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It’s time to compromise

I USED to work for a Japanese company, who after the Brexit Vote closed the UK office and sent me to work in Germany. Since the Brexit vote we have seen Panasonic and Sony both leave the UK to set up in the Netherlands. We have also seen Nissan threaten to close down its operations in the UK if there is a no deal Brexit.

Furthermore, since 2016 we have seen no significant investment in the UK by any Japanese companies.

A lot of people in Swindon believe it is an EU trade deal with Japan behind the closure of the factory here. That may be part of the reason but Brexit must have played a role in the decision. Japanese companies located in the UK because it offered easy access to European markets. Clearly a no-deal Brexit would not allow this.

The situation is really serious for the town. With the supply chain 9,000 jobs are likely to be lost. To put this into context in 1982 the railworks closure involved 1,500 jobs.

Personally, I accept the result of the referendum but surely it makes sense to leave with a proper free trade deal with the EU, at least as good as Norway and Switzerland has.

Isn`t it time for the hardline Brexiters to acknowledge these facts and instead push for leaving with a deal. I see the most vociferous have retired and are not overly concerned about employment prospects in the town. Maybe they would like to remember the 80s when many left the UK to work in Germany as there was mass unemployment here.

Free movement of labour allowed that which leaving the EU will put a stop to. In addition, surely the prospect of the pound going down another 20 per cent in the event of a no deal and food and medicine shortages should make them think again?

On the remain side, people need to stop insulting leavers. There are a lot of reasons people wanted to leave and saying they did not know what they were doing is frankly ridiculous. A so-called people`s vote is also dangerous as a decision has already been made in 2016, which needs to be respected. Now is time to compromise and work for leaving with a deal that enables us to live in cooperation with our European partners.

It should be remembered the EU represented 45 per cent of our exports in 2018, more than anywhere else.

I would look how countries outside the EU are doing in Europe. According to IMF 2018 data per capita GDP in the UK is 42,228 USD, the Czech Republic, which is a EU member is 22,850 USD.

However, Moldova – which is trying to enter – is only 3,218.USD In a world of big trade blocks do we really want to be outside them like Moldova and Serbia? So lets leave, yes, but with a decent trade deal to protect living standards.

Jonathan Sheldrake, Rodbourne

Take responsibility

Concerning the postal votes letters story (SA, November 8) I wonder if the fake news virus has reached Swindon.

On Friday your report included a copy of what seemed to be a letter from council offices in Euclid Street, signed by Susie Kemp, who is the council’s chief executive, acting as electoral registration officer.

On Saturday, on page 3, you quoted a statement from Coun Dale Heenan, that “Swindon Council staff (were) not involved in any way” and describing the matter as mishandling of data. So, who was that Susie Kemp on Friday?

Coun Heenan will know that you can delegate authority but not responsibility. That means that just because a task has been contracted out, you are still responsible for what is done in your name.

There is clearly a nonsense affecting data protection. Data should be passed on for a specific purpose and length of time.

The idea of a contractor holding an “out-of-date mailing list” is what data protection rules are designed to prevent.

That list should have been destroyed once the task for which it had been provided had been completed. I am a registered postal voter (although I did not get one of last week’s letters) and I am concerned that the council’s data protection procedures are at fault or were not followed.

Andrew Martin, Lower Stratton

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