Sir,

the people have spoken, and according to Boris, Brexit is just round the corner, the Americans ready to do the Deal of the Century, and, with a bit of luck, the chains that have bound us to the EU are consigned to history. But, and there is always a But, the SNP are, yet again calling for another Referendum on Scottish Independence. I think that there is something wrong with this presumption. History teaches us, if memory serves, that the Union of England and Scotland was brought about by a Scottish King by the name of James, taking the Crown of England. In other words, it was the English who joined the Scots (or the other way round!) of their own free will, so surely it is a question that the English, as the “conquered”, for want of a better word, who should decide, or at least have a say in answering the question of what constitutes our United Kingdom.

If Scotland leaving the UK only impacted on affairs North of the Border, then by all means restrict any vote to the Scots, but should the Scots leave the UK, it will have a huge impact on the country of England. England does not have a Government, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own Parliament, the English do not, our Parliament stands for the whole of the UK, England is not governed as a such, but governs for the benefit of the UK. Setting aside the historical facts, surely the breaking of the Union concerns not just the Scots, and the English, but every person living in our UNITED Kingdom.

Respectfully, Jim Stanley

 

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Sir,

BJ’s first big mistake, is to try to hit climate change Lemming targets (see here)

Many £ billions have been spent on solar and wind power in the UK. In 2010, our industrial electricity prices were about average for a western economy but now they are around 28 per cent more expensive. They have increased by more than 160 per cent since 2004 and are becoming increasingly un-competitive. So what did all that achieve?

Well UK solar and wind generating capacity now totals around 35,000 MW, at a cost of many £billions. But the combined output averages around 7,000MW over the year. Indeed on some winter days the combined solar and wind output is less than 1,000MW – when Maximum Grid system demand can be as high as 60,000MW.

The shortfall in capacity must be met by back-up conventional power and energy storage plant – when there is little sun or wind – plant which is not free.

Expenditure on it will have to increase many times, if the net zero CO2 emissions target is to be brought forward. That will likely equal the capital cost of new solar and wind plant. 

But if the U.K. consumer is expected to shoulder most of the extra cost then more companies (and jobs) will go to China, India and the like, thereby increasing global CO2 emissions while putting more UK citizens into fuel poverty. 

It will also be increasingly difficult to maintain supply security, if intermittent solar and wind generation is allowed to increase as a % of total generating capacity. 

We witnessed a severe cost impact from a power failure recently, when hospitals and transport systems were disrupted. Too many more such power failures could erode the confidence of foreign investors. 

So before embarking on another dash for solar and wind expansion, we must ask if the cost and human impact in the UK is acceptable, when we are only influencing around 2% of human CO2 emissions?

We could have a far bigger impact on global emissions by developing technology such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), while limiting fuel poverty in the UK, rather than another un-costed dash for solar and wind at home.

Whether manufacturing continues in developing countries or in the U.K., will become irrelevant, if CCS is installed on power station exhausts.

But it simply doesn’t make sense to throw even more money at solar and wind – without a full impact analysis. Let’s spend our money where it has the best outcome. Let’s not become lemmings.

Respectfully, Roger Arthur

 

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Sir,

Fishing for Leave welcomed the PMs statement to the Commons in reply to Owen Paterson’s question (see here) on fishing, saying: “It is great to hear Boris say that fishermen will be released from the EU’s arcane quota system. Britain needs a policy that works with our mixed fishery environment.” His statement and sentiment on taking back control of fishing reflects the welcome manifesto promises on fishing. Particularly the pledge to have FULL control of our waters.

Sentiment is one thing – delivery another.

Boris has a great chance to exorcise the ghost of Edward Heath that still haunts the Tory part. He MUST deliver or the Conservatives will never be forgiven for a 2nd deliberate betrayal of fishing.

Rendered even more bitter by squandering the opportunity of automatically taking back control on leaving by signing up to arrangements that would roll over, replicate or bind Britain to the CFP in any future trade deal to come

Fishing for Leave make no secret that we still bitterly oppose the deal due to the dangerous situation and obligations it puts Britain in – a position the government is going to have to fight hard to paddle back from.

The EU makes no secret that it demands a roll-over of current access & quota arrangements along with CFP associate membership as the price for any trade deal. The Political Declaration that the Withdrawal Agreement legally obliges Britain to ratify as the basis of any trade deal sets the government up for a sell out on fishing.

Where the UK will have to negotiate fishing “as part of the wider economic partnership” whilst agreeing “access and quota shares” all based on a “level playing field” and “non-discrimination”. The UK will be unable to impede freedom of establishment and therefore EU owned but UK registered ‘Flagships’ under Paragraph 29 of the Political Declaration. Conveniently Paragraphs 118-120 make provision for associate membership of EU policies.

To fulfil manifesto promises the government MUST ensure;

  • We take back FULL control of all waters and resources within our EEZ.
  • Have complete freedom from the CFP with unhindered ability to exercise exclusive sovereignty over our entire EEZ.
  • NO roll over of current unlimited ‘equal access’ access and ‘relative stability’ resource shares.
  • ANY agreement on “access & quota” shares as obliged by the Political Declaration MUST be on a strictly annual basis.
  • ANY access or quota swaps must ONLY be granted when the UK receives a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities in.
  • ANY fishing agreement must not negate a repatriation of the UKs rightful share of internationally agreed Total Allowable Catches (TAC) resources under the international principle of ‘Zonal Attachment’.
  • ANY annual access must ONLY be granted when the EU recognises the UKs rightful Zonal Attachment shares.
  • We are free to reinstate Mrs Thatcher’s ‘Economic Link’ conditions to curb Flagships and ensure UK vessels deliver genuine economic benefit to Britain.
  • Have the freedom to ban electric pulse fishing and industrial fishing for Sandeels.

Nothing less will do!

Respectfully, Fishing for Leave

 

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