With the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit, the Black Lives Matter movement and a general election having taken up most of the news in the past 12 months, it’s easy to forget local issues, such as the potential for a fixed link, writes Heather Cooper.

This was until John Heelan's letter last week.

It feels like, as a resident of this Island for the past eight years, this argument never goes away. We’ve heard every view, seen every blueprint, read every rebuttal. I want to come today to express my own opinion.

Given the mishandling of the pandemic, the disaster that has been Brexit and the ignorance of many towards racial equality, I want to propose the idea of a fixed link not to the mainland, but to France.

This Island has so much more to give culturally than many of the torrid towns of the South of England: set back in time and illiberal to change.

Whilst we have seen our leaders and MP stumble throughout this pandemic, France and mainland Europe continues to excel itself.

France, Italy and Spain were unafraid to pause their economies to save human lives: this is the kind of reaction we should have taken.

Instead I am told by the "North Island" that I should avoid contracting Covid-19 seven days a week, as long as I eat out for three of those.

I have long believed that Ventnor is the most paradisal town on the island because it’s a few miles closer to mainland Europe. In comparison, look at towns like East Cowes? Squalid, Tory hell-holes.

It’s time for a new approach to Island life. We no longer need to be tied to our brothers and sisters from Portsmouth and beyond.

“Plus ça change”, as our new friends would say. Let’s swap corruption for croissants, and head for Europe.

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