Readers' letters: Starmer needs to rethink Brexit policy

Keir Starmer insists that the UK Labour Party believes in a “democratic principle” which forbids another referendum on Brexit.

Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 16 January 2023
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher, 16 January 2023

On January 1 a Savanta poll showed that two thirds of the British electorate want a referendum on rejoining the EU. On January 9 Statista Data Service published a report on a three-year survey of UK opinion on Brexit : “54 per cent of people in Great Britain thought that it was wrong to leave the European Union, compared with 35 per cent who thought it was the right decision.”

The evidence is clear: English voters, realising they were conned by Brexit lies in 2016, are demanding the democratic right to change their minds.

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The Labour Party’s “principled” response is: “You were conned; you fell for the lies; now (as the Tory MP Alister Jack told a Select Committee member last year) suck it up”.

As the consequences of Brexit pile up in terms of economic decline, bankruptcies, poverty, staffing shortages in the NHS and care sectors, Westminster is dominated by an incompetent, corrupt Tory government riding roughshod over this “opposition”.

The Labour Party is emasculated by the belief that they must stand for nothing that offends the remaining Brexit heartland of Red Wall seats in England; nothing that offends the City of London and nothing that offends the right-wing voters of SE England. While vital public service workers are being abused as commodities, Keir Starmer stands back and refuses to back their leaders or the strikes of last resort.

The Labour Party might still get away with standing for “nothing much” in England. I believe, however, that Scottish voters, with passionate understanding of “democratic principle” will not be conned again.

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Frances McKie, Evanton

Labour stays shtum on Palestine rights

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In recent years the horrendous death toll of Palestinians and repeated incursions into Palestinian lands have had comparatively little publicity, and traditional campaigners against injustice like the Labour Party have been keeping shtum.In Sir Keir Starmer’s New Year Address he spoke proudly of having changed the Labour Party.

The application of his proven and self-publicised professional forensic skills would enable him to accept that criticism of the Israeli Government in this matter is very, very necessary, urgently - and not at all anti-Semitic!Sir Keir repeatedly cites facts from his family upbringing because he thinks he has experienced the life of the working-class and the poor.

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But the opportunity to be a tool-maker was a rare thing - highly skilled, highly paid, highly valued, with no risk of being dismissed at the employer’s whim and no need for the two-and-a-half hours’ notice hard-won by some trade unions.

For your mother also to be working as a nurse and to have a semi-detached house, would mean you would be regarded as middle-class by the mass of the then electorate.Clement Attlee never made the mistake of trying to identify with the working-class in order to win their support

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Jack Kellet, Innerleithen

Old King Coal

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UK politicians are deter-mined to be net zero by 2050. The cost will be £108,000 per household, but what is the rest of the world doing? Coal now constitutes 31 per cent of German electricity production. In 2015 it was eight.

Countries make a mockery of the pledges they made at COP26 to "phase down" coal after refusing to "phase out" coal. They are now "phasing up coal".

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Clark Cross, Linlithgow

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