Thank you, John Harris, for speaking the devastating truth about the nightmare after Brexit (Spiralling inflation, crops left in the field and travel chaos: 10 reasons Brexit has been disastrous for Britain, 3 August). He left out visual artists, who are suffering along with musicians. The bureaucracy Brexit has inflicted on them is Kafkaesque.
The artists I work for recently had to ship an exhibition from their studio in Wales to a glass museum in France, necessitating days lost on the preparation of the magic “carnet” for export. Where before they would simply hire a van and set off, now they spend precious time compiling mindless lists: a description, value and weight for every single work being exhibited, the weight of the packing cases, a list of the tools needed for installing the exhibition, together with the value of each. The list goes on. Then there’s the cost of the customs agent and the fee for exporting the goods.
Any chance we could get the ideologues and those allergic to the truth to admit that Brexit has been a grotesque mistake?
John Harris is right in everything that he says, but there is a simpler way to put it. If Brexit is a good thing, it must have benefited someone at least in a measurable way. Who is that someone (excluding politicians and the media)? We need only one name. We need empirical proof that there is at least one more winner than there are losers.
Unless we can be introduced to this model Brexit citizen by Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss, all politicians should start undoing the damage caused by the ineptitude of the Conservative party. The result of the 2016 referendum can be respected while applying the pre-2016 British virtues of common sense and moderation.
Larreule, Hautes-Pyrénées, France
John Harris writes that the government has tried to patch up the damage to universities caused by our exit from Erasmus+ by introducing the Turing programme. Unlike Erasmus+, this is not a reciprocal scheme. He doesn’t mention the effect that withdrawing from Erasmus+ has had on schools, youth groups and adult education. For schools especially, it was particularly damaging to be denied access to collaborative projects, teacher in-service programmes and job shadowing. The Turing programme has no provision for these enriching activities and nothing for youth groups or adult education. The cost of Erasmus+, which Boris Johnson gave as a reason for our withdrawal, took no account of the spending power of incoming groups; Erasmus+ students now take their grants to Ireland or the Netherlands.
Chair, UK Global Learning Association for Schools
An eleventh reason why Brexit has been a disaster is a major deterioration in political morality, since both parties feel compelled to lie about Brexit. The competition for Tory leader has particularly highlighted this, but virtually everyone is at it. The effect on the electorate’s faith in politics, and consequently the future of democracy, is deeply damaging.
John Harris does not mention Boris Johnson and rightly so. The Brexit disaster is not simply the work of one rogue prime minister. It is a Conservative party project and in any sane democracy, such a party would be pilloried at the polls.