Timothy Garton Ash is right (Britain is in a hole – Europe, we need you to dig us out, 21 March). Our MPs must think more creatively about the situation and take action. The PM’s deal will not get through the House of Commons and she is resistant to all suggestions of potential modifications to it, no deal is not a viable option and a people’s vote, with the binary choice of Mrs May’s deal or remain, would be divisive and is another blunt instrument where a more nuanced approach is needed.
Our MPs should vote to revoke article 50. The country should then take time to have rational discussions accessible to all sections of society about the genuine pros and cons of EU membership, how the EU works and our contribution to it during our membership. We should be given information about all possible Brexit deals (Norway, Canada, customs union, remaining in the single market, no deal etc) and what they would mean, set out as clearly as possible. Finally, we should have a referendum with all options on the ballot paper to be ranked in order of preference. We might then arrive at a consensus of “what the British people want”.
Musselburgh, East Lothian
• Theresa May’s address to the nation blaming MPs for the current Brexit impasse (Report, 21 March) was shameful. It is she who refused from the outset to involve parliament fully in the Brexit process; it is she who has been totally intransigent regarding her “red lines”; it is she who has been procrastinating and purposefully running down the clock; it is she who has consistently rebuffed parliamentarians’ suggestions of reasonable compromises. I am completely appalled by her blatantly populist attempt to set the people of this country against their elected representatives who are simply doing their job of holding the executive to account – truly a performance worthy of Donald Trump.
• When Theresa May delivered her incendiary speech to the nation, she would have done well to remember the plaque in the House of Commons in memory of Jo Cox. Has she forgotten what this kind of populist rhetoric can lead to?
Ilkley, West Yorkshire
• As a practising member of the C of E, Theresa May will be familiar with the words of the prayer for the Queen, asking that the people may be “quietly governed”. With no sign that she is prepared to listen to anyone else’s views, perhaps it is time she looked to her religion for help. Some quiet governance would be welcome.
St Albans, Hertfordshire
• Martin Kettle’s comparison (Journal, 21 March) of Theresa May’s downfall with Tony Blair’s contains one omission. The disaster that consumed their administrations was not caused merely by their folly, but also the abject failure of their cabinet ministers to stand up to them and prevent the disaster engulfing their government. The failures of these two cabinets have already had profoundly negative consequences, both nationally and internationally. History will not serve them well.
• Rafael Behr (We’re edging away from Brexit but in the worst possible way, 20 March) nearly put me off demonstrating on Saturday when he said: “The pitch has to open with the image of a happier, confident Britain … taking its rightful place at the top table of continental power, ready to lead.” British arrogance is what brought us to Brexit. How about instead: “The pitch has to open with the image of a happier, confident Britain … taking its rightful place as an equal among European nations – Ireland included – ready to cooperate and persuade in tackling the challenges we face.”
Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire
• Mike Galvin (Letters, 20 March) states that Brexit “resembles checkmate in reverse”. In fact, in chess terms, Brexit resembles a case of zugzwang, when any move you make will lead to disaster. Readers of a certain age will also recognise Brexit as a classic case of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 – where there is no way out of a dilemma, because of mutually conflicting conditions.
Professor Jackie Eales
Canterbury Christ Church University
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