HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!

Letters: Letters to the editor

Share this page on:

Brexit’s new frontier

You described vividly the hurdles that the traffic of people and goods would face if a hard border were to be established between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland as a consequence of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union (“The border that isn’t—yet”, July 15th). Yet this does not need to be so.

Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which lays down the rules to be respected by member countries when they establish customs unions or free-trade areas in order that other countries are not discriminated against, contains a little-used provision on “frontier traffic”. It allows members of the World Trade Organisation to deviate from these constraints in respect of “advantages accorded to adjacent countries in order to facilitate frontier traffic”. There is no definition of frontier traffic, so an exemption from customs regulations and duties for the intra-Ireland movement of goods could be covered. This would be a good basis for avoiding a hard border, although checks would be necessary at the harbours in order to stop goods from the other part of the island being further exported to the rest of the UK or the EU respectively.

One can look to a broader precedent. Goods originating from northern Cyprus can enter and freely circulate in the entire EU as Cypriot goods.

PROFESSOR GIORGIO SACERDOTI
Former member of the appellate body of the WTO
Milan

When I gaze out from the steps of Derry’s Guildhall, the euro zone is not more than five miles away (Belfast is 60 miles away, London almost 400). In the aftermath of the Brexit shock the Derry and Strabane Council and Donegal County Council commissioned a study that produced two main proposals: a cross-border free-trade zone joining Derry in Northern Ireland with Letterkenny in the Irish Republic and bespoke travel arrangements equivalent to the Nordic Passport Union or local border traffic zones, similar to the Poland-Russia border. Both are excellent proposals which could easily be approved if governments so wish.

COLM CAVANAGH
Derry

Your analysis of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy was surprisingly superficial (“Have your fishcake and eat it”, July 8th). Britain’s issue is not a “silly spat about seafood”. The central problem with the CFP is that 60% of the seafood resource in our waters, some of the best fishing grounds in the world, is permanently allocated to others.

Almost laughably, we are competing in the single market with what should be our own fish. We actually have a dangerous over-dependence on the European market. In the globalised world of seafood there is a potential market of 7.5bn people and more than 160 other countries. Moreover, the EU countries will still want to export to us, making punitive tariffs applied by Europe self-defeating.

The lights have gone out in so many coastal communities. At last, on Brexit we can recover what the world regards as normal beneficial management of our renewable natural resource. Norway does it, Iceland does it, so does New Zealand, and so on. Why would we opt to continue giving away this resource rather than try to expand and develop the industry and bring in jobs and income?

BERTIE ARMSTRONG
Chief executive
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation
Aberdeen

What’s sauce for the goose…

Let me see if I understand your position correctly. You say that an attempt by a junior Democratic worker to get dirt on Paul Manafort, a Republican operative, from the Ukrainians “does not compare” with Donald Trump junior trying to get the dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russians, because “Ukraine is not a hostile power” (“He loves it”, July 15th). So basically, it is perfectly fine for a campaign to co-ordinate on defeating its opponents with a foreign country as long as the country is an ally of America and does not repress its people.

I can’t wait to be bombarded by fake news and hacked e-mails from the French and German governments in 2020.

COLTON WALWORTH
Madison, Wisconsin

Speaking in edtech

The most important factor to bear in mind about the new stream of education technology (“Brain gains”, July 22nd) is to provide it in languages that pupils understand. For example, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands have 200 languages between them, many of them fragmented further into dialects. The native language of children can differ from school to school. For everyday communication, countries like this use a lingua franca, often derived from pidgin English, but prejudice against non-traditional languages, and the fear that they will undermine traditional ones, inhibits their use in the classroom.

Education systems therefore fall back upon the rote-learning of foreign languages such as English. Teachers themselves are often only barely proficient in these, so it is hardly surprising that pupils emerge from primary school unable to read in them. Education technologies with multilingual capabilities could provide the resources needed to get away from this miserable method of schooling.

ANDREW GRAY
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

We must remove carbon

Renewable energy is a crucial step towards fighting climate change (“A green red herring”, July 15th). However, as you point out, it must not distract from balancing the world’s carbon budget. Renewable energy is growing rapidly, but eliminating the first 20% of fossil fuels will be a lot easier than the last. Nearly all the scenarios provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that would stop climate change are based on removing carbon from the atmosphere, which cannot come from renewable energy alone. Focusing too much on renewables prevents the development of environmentally acceptable and affordable negative emissions.

KLAUS LACKNER
Director, Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

Human cloning
* Your World If article about human cloning succeeds admirably in succinctly recapping pivotal developments in the science of cloning and regeneration, and in anticipating further advances (“Chips off the old block”, July 15th). This engaging yet subtle narrative extrapolates implicitly from the current universe of socio-cultural, political, religious, ethical and legal attitudes, trends and tendencies towards IVF and abortion to project a not unlikely spectrum that human reproductive cloning eventually refracts. 

And yet, with the exception of children conceived and pre-conceived to be replacements for a dead sibling, the perspective of the human clone is scarcely considered. This need not be the case, as a number of situations, relevant by analogy to reproductive cloning currently exist, and on which psychological theory, research, and clinical experience can ground reasonable conjecture. By making use of such analogues, including the Replacement Child, Parent-Child Resemblance, The Child of the Famous, and the Namesake, I concluded that scenarios in which one parent contributes exclusively to a child clone’s nuclear DNA are likely to be psychologically fraught.

STEPHEN E. LEVICK.
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia

A virtual success

“Get real” (July 8th) discussed the lethargic uptake of virtual-reality headsets, but overlooked the one area of the entertainment industry that has employed it with effect so far: pornography. In fact, the pornographic industry has often been a technological harbinger. It was one of the first to put more advanced features on a DVD and is a pioneer in streaming videos online. Perhaps there is staying power in VR technology yet.

JACK HODGE
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Side order

I enjoyed the “meaty logic” to your Big Mac index (“Meat reversion”, July 15th). I read it with relish.

H. DEAN BROWN
West Lebanon, New Hampshire


* Letters appear online only

Would you like to share your opinion?
  • I entirely agree (0.00%)
  • I entirely disagree (0.00%)
  • I somehow agree (0.00%)
  • I somehow disagree (0.00%)
  • I have no opinion (0.00%)
  • I don´t care (0.00%)
  • This is bullshit! (0.00%)
Follow mr

Julio Marchi ©

Publisher / Editor at BS News & Media Services
A free thinker, not labelled as anything, not associated with any party, not part of any group or engaged with any religion... A simple guy tired of the nowadays bullshit who decided to promote more serious debates about what is really happening hoping to bring back intelligence to the superficial and shallow news & headlines that unfortunately took over the existing media scene.
Follow mr





Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: