Can Andrew Rawnsley really expect us to believe that the "link between a trade deal and continuing co-operation on intelligence and security", in the letter to the EU, wasn`t "intended as a threat" (Even your best poker face won`t be enough for success, Mrs May,02/04/17)? As Daniel Boffey tells us, the link "was made 11 times in the six-page letter", so it clearly was not an oversight, as many have claimed (UK`s military "must not be used as a Brexit talks bargaining chip",02/04/17) It`s no wonder the letter provoked a "furious response", and accusations of "blackmail"!
How can we regard ourselves as a civilised society if we are prepared at any time even to mention the possibility of witholding vital information from our geographical neighbours, our present, and hopefully future, trading partners, and through Nato, military allies? Trying to improve the conditions under which Britain leaves the EU by threatening to reduce mutual cooperation over security is simply disgraceful, and deserves worldwide criticism. Refusing to inform neighbours of such things as security issues which may cause problems, recent movement of known terrorists or of people connected to terrorists, or the likelihood of terrorist action which may threaten lives, should not even be contemplated, let alone implied.
Similarly, remarks like "a red, white and blue Brexit" are not, as Rawnsley describes them, "vacuous guff", but deeply worrying, especially as this paper over the last few months, has emphasised May`s careful and deliberate use of language. It`s as if this arrogant government`s main tactic is to give offence to all 27 EU members, so that a "no deal" solution is inevitable, which is exactly what the "Brexextremists on this side of the channel" want. That way we end up with a low-tax, de-regulated and offshore Britain, shrunk back to levels last seen in the 1930s, which has been the Tory plan since Cameron`s time. Having a corporate tax of 10% might well benefit the economy of Gibraltar, but it certainly doesn`t encourage neighbourly goodwill!