CHECKS on food entering the UK from the EU have begun today. This sees the ludicrous situation of lorries having to travel 22 miles from Dover to border control posts at Sevington, located on the outskirts of Ashford in Kent.

Anyone found to be carrying unsafe or contaminated food could be asked to turn around and drive back again. The government has not explained how lorries will be monitored between the port and its control post, or how it will ensure goods that have been identified as unsafe leave the country.

The UK, in its determination to “take back control” of its border, has now implemented these checks on goods from the EU, despite relying on the bloc’s border controls to keep UK consumers and animals safe for decades.

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It has been estimated that these new controls will cost British businesses £2 billion and fuel higher inflation, according to a report by the insurer Allianz Trade. They will add 10% to import costs over the first year.

Ministers have also revealed that businesses could be charged up to £145 for each consignment imported through Dover, prompting warnings that this would drive up food prices and disproportionately hurt small businesses.

It almost beggars belief that an advanced country, full of supposedly intelligent competent people, could have ended up with this farcical solution, foisted on us by those intent on continuing the economic lunacy that is Brexit.

Alex Orr

A ST George’s Day march last week saw six arrests, something which interestingly, but not surprisingly, got no mention on the evening news. I wonder where the far-right activist Tommy Robinson’s speech at the event, an assault on an emergency worker and a targeted attack on a police horse, fit with Starmer’s Labour being “the true party of English patriotism”.

I would like to believe that no-one wearing the Scottish Saltire would carry out such hideous acts. I also know that had there been six arrests, or even one, during a St Andrew’s Day march, or a march for independence, it would have made the news – front and centre.

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And when it suits them, the UK Government cite something being a devolved issue, such as in the case of the Horizon pardons.

That they would do anything to prevent yet more trauma and delay for the victims of this horrendous scandal shows just how cheap they are, in every sense of the word.

Once more, as is the case with Brexit, when they have repeatedly told us that, despite voting by 62% to Remain, we are part of the UK, but Northern Ireland, where justice is also devolved, has been given preferential treatment to Scotland.

When, I wonder, are our leaders in Westminster and Holyrood going to take action (not words) against the constant, relentless discrimination towards those living in Scotland?

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I am beyond tired of rhetoric. On an almost daily basis our democratic deficit is highlighted. No other country on the planet would allow another country to “govern” them and take them into armed conflict with zero discussion.

And finally, I would like to request that EVERY politician who voted for refugees (some of whom worked for us in Afghanistan) to be deported to the unsafe Rwanda, to read The Bee Keeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefter. Had they done so I would like to think this obscene, morally repugnant, dehumanising law would never have passed.

And yes, Rishi, thanks to the Lords, you now know what it feels like to be thwarted by unelected officials, of whom is your very own Foreign Secretary. How many times did you moan about the fact that an unelected chamber was spoiling your “stop the boats” obsession?

Bring on the election for INDEPENDENCE !

Jenny Pearson

EARLY on in the collective punishment of Gaza, I mentally processed Israel Defence Forces tactics as tantamount to a grouse shoot on an English estate. Palestinians have nowhere to run. The world knows this. Equally, we could talk about “fish in a barrel”. Any way you put it, the killing is beyond barbaric.

Add to that the West’s attempt to assuage its guilt with a trickle of aid while a) selling arms to Israel and b) refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire and anyone with an ounce of humanity is feeling queasy. (Important note – of the four countries of the UK, only England stands with this atrocious policy).

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For those who want to swallow Netanyahu’s line that a huge proportion of the 34,000 dead people of Gaza are Hamas (which gives this tiny population proportionately the largest fighting force that ever existed – a fiction way beyond Blair and Bush’s WMDs) let us simply concentrate on the 13,000-plus dead children.

For Western politicians to be crowing about an infinitesimally small amount of aid while not just tolerating the slaughter but abetting it, is perhaps the most sordid, dishonest, nauseating humanitarian outrage and immoral juxtaposition of the modern era.

Amanda Baker