I READ the article by Will Straw (Yorkshire Post, November 20) with increasing scepticism. He started well by saying that Brits are fed up with the EU and goes to explain why. However, unlike the majority of the English population, he believes that we should accept it and seek to change it. This is a pipedream, as there is no chance of the “gravy trainers” as he puts it, voting to reduce their power and comfortable livings.
I cannot agree with his comments that there are geopolitical, economic and cultural arguments for staying in. For a start, we live in a global economy and will prosper on the world stage if we develop and manufacture products that the world needs. Secondly, we have a trade deficit with the EU and are still a net contributor to the EU budget.
Finally, because of our language, we have more cultural ties with America and the Commonwealth than we do with Europe.
Mr Straw happily throws out what appear to be very accurate figures such as 7.1 per cent increase in income in the next eight years, a 47 per cent increase in exports if we stay in, as opposed to a 2.5 per cent drop in GDP if we come out. Where do these figures come from? And all this wonderful future is dependent on a major re-organisation of the EU – some hopes! Apparently there are over one million more Europeans working in Britain than there are Brits working in Europe. Why is that? I suspect it’s because Tony Blair opened our borders and welcomed millions of East Europeans, which has not had the positive effect on our economy that was hoped for.
As for Mr Straw’s solution to the future, giving up our rebate in return for a smaller EU budget and a major reform of CAP – the EU will certainly take the rebate, but reform CAP? He is also in favour of a democratically elected leader, presumably a president, which Tony Blair is definitely in favour of, if it is him! I would like to know when the EU ever had a democratic mandate?
I agree with Mr Straw that we need an in/out referendum on our membership, but I’m not expecting one soon – if ever. The result is already known, which is why the politicians, ever hopeful of being on the same gravy train, don’t want one.
The fact that the major countries in the EU are so keen to keep us in, is a good enough reason for us to leave. In any case, the eurozone is likely to collapse, which might solve the problem for us.
From: M Smith, Birkby, Huddersfield.
In his letter (Yorkshire Post, November 17), James Bovington justifies an increase in the European Union budget. He appears to overlook other facts which explain why many continue to be sceptical about the wisdom of pouring more money into the EU budget.
The budget is only a fraction of the real cost of EU membership. The rest is the ongoing cost of compliance with its directives, policies, legislation, etc and most of which adds little of visible benefit to the citizens of the UK.