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Last week, Article 50, signed poignantly on the day the new £1 coin was released and hand delivered the following day to a man named Tusk, the UK started the firing gun for our exit proper from the European Union in 2019.

Since the vote last June, there has been bitter division within political classes, the man on the street, the drunks propping up bars, whether leaving Europe will be a good thing or bad. Personally, I voted out. As a child, I remember my father working in London docks with goods from all around the world coming in and British made goods leaving. It was a thriving, buzzing commercial hub back then and our quality of life was lightened by not being shackled to some old boy’s club. We enjoyed Moroccan oranges, Tunisian dates etc and tariff was just a little used word in a much more simplified dictionary.

It’s clear from whatever media is your predilection that the great European experiment has failed. Riddled with doubt, mass unemployment, confused by a casserole of cultures arriving from Middle Eastern and North African countries, Europe’s economies, like its infrastructure trying to manage this biblical crisis are fit to burst; their leaders are at war with each other, terrorism both here and on mainland Europe changing the face of the each country and attacking the freedoms we have all enjoyed since the end of WWII. It has all got too much and whether you call it a divorce or a conscious uncoupling, the marriage has to end.

Despotism is on the rise elsewhere in the world – Russia, Iran, North Korea, some would dare to say the USA and so it seems now is as good a time as any to break free and do what Britain used to do best, rule the waves and go it alone.

We may not have the empire we once enjoyed nor the clout of larger countries – but there is a dynamism within the UK that European nations both envy and despise at the same time; as they each watch their relative ships sinking. We can do it and they know we can, very well thank you!

A poll taken by Sky News revealed that 50 per cent of people were happy with the triggering of Article 50 whilst just 36 per cent said they were unhappy. The margin appears to have gathered momentum since last June which is encouraging for Brexiteers like myself. Personally, I’d have liked to have seen the “happy” figure a few percentage points higher but hey ho.

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Whether Theresa May has the wherewithal to negotiate a great deal for the UK, fact is come March 29 2019 and probably despite more obstacles thrown in front of her than an SAS course, we WILL be leaving.

I feel positive that when that time comes and in the years ahead, our borders will be more secure, we will be able to control the quality of people coming to the UK as well as the numbers, that we will have formed lucrative trade deals around the world where we were once banned from doing so and we will have the power to change laws which have stultified our freedom for too long.

Personally, and on a very basic level, if still on this mortal coil, I can’t wait to see our fishermen being able to land beautiful big fish which, because of the stupid quota system, have to be thrown back to the seagulls.

If a week is a long time in politics, then the next two years are set to be an epoch of seismic proportions. Our very future for the next 200 years or more will probably rest on the shoulders of the current governing party.

Just thank your lucky stars that that party has sensible, business-minded people in it, not shell suit wearing, Leninist-capped socialist dumbheads whose business acumen is, well kind of non-existent.

And forget those clarion calls of the Dystopian future that lay ahead if we actually finalise the process and go our own way.

We will succeed, because we have to succeed. Failure is not an option.

Whether it’s Frexit, Swissxit, Itxit, or any other of the xits the media has predicted might follow suit, the only thing doomed to failure will be the great European experiment. But then sadly, like all old dogs, each will have had their day and if they do not die organically, then they will have to be put to sleep.

It’s what all institutions that get too big for their boots deserve. I thank you!

BARRY CASHIN Green Lane, St Albans

In reply to Michael Walker’s letter of March 16, he might prefer drinking beer at home, being as it’s cheaper, but the ambience of a pub is much better.

There are a good selection of pubs in St Albans, some that are more for food but also some good pubs for drinking like The Boot and The Mermaid.

Also The Green Man in Sandridge is very good. Mike Eames has been in charge for around 30 years and serves a very good beer named Heartwood. it is a real locals pub, but “strangers” are welcome. Instead of sitting at home, get out more. Too many pubs? The answer is no!

PETER KNOCK Taylor Close, St Albans

In recent correspondence about the disposal of faeces farce we might have been more impressed by Anne Main had she concentrated on ridding from the United Kingdom the excrement that is the corrupt “corpse” of the European Union.


Overstone Road, Harpenden

So 1,130 new homes to be built in Symondshyde?

I take it that Welwyn Hatfield council and the developers will contribute to an increase in the emergency services budget to cover the increase in population? Or will these new residents be without police fire and ambulance cover or maybe other areas will suffer as a result of the front line emergency cutbacks?


Watford Road, St Albans

Mr Smith (23rd March 23) no doubt realises that the smiley signs are aimed at drivers who are far less competent than he is, and who cannot rely on their deficiencies being ironed out by the modern quality of their vehicles, including their inability to conform to speed limits.

In which case he should be grateful to see them as they are known to reduce accident rates where they are installed, and this can only be to the good.

It is not exacting to conform to the rules of the road if you are competent.


Holyrood Crescent, St Albans

With councils short of recycling targets, why is it everywhere we see plastic bottles lying on the ground or stuffed in ‘landfill’ bins? Shopping streets, school playgrounds...

Could St Albans council consider proper recycling sets of bins in public areas, instead of a single bin that goes to landfill? eg paper, plastic bottles and general

And also make them available for school use (and provide big versions for the contractors)?

I appreciate there will be work involved, as the binmen may have to do some sorting

But it seems to work OK in other countries, why not here?


Until this week, for several years I have been taking rigid plastics to the Herts county council dumps; such items as car wheel covers and pieces from vehicle accidents thrown into the grass verges.

When I asked what had happened to the collecting station I was told that from now on such plastics are to be thrown into the non-recyclable skips.

Can anyone explain what has happened to cause this change of heart which is a considerable back track to the recycling programme? JACK HILL St Albans

Your correspondent (Money better spent –March 23) is certainly not alone in regretting the potholed state of our local roads.

I am only sorry that he takes his irritation out not on central government, whose austerity policies leave local councils having to make difficult choices between priorities, but on what he calls ‘silly smiley roadsigns’.

His references to our tendency to ‘zoom along at over 30mph’ and to ‘go speeding along’ and to ‘non-existent pedestrians’ are perhaps an indication that his mind set is in line with so many of us who drive along our residential roads cocooned within our metal boxes.

The 30mph limit is actually the legal maximum (not an aspiration, target or minimum) and on most residential roads it is too fast anyway.

The 30mph maximum limit was introduced just over 80 years ago at a time when there were ten times fewer vehicles on the roads.

Both county and fistrict councils recognise that 30mph is too fast where there are serious risks of conflict between vehicles and pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, and have begun to introduce 20mph limits

Given that the survival rate of someone hit at 20mph is significantly greater than if hit at 30mph, all drivers should – in my view – aim for the lower level wherever there is evident risk, such as on residential roads where cars are parked on both sides and where a child or adult may emerge unexpectedly, in the vicinity of schools, walking routes to and from school, shops, station etc.

In my view (and that of many others), the 20mph limit should be a standard across both the city and Harpenden, as well as in our villages whose narrow roads were designed for horse and cart rather than for cars, vans, lorries and buses.

The 20mph limit is already applied in many towns and villages across the UK, including Wheathampstead.

As I am only human and therefore err only too often, I find the smiley/grumpy faces a helpful reminder and a good use of limited council cash.

Having a modern car with good brakes and steering (as I do) is actually irrelevant and does not apply to all vehicles.

It is not the car that kills and maims, it is the driver. And the driver is a fallible human, often slow to react, distracted, unsighted and sometimes simply careless.



Good picture recently of Harold and Molly Laidler in the cellar of the King’s Head.

Harold was not licensed to brew sherry - you don’t brew sherry which is a fortified wine !

However, he was a licensed sherry blender and very proud of the fact as there are only a few in the country. He was known as “The Sherry King”. Harold was also chairman of the St. Albans LVA for several years,

ALAN HALL By email

The letter headed ‘Poo debate latest’ in last week’s paper made me laugh.

It reminded me of when I was a child in the 1940s in Lincoln we used white dog poo to chalk the hop-scotch numbers on the squares on the pavement. No health and safety there then, but we used our initiative, and had fun.


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