The tragedies and difficulties caused by the continuing Covid-19 pandemic have really eclipsed many other important issues affecting Europe and the world at this time.
One such issue is that of the development of the European Union. To its credit the Financial Times until now a strong supporter of the EU and very negative about Brexit has the current position of the ongoing EU leaders' face to face summit meeting in Brussels as its front page headline whereas the BBC, eternally praising of the EU, so far has noting on its main news page about this.
My own position on the EU was for a long time that of the UK should remain. However after many enjoyable lunchtime meetings and walks between a foreign office official and his wife (they met whilst on Foreign Office business) and mrs maytrees and myself, I changed my view and supported Brexit. Most but not all of my brothers and sisters support remain so we agreed to avoid EU politics in family emails where possible.
Reverting to the FT and the ongoing EU leaders' summit meeting, the headline reading:
"EU leaders deadlocked on recovery fund as summit falters" signifies some real ongoing problems. The readers' comments however are very critical of the EU position whereas previously both the FT and its readers, have been very critical of the British stance and Brexit. Possibly as is often the case the EU leaders will reach agreement at the eleventh hour thus enabling their project to continue until the next crisis emerges.
The covid-19 pandemic could not of course, sensibly have been predicted by EU or British politicians, however how we and other countries, deal with the consequences for their futures' sake, is what one now needs to look at.
The UK is borrowing is it a £trillion, to try to protect peoples' livelihoods for a few months and has helped to fund Oxford University and Imperial College London in the search for effective vaccinations, although like some other European countries, the UK has made serious errors in the way some care homes have been treated. Currently in England questions are also being asked about the overstating of Covid-19 deaths, a mistake which has not apparently been made elsewhere.
Reverting to the EU; FT readers' comments quite unusually, are scathing of the EU leaders. One for example (Livrett A) states:
"Please would all ministers at their next caviar picnic have the grace to say 'Grace... and may the Lord make us truly thankful' before seating in honour of the tens of millions unemployed, under employed and forgotten who have but bread to put on their tables. This summit's show of wealth delay argument and political dissent within a supposedly European Union is contemptuous of the people governed, demonstrates a lack of urgency to solve the matter at hand and is seemingly conducted in poor to bad spirit. This meeting has descended in to the very survival of a seventy-year attempt at European unison which has produced little despite its age. Enough prattle, Ministers act with compromises".
There are some comments praising or excusing the EU leaders but overall, the comments are critical and tend to confirm my own view that it is fortunate for the UK that we left when we did.
My autobiography is now available at: