Tactical failures mean we’re being led by the halter over Europe
Sir, The Prime Minister has called on the country to unite behind the withdrawal agreement she has agreed with the European Union.
The UK objective has been to control the movement of people in two directions: citizens wanting to leave the UK to live, work or retire to a country in Europe, and those wishing to come to work here in the UK.
However, Mrs May could have easily (and within EU rules) controlled inward migration by using procedures already in use in the rest of Europe.
Combined with the introduction of biometric identity cards, this could have allayed the fears of many that some people might be entering the UK in order to gain free health and social benefits.
Invoking Article 50 so hurriedly, before knowing the required destination of the UK, was a classic mistake in trying to impress the right wing of her Conservative Party. Mrs May’s tactical failures have also contributed to a deal which will leave the UK extremely restricted and unable to contribute to the inner workings of Europe. We will not be leading but led by the halter.
Since the 2016 referendum the UK economy has weakened, inflation has increased, sterling has devalued and the average employee is now far worse off than before, yet the public are expected to suffer it.
Mrs May’s plea for support would be far more credible if she allowed the electorate to vote on the matter. Any trade union is expected to put the result of its negotiations to a vote, as would any industrial leader to their board of directors, but the UK citizen is expected to blindly follow Mrs May.
Initially Parliament will have to find a constitutional arrangement which will not be so damaging to citizens’ rights and the economy, but if this does not happen, a People’s Vote will be needed. Yours etc,
G. W. COLLINGE