YEP Letters: September 22

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Preaching to the unconverted

Jeremy Whittington, Leeds.

IT is very disgraceful that any religious leader preaches at the TUC conference.

Preach in any church, abbey or cathedral and let the politicians preach in Parliament.

The British public do not expect religious leaders, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be politicians. We in Britain should support any Prime Minister who is trying to get the very best deal for all British citizens.

All the in-fighting between the politicians does not help Britain to get any deal from the EU.

The Archbishop should be ashamed of himself.

Strong reasons for second Brexit vote

Will Kemp, Tadcaster

FORGET deal or no deal regarding Brexit. The real issue facing the UK is the economic harm that leaving the Single Market will cause.

A second referendum is therefore needed now, not least by Theresa May herself, for four reasons: economics; politics; fairness and her place in history.

Firstly, economics. Leaving the Single Market will lead to price inflation in at least the medium term, causing further falls in sterling and resulting in increased uncertainty, unemployment and negative growth at a time when the UK has no proper trade deals in place with countries whose goods and services it needs (and to whom it will then pay punitive tariffs, thereby exacerbating inflation).

This instability will force many institutions abroad, or out of business, leading to a fall in GDP and therefore the tax base by around £80bn (according to the Treasury), thus leaving a major shortfall in revenue for public services, not least the NHS.

Secondly, politics. This self-harm will be difficult for May to manage if she survives internal coups. Voters will blame her Government for the mess, thereby resulting in a Labour-led coalition, under which borrowing, debt and inflation would worsen (leading to calls to re-join the European Union, albeit on less favourable terms than those enjoyed at present).

Next, fairness. Most who voted for Brexit did so in the misguided belief it would lead to less foreign workers and more fiscal revenue for public services. Since then, the real costs and opportunity costs of leaving the EU have become clearer, leading to second thoughts and the realisation by many Brexit voters that they were sold a pup by grubby politicians offering pie-in-the-sky based on false premises. Surely it is only fair, therefore, to have another vote on a more informed basis?Lastly, the Prime Minister’s place in history. May knows a stitch in time saves nine and that the logical response to this fiasco is to hold another referendum, but feels constrained by forces in her own party. However, as PM, her first duty is to the people of the UK, and to show leadership, which is all about making difficult decisions.

If then she holds a second referendum, regardless of the result, she will be regarded as a genuine leader who did the right thing; if not, she will be forever seen as a rather listless figure who had neither the strength nor foresight to step back from the brink, and who did nothing as the UK slid into years of economic misery and decline.

Migrant rules concern

Danny Mortimer, chief executive, NHS Employers

WE strongly support many of the policy recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee report, and are pleased the MAC has highlighted the social care funding crisis .

The number one priority should be options for social care employers to hire social care workers. It would be completely unacceptable to allow vital services to close under the strain of not having the people required to provide good care, and so we welcome the recognition that sustainable funding would drive improved pay and conditions – and make this sector a much more attractive place to work.

A youth mobility scheme will simply not be sufficient for a sector employing over 1.5 million people in England, of which 175,000 care workers are from abroad. We have consistently flagged concerns about extending the Tier 2 system to EEA nationals, so while we welcome the MAC’s recommendation the Tier 2 cap be abolished, without reforming the system beyond this, the NHS and social care will struggle to recruit the staff they need.

Changes would hit construction

Brian Berry, chief executive, Federation of Master Builders.

THIS report makes very worrying reading for the tens of thousands of small construction firms across the UK who are already deeply concerned about the skills shortage.

Its recommendations ignore the pleas of construction employers who have called on the Government to introduce a visa system based on key occupations rather than arbitrary skill levels. Instead, the proposal is to apply the Tier 2 immigration system to EU workers, which would be disastrous for small and micro construction firms.

Even if tweaked and improved slightly, the Tier 2 system would not make provision for ample numbers of low skilled workers to enter the UK and these are people the industry relies upon.

For the Government to make good on its construction and house building targets, it will need sufficient labourers as well as civil engineers and quantity surveyors.

Contempt for democracy

Ian Smith, Bradford

IT’S a pity about Sir Vince Cable. I once respected him, but no longer. He seemed to work well in the coalition, having an apparently well-balanced, common-sense, professional approach – and he’s still promoting seemingly sound policies. But for me and my ilk, he’s now lost that praise following the contempt he’s demonstrating for the democracy we know; which is even more bizarre for a politician who’s in charge of a so-called democratic political party.

The Lib Dems had their chance to improve democracy through the AV referendum in 2011 – albeit not their preferred system – and lost the vote. But they’ve monotonously kept trying again.

I voted for AV, but accepted the outcome, and I’ll not support proposals to re-enact a PR referendum, until at least a decade has elapsed. For me, democracy has to be acceptance of a legitimate majority decision, not a preferred decision. Today’s version of democracy is not the one I’ve supported throughout my life.

So in future, although I will return ballot papers, they’ll very likely be unmarked, because, sadly, I don’t envisage ever again placing a cross in a box.