Dereliction of duty

I am shocked that this government is apparently happy to break international law (SA, September 11) and that my MP, the Justice Secretary Robert Buckland is apparently happy to aid them in doing so. As Justice Secretary he is duty bound under oath to uphold the rule of law and to ensure the government of which he is a member does the same.

Is he really willing to stand by and let the Government break international law by passing a law which breaks a treaty with the EU signed by Boris Johnson only last year? Willing to let the UK lose its reputation as an honourable state that upholds international law? If we do so the UK will lose all moral authority internationally. This will have repercussions for years all round the world and in all trade deals in the future. It will weaken the UK only further and it scares me that the government should even be considering it. We will become a rogue state. This is not something the British people voted for.

I would urge Robert Buckland to consider the oath he took when he became Justice Secretary and act now before it is too late. Failure to do so would be a gross dereliction of his duty to the British people.

Anne Bennett

Address supplied

A laughing stock

So Boris and his cronies hastily cobbled together a poor and impractical deal, in order to claim achievement of the supposedly impossible at the end of last year. They have since used this apparently extraordinary feat to bolster the idea that they are miracle workers, and whatever bluster their leader comes out with will of course be able to materialise.

Eventually the Withdrawal Deal’s failings were bound to be shown up, and now we have an equally impractical solution to one of them, which goes against everything that our country stands for. It has been noticed that there is a geographical conundrum. The answer is to renege on part of the binding deal which they signed only 9 months ago. Not only riding roughshod over international law, but also contradicting the Conservative Party Manifesto, upon which this government was voted in less than a year ago:

“Getting Brexit done will allow us to do more on the international stage, we will continue to be an outward-looking country that is a champion of collective security, the rule of law, human rights, free trade, and anti-corruption efforts and a rules-based international system.”

Many who voted for this government will hold previous Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in high esteem. These were some of her words on the subject of maintaining order by the rule of law.

“The first duty of government is to uphold the law. If it tries to bob and weave and duck around that duty when it's inconvenient, if government does that, then so will the governed, and then nothing is safe. Not home, not liberty, not life itself.”

This maybe especially pertinent, now that we are battling coronavirus, with ever more apparently random and hastily implemented restrictions being placed on our everyday lives. This is not our leaders standing up for our country, they are rapidly turning us into a laughing stock, soon to be a much poorer one at that. It is becoming embarrassing to be British.

Carolyn Phillippo


OK to break laws

An open letter to Robert Buckland: I was intrigued to hear your Andrew Marr interview where you stated that you will not resign as Justice Secretary/Lord Chancellor if the law is broken unless it is “in a way that I find unacceptable.”

I would be grateful, in your role as Justice Secretary (for which you took an oath to uphold the law), if you confirm that I can countenance breaking the law, as long as I don’t find such a transgression unacceptable. It would appear from what you are saying, that I can’t break the laws I like, but happily, I can break the ones I don’t.

Hypothetically, if I personally find it acceptable to drive at 120mph on the motorway, can I use your example as a defence should I get pulled over by the police ? I am assuming the answer is yes, especially as I haven’t sworn an oath to uphold the law in the first place.

Graham Cole

Old Town