Boris Johnson’s letter to Donald Tusk is sarcastic and obstinate

Letters
Donald Tusk attends a press conference during the G20 Osaka Summit: AFP/Getty Images

Ugly sarcasm surfaces in Boris Johnson’s letter to Donald Tusk from the get go. First he uses the qualifier “so called” to describe the backstop. Then he goes on to repeatedly mention the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. He doesn’t write about the Belfast Agreement (as it is only the Unionists who would know what he was talking about). Clearly he can’t bring himself to call it just the Good Friday Agreement like the rest of the world, including all Irish newspapers, TheNew York Times, Washington Post, The Times, The Sun, The Guardian, Financial Times and The Telegraph.

My guess is that this inelegant letter to Donald Tusk was put together by Dominic Cummings (bang on about the backstop, Boris) and Arlene Foster with the help of Wikipedia. I doubt anyone in Westminster bothered to get it translated into Polish for the president of the European Council to read as they knew he’d understand the spirit and letter of everything Boris Johnson wanted to say in English.

Alison Hackett
Dun Laoghaire​

Controls in the Republic of Ireland are an issue for the EU, not the UK

The reason Boris Johnson hasn't proposed an alternative to the backstop is that the UK does not need one. We have said we will not impose controls at the border for those coming from the South. If the EU is not prepared to have no controls in the Republic of Ireland, it should not be suggesting this is our problem to solve.

Julian Gall
Godalming

Brexit Britain should look at German history

The present situation in British politics, where the majority of voters seem to have no confidence in our elected politicians, is extremely disturbing. It reminds me of the position which the German Weimar government found itself in during the 1920s when its voters had no confidence in its politicians.

There are, of course, some major differences between the German situation of the 1920s and the current political landscape in the UK. For example, Germany at the time was in difficulty because of the appalling Versailles peace treaty. Today’s notion of a Withdrawal Agreement has been likened to a treaty imposed on a defeated nation, but the two scenarios are notably different. In addition, the Weimar Republic was hit harder than any other country by the Wall Street crash of 1929. To avoid such economic instability in the 21st century, we need to keep an anxious eye on the present trade war taking place between the USA and China.

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Germany’s troubles caused the country to slide into a period of weak leadership, culminating in a minority government led by the Nazi Party. I am not suggesting that today we in the UK are likely to have a similar political party getting its hands on power, but everyone, voters and politicians alike, need to be extremely careful about what can happen when they try to play fast and loose with the democratic process.

All of us must be quite clear in our minds and attitudes, do we always believe in democracy or just when it suits what we want?

Ken Shuttleworth
St. Albans

At an Edinburgh Festival interview, Ms Sturgeon tells us that anti-English sentiment is not welcome in Scotland. She should try telling that to her supporters, who constantly denigrate and insult the UK and Westminster as surrogates for England and the English.

If there were no England and no English people, who would the SNP blame for all its manufactured grievances? Scottish nationalism is motivated by the perceived wrongs allegedly inflicted by England, past and present. As long as there is an SNP, anti-English sentiment will not only flourish but will be encouraged by Ms Sturgeon’s own party.

Jill Stephenson
Edinburgh

What was wrong with the Labour manifesto?

Could Vic Gaunt point out the changes envisaged by the 2017 Labour Party manifesto – supported by Momentum members like myself – which his “left-of-centre” leanings find so disturbing?

Carol Wilcox
Christchurch

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