Readers' letters: Financial disaster of Brexit mounts

Brexit is the gift that keeps on taking. The latest evidence is last week’s OBR report that blames Brexit for the UK missing “out on much of the recovery in global trade.”
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in the Downing Street briefing roomBritain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in the Downing Street briefing room
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds a press conference in the Downing Street briefing room

UK goods exports to the EU were down nearly 20 per cent on 2019. Trade as a share of UK GDP has fallen two and a half times more than in any other G7 country. EU imports to the UK have fallen by even more, as many EU companies just can’t be bothered with the voluminous amounts of red tape.

The risible Australia and New Zealand trade agreements won’t come close to replacing what the UK has foolishly thrown away. They will add just 0.1 per cent to GDP whereas Brexit will deliver a 4 per cent long-term hit to UK GDP.

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Add in soaring energy and food prices, tax and interest rate hikes and the UK is headed for a major recession. And in his Spring Statement Sunak showed where his priorities lie – not with the people but with the wealthy elite.

That’s what Brexit was about. Not content with laundering the world’s dirty money, the UK is slashing taxes and regulations hoping to attract foreign investment, losing sight of the fact that firms based themselves in the UK mainly because it was an EU member. And as the UK diverges from EU standards, it will trigger tariffs or bans, deepening the misery.

The UK is a hot mess in meltdown. Scotland needs to escape before it’s too late.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Scottish Government at Boyle-ing point

I recently Googled Stephen Boyle, the Auditor General for Scotland. What greeted me was a list of one report after another, damning this Scottish Government.

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From the latest on the ferry debacle that should be an embarrassment to every single SNP politician involved, to the report a month ago on the Scottish NHS not being financially sustainable, to the black hole when it comes to where the £5 billion of Covid funding went, to the superfast broadband rollout that is anything but fast and to the woeful drug and alcohol services. All of these have been published in the last month.

We also now know that the Scottish Government tried to get the Auditor General to change his report into education standards before the Scottish election last year. Time after time, the Scottish Government are found wanting and yet this has not led to a single resignation.

When will the SNP voters wake up and realise that this government is not helping those in poverty, those in need of health care, those pupils in our schools as they are out of their depth and waste money on projects due to their incompetence?

Jane Lax, Aberlour.

Putin must seek face-saving withdrawal

I rack my brains to find a reason for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. It is simply baffling. If ever there were a lose-lose situation, sending his forces over the border into a neighbouring country was surely it.

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Russia’s actions have outraged the world and galvanised the West - even Germany is seriously planning to re-arm.

Mr Putin is now an international pariah; the Russian economy is really hurting; soon this pain will reach grass roots level. Surely some kind of negotiated pull out can be engineered with minimal loss of face.

At least the majority of other invasions by a powerful country on a weaker one over the decades since WW2 have had a set goal. None seems to exist here, other than preventing Ukraine joining Nato and/or the EU and a strong personal desire to assert dominance.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

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