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Different principles

Lib Dem Brian Matthews pays a lovely tribute to the late Lord Ashdown, portraying him as a man imbued with a deep sense of patriotism and “who passionately supported Britain remaining a member of the EU” (SA 29 Dec).

Mr Matthews goes on to tell your readers that on the subject of Brexit, Lord Ashdown held “a strong belief that there should be a people’s vote to decide whether Mrs May’s deal or no deal is better than the deal we already have”. A clever way of saying let’s have another vote to see if we can get the people to change their mind.

I am sure many readers will view this latter ‘strong belief for a second people’s vote’ as being out of step with what Lord Ashdown said prior to the result of the EU referendum being declared – to refresh Mr Matthews, let me quote Lord Ashdown’s words: “I will forgive no one who does not accept the sovereign voice of the British people once it has spoken, whether it is by one per cent or 20 per cent”.

Of course at the time he made this principled statement he believed (as did the rest of the political and metropolitan elite) the vote would prove in favour of remaining in the political construct that is the EU.

The ‘passionately principled’ former leader of the Lib Dems later said “The UK people voted for Brexit - but not this Brexit” which may surprise many as there was only one vote and two questions, the people were asked whether the wanted to leave or remain; they voted to leave the EU.

A principled politician would have accepted the sovereign voice of the British people once they had spoken, whether it is by one per cent or 20 per cent.

Sadly the Lib Dems have form when it comes to saying one thing and doing another – tuition fees come to mind as does the reneging of a promise to support electoral boundary reform.

Lord Ashdown may well be lauded as a saint by some but on the subject of Brexit he was as contemptuous of the people’s vote as held in June 2016 and I for one will not forgive him for his duplicity.

Of Lord Ashdown it could be said he was a man possessing a principle for every occasion.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Taken by surprise

Eighty-two migrants were recently detained in one week while crossing the English Channel in small boats.

This sudden surge in numbers has taken the government very much by surprise.

Theresa May knows that these boat people cannot be sent back to France according to EU law.

EU law states very clearly that whatever the circumstances people caught crossing the English Channel cannot be returned to France.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

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