Post-Brexit gains v losses

While I would agree with some of Mr Boyle’s criticisms (Letters, February, ‘Weak, absurd EU is reason for Brexit’) and not others (the UK has an unelected Civil Service like the EU Commission, over which ministers exert a fairly weak influence; first-past-the-post is hardly a good advert for democracy; and full sovereignty is a complete fantasy in this globalised world) it does not follow that leaving is the best solution.

Corbyn marked the EU ‘seven out of 10’, whereas I, a remainer, would only give it five, at least while neoliberal Juncker and Merkel exert a less than beneficent influence (they selfishly protected over-extended German and Luxembourg banks at the expense of Greece.)

But I would mark leaving at three out of 10 until the long-standing problem of the UK’s weak productivity is resolved.

Competitiveness has been maintained by the gradual devaluation of the pound and low pay.

Leaving will expose this endemic weakness even more, and so it is simply the wrong time to go, even if in principle that were a good idea.

I voted ‘No’ in 1975, but not this time. Like many expats I am glad I live in France, but sad my pension is paid in pounds sterling!

Christopher O’Hagan, Sarthe


T.F.Boyle (Letters, February) should not be allowed to escape challenge on their views (‘Weak, absurd EU is reason for Brexit’).

The EU, like most large institutions, is clearly not without its faults, but any reasonable fact-based comparison demonstrates that the political structure of the EU Parliament is at least as democratic as its UK equivalent, and arguably considerably more so; it hardly seems logical to accuse the EU of being afraid of trade deals with powerful partners in view of recent deals with Japan and Canada.

Also, Greek entry into the Eurozone may have been inappropriate, but the Greeks themselves must surely shoulder some of the responsibility for their economic woes.

The argument would carry much more weight if T.F. Boyle were able to provide some concrete examples of the way in which his/her life has been adversely affected by enforced compromises and alleged loss of sovereignty, and of the practical benefits (if any) that will accrue to UK citizens as a result of Brexit.

Finally, one feels compelled to ask why, if he/she believes the EU to be so inferior to the UK, he/she apparently chooses to live in the Dordogne.

 Malcolm Smith, Loire-Atlantique

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