One of the negotiating positions agreed at Chequers (May wins cabinet agreement for soft Brexit plan, 7 July) is that the UK will “maintain a common rulebook for all goods” but the British parliament could choose not to continue harmonisation, ie it could choose to throw away the rulebook. So the negotiating stance begins with a contradiction. This may allow different factions in the cabinet to interpret the negotiating document as they please, but it puts the negotiators on both sides of the Channel at a disadvantage. How are they going to make sense of the cabinet’s position? No rulebook can remain static. As the EU rules evolve, parliament can either incorporate them in UK legislation and maintain the open border in Ireland and also allow frictionless movement of goods between the UK and the EU; or it can reject the revised rules and take a plunge into the darkness. Government’s position of what they intend to achieve is no clearer now than it was before the cabinet was sequestered at Chequers.
• It’s time your leader writers, columnists and metropolitan readers woke up to the fact that the arch Brexiter has already won the argument. Not Johnson or Gove but the late Tony Benn. In his letter to constituents in 1975, Benn explained in detail the consequences of continued membership of the EU, every syllable of which has proved to be completely true. In brief, only the UK parliament, answerable directly to the UK electorate, should make our laws and only the UK courts should enact those laws. These fundamental principles should not be traded for some perceived economic advantage. The moving finger of Brexit has writ and the world has…