Brextension desperately needed

I am urging the Government to extend the Brexit transition deadline, to allow MPs and the Civil Service, time to fully concentrate on the pandemic.

I am sure everyone would like the Government and nation’s number one priority for the UK to be to overcome this pandemic, and not have precious resources diverted for tasks that can be delayed.

With the devastating effects of the second wave of the Spanish flu in 1918 and third in 1919, which were more deadly than the first, with the diverting of resources away from this can only increase the chances of these future waves happening.

I would like to see all of the Government’s resources aimed at reducing the risk of this reoccurring a century later.

After the massive financial impact of Covid 19, would want another economic toxic shock to the economy so soon afterwards, or, if the pandemic does carry on, even more devastatingly parallel to the current crisis?

The Government have admitted the pandemic will cause issues for people and routine tasks, such as filing of company accounts, will take longer with the pressures of working from home and staff being unwell.

I can only dread to think what this would do to a one off massive task such as negotiate a trading deal with the EU et al. The EU - Canada deal took seven years to finalise with no global pandemic and we’re trying to do a deal in months, or even weeks.

The default position for a no-deal is to go to WTO terms, however, with the actions and words of the current president of the United States the continued existence and effectiveness of the WTO is under threat; leaving us to the ‘law of the jungle’ in world trade.

We would be in a very vulnerable position as the current deals we have made to date cover c8% of the UK’s trade and seven of our largest nine trading partners are EU nations (Germany, Netherlands, France, Ireland, Spain, Belgium & Italy, the other two are the US and China)

For the benefit of the residents of Swindon, and, further afield, can the Government please do the right thing for the UK, delay Brexit and maximise the chances of overcoming the pandemic with the minimum of devastation to lives and the UK economy going forward.

Michael Dickinson

South View Avenue

Racist history

David Collins says we should learn from history but his remarks about the protests against racist violence indicate he hasn’t. He answers his own question about why people come here, “to work”, but the question is irrelevant. Without the immigrants who came here after the war we would not have seen the post war economic boom yet still those people faced appalling racism and despite being affected by anti-racist struggles, racism persists as the media and politicians blame migrants and black people in general for social problems they have nothing to do with causing.

Mr Collins says you can’t change history but some of the protests he objects to are insisting that the cover of lies over that history are removed, along with the glorification of it. Eg In the 1960s the government ordered the systematic destruction of documents highlighting murder, torture and so on which happened as the British state attempted to hold on to bits of the empire after the war.

Mr Collins’ comments on the slave trade indicate he has no conception of the scale, nature or legacy of it.

If Mr Collins really thought “all lives matter” then he would be supporting protests against a police practice which shows that for them it isn’t so.

Peter Smith

Woodside Avenue