Letter: ‘Soft Brexit’ will heal division

A soft Brexit may go some way to heal the division and politics in the country at the moment.
A soft Brexit may go some way to heal the division and politics in the country at the moment.

Following the vote to leave the EU, the pound has crashed. Every time the Conservatives indicate they want to go for a ‘hard Brexit’ the markets react, and it takes another tumble.

The crashing pound will start to result in price rises in the shops, as suppliers will start to pass on their increasing costs to retailers.

We are heavily reliant on imports, and these will now cost us more to buy. Any offset we experience from increased exports will be limited because half of our exports are themselves reliant on imported raw goods.

Faced with the reality of dropping living standards, it is not surprising that a majority of people favour the government prioritising a good trade deal over reducing immigration in Brexit negotiations.

Out of 2,000 people conducted online by ComRes on Oct. 12-13, 49 per cent of respondents said the government should prioritise getting favourable trade deals, while 39 per cent thought it should prioritise reducing immigration.

A majority of people also favour us staying within the single market.

This is something it would be possible to do while still leaving the EU, just as Norway does.

A narrow majority of people who voted in the referendum wanted to leave the EU.

We did not vote on whether or not to leave the single market.

With such a narrow result the government should be listening to the people and trying to negotiate a ‘soft Brexit’ where we retain access to the single market. After all, the Conservative election manifesto stated it was in favour of single-market access.

A ‘soft Brexit’ may go some way to heal the division and politics in the country at the moment.

It might also help prevent some of the economic ruin that is fast approaching.

Councillor James Baker, Leader of Calderdale Liberal Democrats group