Readers' letters: UK reaps what it’s sown with Brexit
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Our economy is set to contract by 0.6 per cent in 2023, worse than other economies including sanction-hit Russia.
One contributory factor in this is of course Brexit. We have witnessed the damaging economic impact of leaving the EU, with the UK set to be four per cent poorer than if it had stayed in it, according to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. This is set to knock £80bn off the UK’s gross domestic product and about £40bn off exchequer receipts.
Further evidence, if any were needed, of the damaging impact of Brexit, is the recent research by the Centre for Business Prosperity at Aston University. This has found that withdrawal from the EU and the introduction of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has resulted in a 22.9 per cent slump in UK exports.
This considerable contraction of the UK trade capacity signifies some serious long-term concerns about the UK’s future exporting and productivity.
The UK Government itself even noted that the much-trumpeted Australian trade deal will raise economic output by less than 0.1 per cent a year by 2035, while Brexit has raised food prices by 6 per cent and drained the workforce.
Brexit is one of the greatest acts of economic self-harm by a nation, and the figures from the IMF are evidence of the UK reaping what it has sown.
Alex Orr, Edinburgh
The latest plans from Edinburgh Council show it is still determined to inflict a repeat of last year’s endless roadworks on South Queensferry.
The plans to tart up the Ferry’s High Street are entirely unnecessary as the pavement and roadway are generally in good condition. Councillors and officials who do not live on Queensferry High Street are forcing the whole city to fork out millions for cosmetic changes residents don’t want. One councillor told me the works are essential to attract visitors. But the town is already doing very well and does not need millions spent on cosmetic improvements. For example, Scotts has just opened a second large restaurant in the town.
Our money should not be wasted on more ugly polished granite bollards. A far greater priority is for active travel and better integrated sustainable public transport, along with amenities for young people and families along with greater enforcement against pavement-parkers.
We must resist this heavy-handed and unheeding attitude from the council. Another summer of screeching angle grinders and closed roads could drive visitors – and residents – away.
Bruce Whitehead, South Queensferry
Based on her ability to provide evidence – or rather, inability – to the Holyrood inquiry into sexual assault allegations made against Alex Salmond, she has, apparently, an appalling memory. So will Sturgeon's memoir be will be significantly shorter than Harry’s Spare? Let’s hope so.
Martin Redfern, Melrose, Scottish Borders
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