Let’s agree Brexit has been a catastrophe
Former Tory former minister, Tobias Ellwood, to his immense credit, recently suggested the UK should rejoin the EU single market to ease the cost-of-living crisis, claiming recent polling suggests “this is not the Brexit most people imagined”.
Research by the Centre for European Reform (CER), has now highlighted that Brexit is a major contributor to the economy slowing, and that other countries had bounced back from Covid unlike the UK. The Tory defence that the negative economic impact was due to Covid-19 has now been shot to pieces
The CER notes that Brexit has cost the UK economy billions of pounds in lost trade, lost investment and lost tax revenues. It estimates that the economy was 5.2 per cent – £31 billion – smaller by the end of last year than it would have been had the UK had stayed in the EU. This is money the country could really do with at a time of rising national debt and falling living standards.
A smaller economy also means that taxes have to rise to fund the same quality of public services that we had before, which is the backdrop to the Chancellor’s decision to raise the overall tax burden to levels that we haven’t seen since the 1940s.
The catastrophic economic damage that is being caused by Brexit is clear, and there is no shame in the government admitting this and being strong enough to correct it.
Alex Orr, Edinburgh
Amidst all the constant demands for a second referendum on independence, there are several unanswered questions. One of the greatest is the question: if the referendum of 2014 is to be ignored as if it had not happened, why should the result of the next one be regarded as any more valid, if it went the other way?
Then, of course, if there were to be a second such referendum and it went the other way, how long would it be before a third were to be held? If there was not to be one, why not?
Then, there is the argument that the UK is not really a nation. It is "an artificial construct". Once more, we have a problem, because every nation is an artificial construct. Alba was created by the Scots and the Picts becoming one nation, but quite who was top dog is uncertain.
Add in the Angles of Lothian and the Borders (Scotland's Sassenachs, or Saxons), the Britons of Strathclyde, the Gall-Gaels of Galloway ("foreign", Hiberno-Norse Gaels, perhaps) and the most recent “Scots”, the Orcadians and Shetlanders and there is a very strong case for several referenda to be held to decide who regards themselves as Scots before deciding Scotland's place in the UK. In a “fairer Scotland”, Nicola Sturgeon must realise how fair that would be.
Andrew HN Gray, Edinburgh
Diabetes is a hidden condition, but the people living with diabetes should never be put to the back of the queue because of that. One in 14 of us live with diabetes and even more care for a loved one who does.
That’s why, this Diabetes Week (starting today), we’re calling on decision-makers to do more to support people living with and affected by diabetes. In Scotland we welcome government funding for diabetes tech, and we’re asking that health boards roll this out as quickly as possible.
Visit diabetes.org.uk today to sign up to receive the latest updates from our campaign, Diabetes Is Serious, and find out more ways you can get involved.
Angela Mitchell, Director, Diabetes Scotland, Glasgow
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