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No such thing as a no-deal Brexit

Oh dear – it seems that Robert Buckland has succumbed to the disease which affects all career politicians, that of dribbling out lots of words which have no meaning whatsoever.

His latest offering is to be found in his support for Mrs May’s Chequers deal, Robert claims that a UK wide customs union backstop protects the constitutional integrity of the country. It may well do that (although I doubt it) but it is not what Mrs May and Robert promised in the manifesto on which they were elected.

There are two strands to leaving the EU. The first is to agree an orderly withdrawal. This process was triggered by Parliament invoking Article 50.

The second is to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement. Which given we have been partners for over 40 years should not have been too difficult to achieve (a point made by no less an EU acolyte that Mr Barnier).

The former (withdrawal) is a matter of negotiating a mutually beneficial resolution of the UK’s administrative relationship with the EU post March 2019.

The Free Trade Agreement, whilst important is not quite the issue that some would portray as there is a backstop already in place. This is framed by the very admirable WTO protocols which govern how the UK does business with every country outside of the protectionist bloc called the EU Single Market. Incidentally, the EU is a signatory to the WTO agreements which fact alone will ensure that the silly claims that are being made about deliberate delays being imposed at Calais will never come to pass. To do so would put the EU at odds with its WTO treaty obligations, never mind open the door Dutch and Belgian ports to step in and bridge the gap.

In short, there is no such thing as a ‘No Deal Brexit’ option. It’s either a Free Trade Deal with the EU or a deal under WTO terms. The WTO deal being one that works for many British companies and will actually work for them all.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Be seen on the road

People who know me are aware that I am passionate about advanced driving and road safety.

I am left bemused of late by watching television topics about, ‘Watch for cyclists and help keep them safe’, only to see an ‘educated professor’ who cycles a lot give an interview after showing up in dark clothing and not the hi-vis one should expect from him!

I see many cyclist groups cycling through Purton and surrounding areas but not so many in hi-vis. Even a talk by a local cycling group to our driving group explaining that they are Safety Conscious and Law Abiding and abide by all Road Signs and Markings left me thinking, ‘In my experience, who are you trying to kid’?

High-vis for horse riders is also advised but I seldom see enough being used.

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

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