Letters | A divided UK’s prospects look far from bright, but there is hope yet
- Readers discuss the challenges facing the UK at present, and the importance of taking into consideration the events in recent history leading up to the Ukraine war
Upon departing from the European Union, the UK agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol. But its implementation proved to be a problem for the UK, which this year introduced the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill on June 13. The bill seeks to unilaterally override parts of the protocol that require checks on goods shipped from Britain to Northern Ireland, such that goods destined for Northern Ireland only – and not for onward transport into the European Union – don’t need to go through checks and customs controls required by the EU. The EU, in response, on June 15, launched legal proceedings against the UK.
Nonetheless, the contentious bill has been sent to the House of Lords, even though senior Conservatives criticised it during a debate in the House of Commons. This has fuelled uncertainty over the progression of the bill and more generally over the UK’s future.
Still, as Johnson said at No 10 in July, in his speech as the outgoing prime minister, “even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden”. With any luck, the UK will make it past this stage of turmoil, as it has always done.
Tan Bo Yan, Singapore
Don’t gloss over US actions in Russia’s neighbourhood
The mainstream media in the United States seems unable to report on the Ukraine war from a balanced perspective.
First, there is no doubt that the US has broken its promises to the then Soviet Union around 1991 that Nato would not expand towards Russia’s borders in return for it accepting the reunification of Germany. The Warsaw Pact was duly dissolved, yet Nato has added 14 members around Russia. A major gap in this encirclement effort is Ukraine.
From 2014, the Ukrainian army has waged war on pro-Russian people in Donbas, most of whom supported Yanukovych during the 2010 Ukrainian election. Pro-Russian protesters died in a fire at Trade Unions House in Odesa on May 2, 2014, which to this day has not been fully investigated by the Ukrainian authorities.
In this regard, we should remember that Putin sees himself facing a US which, since the Vietnam war and with allies, has managed to cause mayhem in so many countries, such as Grenada, Nicaragua, Chile, Iraq and Afghanistan, to the immense profit of its military-industrial complex, which president Dwight D. Eisenhower so presciently warned about.
The US’ primary goal since World War II has been to maintain its hegemony in a unipolar world. As it sees that world becoming multipolar, the US is becoming more dangerous. Just look at the doublespeak on Taiwan. The US acknowledges the one-China policy and the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, yet promotes Taiwan’s push for virtual independence.
George Forrai, Mid-Levels