Kate would brook no nonsense

What a pity it is that tough-talking Labour MP Kate Hoey cannot be co-opted into the Government to lead the UK's negotiating team in the floundering Brexit negotiations.

This redoubtable woman would shake up UK negotiators, who are constantly giving the impression of being on the defensive and fighting on the back-foot.

Hoey has been listening with increasing frustration to the litany of Whitehall jargon and excuses designed to explain how it is that the EU negotiators always seem to be in the commanding position. At one point, she was compelled to cry out: “Why don’t we just say ‘no’?”

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She shares the Margaret Thatcher attributes of not being afraid to say “no” in a very loud voice if needs be. And with her uncomplicated language, she would alarm the Brussels team just as Thatcher did when she negotiated with them all those years ago.

The UK team desperately needs to adopt a less compliant attitude in talks which will have an effect on the United Kingdom for generations to come. At the moment, the British delegation is looking very much like the second eleven. Cannot somebody be found from the ranks of the parliamentary Conservative Party to put some oomph into the British negotiations, and remind Brussels forcibly that we are not in this business to be pushed around or, worse still, to be punished?

n The Prime Minister appears determined to sort out what some have described as the scandal of higher education, including the present arrangements of fees being charged. But what is no less important is the type of ‘degrees’, which students are attaining in such strange ‘subjects’ as circus performing and The Beatles. Why should any kind of public money go into such absurd projects? .

The current belief that everyone should go to university is seriously misplaced. A lot of people would benefit immensely from going straight into work from school, instead of often wasting time and money at university, and the ludicrous ‘gap year’ which many students seem to believe is their right.