Reading about Brexit and its emerging realities on the sixth anniversary of the UK voting to leave the EU (Brexit is making cost of living crisis worse, new study claims, 22 June), I was reminded of the Hans Christian Andersen story The Emperor’s New Clothes. Here, the weavers persisted with the lie that they were creating the most fantastic set of clothes for the emperor. He believed them, despite the fact that there was no evidence of their existence. So certain was he of this false narrative that he led a public procession celebrating their wearing, only for a child to say: “He’s got nothing on.”
As Covid drifts away, along with the other excuses touted by the Brexit brethren, the businesses, farmers, fishers and scientists of Britain are now realising the horrible truth: Brexit was a fraud of giant proportions. Disconnecting from its neighbouring and biggest trading partner was always foolish and, in economic terms, suicidal.
The weavers of Brexit convinced voters that they would get their sovereignty back, even though they never lost it. They spun stories of incredible wealth generated from all sorts of magic trade deals, even though former British leaders such as Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher were exponents of a Europe that would make trade its central theme and that, along with a suite of rights-based initiatives based on proper human values, would outlaw war from within for future generations.
At least the emperor finally realised his folly. It’s time the British people realised the same sooner rather than later.
Ballycumber, County Offaly, Ireland
On the sixth anniversary of the Brexit vote, a reminder of some of the points made by the Vote Leave campaign: If we vote leave, we can create a fairer, more humane immigration system. We can have a friendlier relationship with the EU based on trade. We’ll be free to trade with the whole world. We send more than £350m to the EU every week – enough to build a modern hospital every week of the year. Heaven forbid that we were lied to, or did I just miss something?
Labour is going to “improve, not scrap” the Brexit deal, says David Lammy (Report, 23 June). May I suggest an area for improvement? We took our border terrier to the vet last week in preparation for a holiday in the EU. At a cost of almost £200, we received a complex 10-page “Animal health certificate for the non-commercial movement to a member state from a third country of dogs …” with some 22 official veterinary stamps. This was unnecessary before Brexit – and, if a Labour government were willing to approach discussions with the EU constructively, is hardly likely to be considered necessary now.
For the future, the vet’s practical advice was to bypass the certificate and associated costs by obtaining a pet passport issued in the EU. Oh, that we humans could choose to take a similar approach.
Would any of the Boris Johnson cheerleaders who praise his “leadership” on Ukraine and close relationship with its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, care to explain why they maintain their disdain for the EU despite the clear advantages that Ukraine sees in becoming a member?