The first of today’s letters is a rather excellent open letter to David Davis MP by our correspondent Septimus Octavius. Even if Mr Davis doesn’t read it – you can, and you are encouraged to use the arguments presented here wherever you talk and write about Brexit:

Good Afternoon Mr Davis

Anyone reading Article 50 will see that it provides for the possibility of an Agreement, but only one. It is therefore stating the blindingly obvious that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed; indeed, that was a favourite mantra of the EU until “sufficient progress” was declared. Then, all of a sudden, the UK was accused of bad faith in pointing out that nothing was legally binding yet! Oddly, that accusation went very quiet after the “defeat” of the Government on the “meaningful vote” amendment, as in praising that defeat the EU suddenly realised that is so doing they were scuppering any possibility of the “deal” so far provisionally agreed being firmed up in a treaty.

Equally misguided, of course, were the proponents of that amendment.  Parliament is not sovereign in the UK, which was one of the main arguments in support of leaving the EU. However, at present the UK is very much a member of the EU and so the European Commission and the ECJ continue to trump our Parliament and our courts. This means that there is nothing the UK or its institutions can do to alter in any way the process set in train by the Article 50 Notification given in March.

That process is very clear and certain. The UK and the EU have a window of two years in which they are allowed to reach an Agreement for the future relationship between them.  Such an Agreement will be binding only as from the moment it is formally ratified by the European Parliament (which in practice will just rubber stamp the deal, but it must go through the charade of a formal independent decision). That ratification must occur within the two year window, and if that happens then at the moment it happens the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU. If there is no such ratification as at the expiry of the two years, at 11 pm UK time on 29 March 2019, then at that moment the UK is released from the Treaties of the EU. This binary simplicity is most commendable and very neat and effective.

It therefore follows that it matters not a jot what the boys and girls in Westminster choose to play at; nothing will stop that magnificent operation of EU law as it relentlessly applies the straightforward rules of Article 50.

As ever, God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. If it had not been for the stupid antics of the “mutineers”, the UK might still have been seen in the wrong for not firming up the deal so far. Thankfully, this point will not be lost on Michel Barnier.  He can huff and puff as much as he likes about no cherry-picking, no bespoke deal, etc; he knows if he pushes too hard, and does not give a deal that the UK government can sell to the UK people, so there is a no-deal Brexit, he can kiss goodbye to his “divorce bill” – the EU would not get a penny.

Regards, Septimus Octavius

The second letter today comes from our reader David Gunn, asking an interesting question about Remainers:


Prompted by a recent letter, I’d like to offer my thoughts on a certain South Devon MP. First of all though, I think it’s worth saying that while we’re still at school, we’re largely insulated from the adult world of politics and it rarely encroaches on our lives. Any political opinion we may have then will be a reflection of those adults around us. Only when we enter the big bad world do we get the full horrors of real life. Our opinions are then formed from personal experience, which will almost certainly vary as the early years pass by. Eventually though, some will stick and indeed harden and will likely remain with us for the rest of our lives. Therefore, when a mature person has formed an opinion on the nature of the European Union, probably from its inception, it’s hardly credible that that person would declare for one side in the 2016 referendum only to suddenly change that position with no warning or precursor.

For me it smacks of carrot dangling.

Let’s say the Remain campaign were so convinced of victory, (because they knew something the wider world did not), that a brighter future beckoned if Remain actually did win. I wonder if that would influence someone into changing their position?

Quite apart from the lies and wishful thinking of the Remain camp there is this. Under what circumstances would anyone bet a £1,000,000 on anything unless you’d been assured by some very heavy duty insiders that it was a “sure thing”?

Respectfully, David Gunn, UKIP Newton Abbot Branch

Finally, a letter about council tax rises by Cllr Brian Silvester:


when Cheshire East Council, the Police and the Fire Service are increasing their Council Tax every year, by large amounts, it is good news that Rope Parish Council has cut their Council tax in half. I was pleased to support and vote with a majority on the Council to make the 50% reduction in the Council Tax set by the Council.

The Council was able to do this because they have ceased to fund the cost of additional PCSO coverage for the village.This funding took up over 60% of the Council’s budget. I was always dubious that the Council was getting value for money because the Police would never inform us just how much time the PCSO’s spent in the Parish, even though that information could have readily been supplied.Also the information on Police performance criteria in the Parish was never good enough in my view.

This year the Police wanted to charge a lot more for the

PCSO service and a majority of the Council felt they could not justify the cost to local council taxpayers.

When I was Leader of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council I was able, along with my colleagues, to cut the Borough Council Tax for the first time ever and I am now proud that I have played a part in cutting in half the Parish Council Tax.

Local people are angry that they are forced pay increased Council Tax every year at a time when services are in decline.The Council Tax set by Rope Parish Council is only a small part of the overall Council Tax bill but I hope it will serve an an example to others.

Respectfully, Cllr Brian Silvester