THOSE fanning the anti EU flames seem to assume that all we need to do is to leave the EU and negotiate a free trade agreement with it.
The example of Norway is often cited. Norway is indeed a member of the European Economic Area which gives it access to EU markets. However, what people need to know is that membership of the EEA provides for the “free movement of goods, persons, services and capital” through 27 of the 28 EU states. In other words, if we are to continue having free trade access to EU markets, we have to sign up to the elements of EU legislation that the anti-EU factions object to.
Norway’s non-membership of the EU means that they opt out of agriculture and fisheries policy but little else. As continued access to European markets is essential for our economic well-being, opting out of the EU would therefore be completely pointless as well as massively negative and damaging.
It is high time that that a rational view was taken of EU membership.
Let us start by remembering that the last century saw two horrific world, essentially European, wars, a situation that is now unthinkable in Western Europe and for which the EU is the bulwark.
I can clearly remember as a child sitting in an Anderson shelter in the cellar of our house in Newcastle and hearing the bombs explode in the street outside.
In a world where conflict and war are all too present we need to support an institution based on peace and prosperity, co-operation not conflict.
Nobody argues that the EU is perfect but what government institution is?
What we need to be is an unequivocal member working with other like-minded members for improvement where it is needed and continuing to enjoy the many benefits of membership.
From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill, Harrogate.
if the exit of Greece from the euro could spook the money markets, what would be the effect on sterling if the UK voted to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum?
This is a potential future disaster facing any future government and it would be interesting to hear if David Cameron and Ed Miliband have a viable plan to cope with this possible event.