YP Letters: Case for the EU on economics and peace fails to stand up

Hilary Benn.
Hilary Benn.
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From: Thomas W. Jefferson, Batty Lane, Howden, Goole.

HILARY Benn (The Yorkshire Post, February 15) is right when he says that “Britain is always at its greatest when we are a confident and outward-looking trading nation”. Unwittingly he makes a very powerful argument for Brexit, as that is precisely the stance we would adopt.

He rightly does not place too much stress on the alleged economic benefits of the EU, presumably because he cannot explain why its economic growth over the last 20 years has been lower than ours and America’s and has resulted in the EU’s unemployment rate being twice ours. That is the reality of the wonders of the euro, the single market and the free trade agreements he refers to.

He credits the EU with keeping the peace in Europe without giving any credit to Nato and the fact that 22 members of the EU were already members of Nato when they joined the former and had therefore already adopted democracy; agreed to respect their neighbours’ borders; agreed to settle disputes without recourse to force – all pre-requisites of peace.

As for the alleged foreign policy successes, he neglects to mention that it was the EU’s meddling in Ukraine that allowed Russia to claim justification for intervening to safeguard their essential naval interests in Crimea. On the Iranian nuclear deal, the jury is still out on that one, but one commentator says that Iran is using the money unlocked by that deal to finance troops to prop up Assad in Syria.

Outside the EU our voice would no longer be muffled behind the EU’s unelected leaders.

From: Geoff Sweeting, Wressle, Selby.

MY wife and I are in our 70s and both suffer from incurable, but so far, manageable health problems. You would think therefore that our main concern would be the NHS. In fact, the NHS has looked after us very well. Our concerns are with the coming EU membership referendum. I ask a simple question: If we were not members, would we join a bloated, bureaucratic and corrupt club, that hasn’t had its accounts approved for 20 years or so? Somehow, I doubt even Mr Cameron would support it.

One other question. Why did millions of our young men die in two world wars? I can answer this one myself – it was to stop Europe being dominated by the Germans. I thought that we had elected a Conservative Government last year, but Mr Cameron has turned out to be nothing better than a Liberal PM.