Gazette letters: Brexit, democracy and child refugees

A flock of sheep being herded past government buildings in Whitehall by 'Farmers for a People's Vote

A flock of sheep being herded past government buildings in Whitehall by 'Farmers for a People's Vote' last week. Picture: YUI MOK/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The next general election should be very interesting as political parties align on the grounds of their desires for the country’s future as the Brexit debate continues, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street

- that's the one the public already voted on but got ignored by elected politicians who can't seem to accept the public's view.

I do wonder how a coalition of Labour/Lib Dems policy-wise or manifesto-wise would work as people vote for one manifesto but then end up with a totally different one. Democracy; what would we do without it, eh?

So, once again, London's smallest borough has given us an occupant of 10 Downing Street writes Cllr Dave Poyser (Lab, Hillrise).

Both Boris Johnson and Tony Blair had their children educated in Islington's wonderful primary schools. And personally I would love to see Jeremy Corbyn as the third Islingtonian in Number 10!

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Let's be clear - I, a proud British European to my core, will work as hard as I can to make a Boris Brexit work but if, and only if, the British people truly want a Boris Brexit.

Do we? The very old voters of the 2016 referendum have sadly died, while 2016's 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds now deserve a say in their future. Europe's young people have led the way showing how planet extinction needs a worldwide solution more urgently than ever - this solution is led by the EU at global summits.

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A public vote in the coming months would be "Remain and Reform" against a specific Brexit (no deal, Theresa May's deal, or any other deal) rather than 2016's "pick and choose" any-Brexit-you-like.

Furthermore, polling evidence suggests some people believed all sorts of economic myths when we voted in the 2016 referendum. 99 per centg of the European economists I worked with when I worked for the EU institutions in Brussels think any Brexit would be a financial disaster (and for that matter only a tiny handful of Brit economists see an economic advantage in Brexit).

For three years now, we have seen factories closing down and businesses moving as even the threat of Brexit looms (let alone actual Brexit).

How many 2016 voters knew about the problems Brexit would create for the Irish peace process?

After three more years of Brexit debate, Britain is now better informed. Do Tories seriously believe Boris has 52pc support for his "no deal" Brexit? Our most important economic decision since 1945?

Locally, many Gazette readers have seen the ever-growing "Islington in Europe" handing out leaflets by our Tube stations. It is one of the most dynamic grass-roots organisations I have ever been proud to be able to work with.

Any Tory EU deal or "no deal" should be put to a public vote, with the option of "remain" also being on the ballot paper.

I'd like to show Jeremy Corbyn that constituents care about protecting children in conflict write Dawn O'Driscoll, N19, and (many) other Save the Children supporters.

The below open letter was written by a fearless 14-year-old child called Nabila, who has lived in the Za'atari refugee camp for five years after fleeing Syria in 2013. She wants the world to know that it's time to make children off limits in war.

"My name is Nabila, I'm 14 years old and I'm from Syria. I've been living in Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan for 5 years. I am courageous, and I want to make my dreams come true.

"Life in Syria was scary. Before the crisis, we didn't live in fear. We used to go out and stay out late. When the war started, we had to hide and stay at home.

"Children who have lived in war zones struggle a lot. Children who are exposed to violence usually give up on their dreams.

"I have to be self-confident and to keep trying even If I might face some problems. I shouldn't give up. Whenever I start something, I must finish it. If I ever knock on someone's door I have to keep trying even if they shut the door the first time.

"I wish for all children - whether Syrian or not - to have a place to stay and to have access to education because it is indispensable. I hope all children will reach their goals. I'd like to become a doctor to help wounded people. I also wanted to become a lawyer to defend justice.

"If leaders saw what my friends and I were doing to raise awareness, they would be positively influenced. Not only do children learn from adults. Adults also learn from children."

Having read the letter from Andrew Myer (Islington Green Party) where he says "why I still favour a people's vote", I am of the apparently misguided opinion that we have had just such a thing - I believe it was ca?ed a referendum - in 2016. I also believe this referendum actually had a majority for doing just that, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

We now have the likes of Jeremy Corbyn doing a war dance saying we need a new vote. But when we have a general election we do not (unless it appears that corruption has played a part) have a re-run because the person you may have voted for did not get elected.

Why then do we keep on getting people say it's not fair that a majority voted for leaving the EU? If we can accept the result of a general election or local election, why all the fuss and hoo ha because a majority voted for leaving the EU?

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