Readers' letters: Brexit is proving a very costly mistake

It was intriguing, but not unexpected to note, that all of Boris Johnson’s new post-Brexit trade deals put together will have an economic benefit of just £3 to £7 per person over the next 15 years, according to the government’s own figures.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 7:00 am

Analysis by top academics at the University of Sussex UK Trade Policy Observatory have highlighted that the tiny economic boost – amounting to just 0.01 to 0.02 per cent of GDP, and less than 50p per person a year – is dwarfed by the economic hit from leaving the EU, which the government estimates at four per cent of GDP over the same period.

The analysis suggests that the much-trumpeted free trade agreements (FTAs) “barely scratch the surface of the UK’s challenge to make up the GDP lost by leaving the EU”.

Mr Johnson has boasted of the deals creating a “new dawn” and representing “global Britain at its best” – but just two of the dozens announced since the UK left the EU are expected to have any measurable economic impact at all.

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Estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility point to a Brexit loss of more than £1250 per person over the coming years – more than 178 times the most optimistic prediction for the benefits from the trade deals.

The dream of a so-called “Brexit dividend” has turned into the economic nightmare many of us have been warning for years.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Holyrood should have a recall petition

Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, was found guilty of threatening to throw acid in the face of a love rival. She was sentenced to ten weeks in jail suspended for two years.

If her appeal fails she can be removed by way of a recall petition. Only 10 per cent of eligible registered voters in her constituency need to sign the petition.

Fiona Onasanya MP, who lied about a speeding offence, was removed.

There is no recall petition in Scotland so Derek Mackay MSP, who sent 270 messages to a boy of 16, continued to collect his salary of £111,359 and received a golden goodbye of £12,000 when he eventually stood down

Scotland needs a recall petition now.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Drugs in prison need forceful action

Drug-soaked mail is a big issue in prisons and any found is kept for the police to collect. Prison staff, however, are saying that Police Scotland often don’t collect the contraband and therefore, when a prisoner leaves, any mail has to be handed over to them.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown’s response to the question was that prisoners have rights. They may well have rights, but why is Mr Brown not straight on the phone to tell Police Scotland to collect the mail to prevent it ending up back in the hand of the prisoner?

How do you hope to rehabilitate offenders if they are handed drugs at the door on the way out?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Question of health

The current crisis gripping Scotland's A&E departments seems to have robbed those in charge of all sense. Much of the pressure stems from patients who are unable to access their own GP. To seek to "solve" the A&E crisis by directing people back to the GP who couldn't see them in the first place is frankly bizarre and smacks of desperation.

Glasgow Health Board has now advised people only to attend A&E if their condition is life-threatening. As a 70 year old with no medical training, how will I know that my condition is life-threatening?

David Mitchell, Aberdeen.