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Return to drawing board

Using straightforward and clear language, Carolyn Phillippo’s superb letter (SA, August 6) articulates convincingly the pointlessness and waste of our wealth creating seed corn, if our political masters insist on risking a no-deal Brexit.

I am a retired chartered engineer and during my career I was greatly privileged to work with other engineers in various places in the world, including in many EU countries. Engineers the world over speak the same language – professionalism, innovation, imagination, teamwork, practicality and, dare one say it, compromise. One of the things that saddens me about the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, is that fewer young UK engineers will have the opportunities to work with their European colleagues.

From an engineer’s perspective, a no-deal Brexit, in addition to the damage which would be caused to many parts of our economy as Carolyn identifies, is likely to: result in reduced investment by high tech manufacturing industries in the UK, such as Airbus (14,000 highly skilled jobs, and a further 110,000 indirectly), have a very negative impact on Japanese companies in the UK (Taro Kono, Japanese Foreign Minister), including the likelihood of a drop in foreign investment (Over 1000 Japanese companies operating in the UK employing around 160,000) and have a devastating impact on the UK automotive industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports” (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders).

When these types of jobs are lost, they don’t come back (Fairbairn, Director General, CBI). Surely the risk of losing these types of jobs is too high a price for Brexit, deal or no deal?

As Carolyn Phillippo suggests, perhaps we could be given an honest account of the trade-off between the loss of high tech jobs, and any obvious improvement to the day-to-day lives of the average UK citizen (myself included).

As an engineer, hard problems are solvable, but may need compromise and a return to the drawing board - is it too late to ask our politicians do the same?

Daniel Pitt, Okus Road, Swindon

Speed camera aware

I sympathise with David Collins who told the readers about being caught for speeding and having attended a Driver/Speed Awareness Course. My guess is that he was caught out by average speed cameras. The latest SPECS cameras are capable of enforcing 20mph, 30mph, 40mph, 50mph, 60mph, 70mph limits.

If the average speed between two sets of cameras exceeds the police threshold, an offence record is created, and images and data are transferred back to central control unit. I am not sure about the dispensation for police or emergency vehicles but there may have been some exemption for the police car he was following and therefore his average speed between cameras was too high. Just be aware of these as they are on gantries above the motorways and are generally yellow in colour. Ideally, there should be no need to exceed the posted speed limit if you plan your journey and leave in good time. There are things to consider before a journey as per the Goals for Driver Education matrix.

Is the driver fit and well and eyesight is of the required standard? Is the vehicle fit for purpose and has the appropriate documentation? Is the journey necessary, have you planned it adequately? Have you planned for any possible delays, rest periods etc. And anything that may crop up on your journey that you may not have planned for -breakdown, route change etc. You were unlucky David!

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

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