What to make of the latest extension to article 50?

The EU council determining the length of an extension to article 50 should put to rest the decades-long Europhobe lie that the EU is run by “unelected bureaucrats” (Britain told leave by 31 October, 11 April). Brexit has also exposed Michael Gove’s campaign claim that “the day after we vote to leave we hold all the cards and can choose the path we want”. Surely a man capable of such grotesque deception cannot be considered a potential prime minister? Or perhaps he can, in which case we should prepare for even worse.
Dr Simon Sweeney
University of York

• Over the last three years I have followed the whole Brexit imbroglio pretty closely, both home and abroad. In all that time I have heard representatives from the other 27 EU countries make coherent and telling arguments in a foreign language, English, often far more cogently and concisely than English politicians have done in their own tongue.

Apart from the odd Latin phrase and some tortured attempts from you-know-who, not once, throughout the debate, have I heard a British politician speak even the most basic French, German, Spanish, Italian or any other European language.

After over 40 years’ membership of the largest and most successful trading and political union in the world, the arrogance and insularity of the English knows no bounds. No wonder the zeitgeist of the nation is one of unalloyed angst and the rest of the world has a justified feeling of schadenfreude.
Jan Wiczkowski
Prestwich, Greater Manchester

• Tony Greaves (Letters, 11 April) is right, the European poll could be the turning point in British politics. A united progressive remain ticket, created to fight the European elections, would be a game changer. For too long a superficially united Tory party has been able to win elections in England against a group of progressive parties (Greens, Liberals and, yes, Labour) voted for by a majority of voters (51.6 % at the last election). Against a divided Tory party dominated by its right wing, a progressive alliance could roll back the hard right’s recent “achievements” of defeating the AV referendum, mis-selling Brexit and creating a parliamentary limbo. With the support of the pro-remain SNP and Plaid Cymru, what else could be achieved? If not now, when?
Peter Lewis
Burley-in-Wharfedale, West Yorkshire

• Tony Greaves is absolutely correct that the d’Hondt method means that divided remain parties may end up with nothing. The situation is even more difficult in Scotland, where the strongly pro-remain SNP is added to the mix. Sadly Tony Greaves’s party, the Lib Dems, abhor the SNP even more than Brexit, which would make such a pact extremely unlikely. Perhaps he should encourage his fellow and Scottish Liberal Democrats to change their stance, which is itself wholly bizarre given the Lib Dems’ long support for home rule.

It’s not all bad news though – d’Hondt might also mean that Ukip and Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will cancel each other out.
Andrew Syme
Perth, Scotland

• In the forthcoming election, could we arrange to have three candidates in each EU constituency. One would be the “remain” candidate, another would be the “no deal” candidate, and the third would be the “Mrs May’s deal” candidate. If a constituency can only muster two potential candidates I would be prepared to stand on any of the three platforms.
Natalie Kehr
Hornchurch, Essex

• Given the EU’s extension of the UK’s departure date to 31 October, and the political gravity of the Brexit crisis, presumably MPs will scrap the parliamentary recess currently planned for the whole of July and August and stay at Westminster to find a resolution?
Mick Beeby
Bristol

• Surely it would have been more appropriate to extend the Brexit deadline until 5 November rather than 31 October.
Stephen Jensen
Saltash, Cornwall

• We have Brexit 2 pencilled in for Halloween; Brexit 1 was scheduled to begin on April Fools’ Day; so has Easter been reserved for a nice surprise from JC?
Christine Weaser
Shoreham, Kent

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