, social care, adequate Police funding to address crime and anti-social behaviour, the North-South divide, the fact politicians in Westminster aren’t listening to them, etc. In reality, though, none of these issues can be blamed on EU membership. Instead, they all need to be blamed on Westminster.

For instance, when it comes to the impact of migration, we need to recognise the UK has 16 levers it can and should have pulled to control EU ‘freedom of movement for labour’, none of which successive UK governments have chosen to pull.

In contrast, Belgium rigorously implements one of these 16 regulations which says any EU citizen who doesn’t secure a self-sufficient job within three months has to be sent home.

Let’s be clear: the UK already has complete control over its borders, and we can have whatever colour passports our government chooses to give us.

Meanwhile, let’s be aware our local Police force is so seriously underfunded it simply doesn’t have the money to tackle rigorously pressing issues like corrupt gangmasters and modern slavery.

Unfortunately, if the UK ends up leaving the EU, we’ll be left with exactly the same politicians in Westminster who got us in this mess in the first place.

So, all we need now is a referendum on the exit terms negotiated by our current government. How can anyone possibly object to giving people a vote on the terms of Brexit actually on offer?

Alan Meekings

Holbeach

Nothing has been done

Regarding the two meetings held on the A16 and B1166 (Radar Junction) reagrding average speed cameras catching a dozen a day and Crowland campaigners talking about a roundabout.

I was one of the first to raise my concerns regarding the A16 and junction when it was first being built. Apart from red road markings and the speed cameras, nothing else has been done to stop speeding cars and promote safety.

A roundaboutnd stretches of dual carriageway is not going to happen. Coun Richard Davies has stated it will cost £4million just for the roundabout– money before safety.

When meeting Coun Davies, MP John Hayes and local councillors over two years ago they were going to have a feasibility study, carried out on these issues.

This has been done but what has happened since? Not a lot.

David J. Barfoot

Shepeau Stow