April 27: Why dodge an EU poll if you expect to win?

From: Robert Bottamley, Thorn Road, Hedon.

REFERRING to David Longfield-Morley’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, April 20) objecting to correspondents asserting that a referendum on European membership would most likely result in a vote favouring withdrawal.

Your correspondent’s objection was predicated on the strength of ‘independent polls’ indicating support for continued membership. Whilst I accept that Mr Longfield-Morley has some kind of a case to make, I do not think it is nearly as strong as he would have us believe.

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It is widely understood that the conclusions of surveys depend on what questions are (or are not) asked; on how the questions are worded; on who is asked them; and on how responses are interpreted. So far as ‘independent’ is concerned, I long ago learned to add copious amounts of salt to that particular claim.

Politicians generally address the problem of unfavourable opinion polls by insisting that the only significant result is the one recorded on the day of an election.

They are of course right. And the question of EU membership is no different. Until a referendum is held, there is only speculation.

The question for Mr Longfield-Morley, therefore, is: “Why is it that supporters of Britain’s continued membership of the EU (given their confidence that public opinion supports them) appear so determined to avoid the referendum that would end all this speculation, whilst those who advocate withdrawal never cease to demand one?”

One final point, if I may. Any argument for EU membership seems invariably to be centred on matters of commerce. In the main, I do not believe that those who reject the European Union do so because they disagree with economic policies: Rather, they are driven by resentment against European interference in Britain’s affairs.

Britain joined a European, economic market: I cannot recall that she ever voted for membership of a European Parliament. That is the problem.

From: Peter Bye, Park Crescent, Addingham.

ABOUT three years ago, I heard part of a discussion from the House of Lords. A member asked the following question and I paraphrase, “What proportion of our exports to Europe are actually sold in Europe and what proportion are transhipped from European ports to markets all over the world?” The answer was that no one knows because the statistics don’t exist.

I have travelled around Europe for many years and cannot recall seeing any British products in European shops. The exception being Land Rover products and expensive handbags. Two years ago, I rode my motorcycle from home to Lisbon, Portugal. From the French border and across Spain to Portugal I counted the English lorries I passed on the way. The number was one. This was a furniture manufacturer from Norfolk. At a service area I spoke to the driver and asked him how many English lorries he saw on his regular journeys and he told me hardly any.

Could this be because the majority of our exports are transhipped by sea worldwide and are not sold in Europe? If this transhipping is taking place, it will no doubt be counted by Brussels as European exports. Could it be there is an element of dual counting going on somewhere?

From: Martin Hall, Woodhouse Lane, Beighton.

I AM sickened by the dishonesty of a Prime Minister who claims that immigration control is compatible with being members of the European Union when he must know that this is impossible.

I am sickened by a Labour Party which was prepared to deliberately, calculatedly and wantonly encourage damaging mass immigration.

I am sickened by the Liberal Democrats and Greens who do ostrich impersonations when the problems are raised.

Leaving the EU is the only response. We cannot trust empty political promises. Ukip is our only recourse.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

IT’S now getting a bit tedious reading, almost daily, letters from Tory supporters about how the last Labour government ruined our country during their 13 years in government with no mention, of course, of the profiteering bankers.

It would appear these same Tory supporters either weren’t born or are suffering from amnesia because as I recall from 1979 to 1997 two well-loved Tories Margaret Thatcher and John Major, managed to destroy every industry we had in order to also destroy the unions. No wonder ‘the new kid on the block’ and second class Tory, Tony Blair, breezed into No 10 in 1997. Oh, I forgot to mention, the unions are still here.

From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

WHEN canvassing, it is depressing to see the numbers of those who are almost proud to say that they don’t vote. Yet these individuals, invariably young, tend to be those in need of help from the public purse. Though, as things stand, we get an emphasis on measures that will help those at the other end of the spectrum, simply because they are more likely to go to the polls. Compulsory voting would ensure all got treated equally.

From: R Webb, Wakefield.

HAD David Cameron won a majority at the last election, we would now be in a disastrous war in Syria. This after failing to learn from his disastrous efforts in Libya, which is now an Islamic terrorist stronghold. We now have a terrible problem with migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy.