“Get Brexit done” was the election slogan, yet the government focuses its attention, and the country’s, on Christmas, when it’s crucial to get a deal with the EU (No-deal Brexit to cost more than Covid, Bank of England governor says, 23 November). If a trade deal is not made before 31 December, Britain loses its right to freely import and export goods to the EU and, unless sufficient exports are made, it will be extremely difficult to fund imports.
The government is unlikely to get a trade deal before 31 December. So, to prevent chaos on 1 January, the government must publish which goods can be exported to the EU, and the duty payable on them, for exporters to know if it is possible, and profitable, to export goods.
But if the UK voluntarily ends a 40-year agreement in a manner that caused economic hardship to the EU, and Boris Johnson breaks a treaty he signed less than a year ago regarding the Irish border, many countries may be reluctant to sign a trade deal with the UK. A failure to obtain good trade deals could cause a run on the pound. Many challenges need to be addressed in the new year and, unless an EU deal is made, none will be any easier to resolve.
Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire
• Earlier this week I received, from Alok Sharma at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, letters for two of the charities for which I am the contact, asking if they are ready for the new rules for business with the EU. Neither charity does any business with the EU, though we accept donations in euros. Two questions for Mr Sharma: how many charities do business with the EU, and if he knows what the new rules are, why has he not told businesses what they are?
• Ian Botham’s dismissive response to Vic Marks on their Brexit differences – “That doesn’t matter, mate. We won” – encapsulates the stony landscape of politics over the past five years (Ian Botham at 65: ‘I played the buffoon but listened more than I let on’, 24 November). To win is to be able to shrug off questions, to reject legitimate concerns from others and simply declare supremacy. Botham’s record as England Test cricket captain (played 12, won 0) gave an early indication that he is better suited to hitting things with a stick than engaging in complex matters of state.