One good thing the wholly biased man Mark Carney has done is to bring the issue of GATT Art XXIV to the national news headlines.  The fact that he has been entirely wrongheaded about it does not really matter. However, he has been seeking to mislead the public, and he must therefore be vehemently corrected as soon as possible.

If one analyses all the rubbish he has been spouting, it basically comes down to saying you can’t have Art XXIV without agreement.  That is of course stating the blindingly obvious. However, that agreement needs an offer to be made which is then accepted.

I am not going to repeat here the detailed advice I have already given about what must be done and the eminent suitability of it; however, I am going to put a gloss on it. In making the offer, the UK turns the tables on the EU. The UK would proclaim that the offer, if accepted, would produce a situation where everybody wins, not least German car manufacturers, and one which would provide a seamless transition into our liberated relationship with the EU.  It would therefore simply be malicious obstinacy on the part of the EU not to accept the offer, and it would only be the EU that could so force a “no deal” Brexit.

What a coup that would be, eh?

It might even be possible to get the PM to start the ball rolling now …

Respectfully, Septimus Octavius


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Jeremy Hunt’s response to a constituent farmer, given in Tuesday’s Tory leadership debate, exposes his own lack of readiness for a WTO Brexit. The farmer was concerned at the impact of tariffs on his exports to the EU.

Yes the 7% of UK companies exporting to the EU will not like having EU import duties applied to their products. But if EU/UK tariffs were set at say 10%, then the UK would collect around £7bn pa extra on £70bn pa of net imports from the EU. That is in addition to the gain of around £9bn pa in net direct costs, from a WTO exit.

Some of that gain could be used to help those UK companies to maintain competitiveness, at least in the short term. Indeed, government plans for a WTO exit included protection for farmers. Why was Mr Hunt not aware of that and why has it not been explained?

Of course there will be short term challenges in moving to WTO terms. But the minister responsible (Chris Heaton-Harris) said in April 2019 that “no deal preparations are well advanced” and that “our country would have swiftly overcome any immediate issues of leaving without a deal and gone on to thrive”.

We do not need a PM who has given such little thought to the impact of no deal.

Respectfully, Roger Arthur


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This letter is on the Wainfleet flooding.

Many of you will have seen the news reports of the flooding at Wainfleet in the East Coast of Lincolnshire caused by the overflow from the River Steeping when it burst its banks after what has been termed by the Authority as ” unprecedented” weather.

“Unprecedented” – that means in their terms a bit more rain than usual, and admittedly it has rained a bit, but in the annals of history probably not for the first time, and within most living memories it has not been accompanied by the bursting banks of the Steeping.

Here, I will declare an interest, having once lived for a period of 10 years in  Wainfleet St. Mary next door. So I was not surprised to hear one of the first “locals” interviewed, pointing out that neglect was the cause as the river had had little attention for the last 35 years.

On hearing that, I immediately thought of “Somerset Levels” – here we go again, where, as I understood, not only under EU (or some other outside authority) guidance had area been abandoned for nature conservation reasons, but the waterway had not been dredged regularly (reducing the capacity of the river to take increased water) but in the Steeping case the banks had been built up limiting natural flood plains.

I pointed out to my daughter that nobody appeared to be examining this aspect nationally and she quickly assured me that social media had been alive with comment, pointing out that not only had complaints been made over the years regarding lack of maintenance to the authorities, but it had also been pointed out that badger tunneling activity had weakened the built up banking in places.

I won’t dwell on the whole subject of global warming as it affects sea levels to the extent claimed, but for the life of me I cannot understand government policy in abandoning our territory to the waves, all around our coast without putting up a fight. In fact I view this attitude as a failure to defend our territory just as heinous as its failure to defend us in every meaning of the word.

Laughingly, I used to say that instead of industry sending vast sums of money abroad under the carbon credits scheme, it would be better used in building a 10ft coastal wall to keep the seas out.

The Dutch don’t seem to have any qualms about defending their territory; and no expense spared.

Will anything change after Brexit?

Respectfully, Roger Turner

PS I forgot to mention that there are giant pumping stations all over this “managed” area, increased rainfall should not be a problem – presumably that is the reason the river Steeping normally copes with any “unprecedented” weather situation.


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