The Spectator

Letters | 11 February 2016

Plus: hospice care and the NHS, gender fluidity and our greatest sportsman

What’s best for Europe?

Sir: It seems that the British negotiations in Europe have produced little, and even at this late stage they would surely be more effective if the tone were based more on what is best for Europe as a whole (‘Fighting over the crumbs’, 6 February). If we leave, we will desert our friends among the nations of Europe and make them more beholden to the largest members. Surely the difficulties of immigration, the euro and muscle-bound regulation will sooner or later force Europe to make changes of the kind we wish to see, and we should be there to help make them happen. History teaches us that Europe is too large, and too near, for us to consider abandoning any influence over what they do there.
Peter Bartram
Tadworth, Surrey

A déjà vu deal

Sir: David Cameron arrives back from Europe with a ‘deal’. It brings to mind the former prime minister Neville Chamberlain returning in 1938 after talks in Europe with a declaration of ‘Peace for our time’. We know his fate, but only time will tell how history will judge the latest ‘deal’. Perhaps the moral is to beware of prime ministers bearing gifts from Europe.
Patrick Finucane
Faversham, Kent

Don’t foster panic

Sir: On the basis of one woman’s case, Lara Prendergast claims that mothers with post-natal depression are in danger of losing their children if they seek help from professionals (‘Fear of the baby-snatchers’, 6 February). This is highly misleading. Social workers have no financial incentive to remove a child; it is true that fostering is expensive, but it is local authorities that pay. Hundreds of family-court judgments can be read online and it’s clear that judges do not order the removal of happy, healthy babies solely on the basis of post-natal depression.

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