Prime Minister Boris Johnson will shortly be travelling to Brussels in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the future trade relationship between the UK and the EU (Report, December 8).

It is well-known that a previous incumbent of his present office, Winston Churchill, is one of Mr Johnson’s historical heroes. I would offer this thought: when debating internally whether to stand immovable or to compromise, remember Churchill’s well-worn but well-thought out line: “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” Mr Johnson should be under no illusion that to return with no deal will have consequences akin to a war — the victims will be those particularly vulnerable to closed borders: the farmers, the SMEs, the NHS and all the employees of companies no longer able to trade as before and who will, euphemistically, be “let go”. They will join the huge numbers of unemployed caused by the ending of Covid-19 support.

That may not matter to those who can simply move to other jurisdictions, but it should matter to Mr Johnson, because it would have mattered to Churchill.

Fergus Randolph QC
London EC4, UK

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