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A new royal yacht? No thanks very much

A new royal yacht? Prince Andrew wants one apparently. Naturally he doesn’t want to pay for it himself.

The original was called a ‘yacht’ when it fact it was more an ocean-going liner/ floating palace.

Beloved by Prince Philip who frequently cruised far away seas aboard her.

Missing such family celebrations as his son’s 8th birthday, his own 9th wedding anniversary and the 10th family Xmas. Plus sneaking away on it to Cowes week year after year unannounced with a compliant media keeping mum. In short its role was abused.

The ship is an interesting example of the especially indulgent way in which the post-Second World War British monarchy was treated in sharp contrast to the privations endured by the population.

The vessel was, in fact, sold to the country under false pretences, a gratuitously extravagant pleasure craft used mainly for private royal holidays and honeymoons by assorted family members rather than Commonwealth visits.

At the height of the Cold War it was envisaged that the royals could, if necessary, hastily embark on her and take to the waters off Scotland, where they could safely hide from Soviet radar; damn the rest of us.

In just seven years (1983 until 1990) it had cost the MOD an astonishing £44,131,000 in repairs.

On its last major outing in 1997 the floating palace was used on ‘export promotion’ activities for an average of just nine days in each of the last seven years of its ‘working’ life.

It’s much-proclaimed ‘business use’ was virtually a myth.

Princess Anne at the time wanted it to be scuttled-a solution scarcely justifiable on enviromental grounds alone. She felt the vessel would suffer the ‘indignity’ of the public (who originally paid for it!) having access to it. The Duke agreed, naturally.

Even the Queen shed a tear at its decommissioning ceremony. There had been no such display of emotion at the funeral of her daughter-in-law.

There we go.

Jeff Adams, Bloomsbury, Swindon

We just want to leave

If John Stooke wants examples of lies being told over Brexit, he has only to listen carefully to our wonderful Prime Minister. She claims in her Draft Agreement that she has achieved a deal that gives back the UK control of its borders, and sees an end of free movement of people, which is what (her words) the Brexiteers voted for. No! We voted to Leave.

This is a total con. How can she claim control of our borders when there is a wide open door in Ireland? Anyone with half a brain cell will realise that there HAS to be a hard border between North and Southern Ireland, or a hard border down the Irish Sea, to prevent mass immigration from the EU, or indeed, anywhere in the world. A cheap flight to Dublin, then unchallenged, straight over the non existent border into the UK. Next stop the benefits office England.

In all honesty I can’t see the problem with Ireland having a hard border. The PM has stated that N.Ireland must not be treated differently from the rest of the UK. The rest of the UK has hard borders, or is supposed to have hard borders, although they are unbelievably porous at the moment. They will have to be beefed-up after Brexit, and could create hundreds of worthwhile jobs. Perhaps an answer to May’s problem would be for S. Ireland to have an IN/OUT referendum too. Do I hear re-moaners wringing their hands at that?

Another example of “porkies” is the backstop. This locks the whole UK into a Custom Union. She claims it will never be used, and will only be a temporary anyway. She fails to mention that there is no fixed terminal date, or that the UK cannot legally extract itself without EU permission. This is not Brexit, it’s a blank cheque for the EU.

This deal is proof that the Tory’s should not have selected a Remainer to be PM in charge of Brexit.

Space is short and so much to say. I await reaction to those couple of points for starters.

Alan Spencer, Swindon

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