YP Letters: Lessons of history make case for EU

Leaving the EU could put the peace of Europe at risk, argue Remain supporters.
Leaving the EU could put the peace of Europe at risk, argue Remain supporters.
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From: Martin Crowson, Market Place, Leyburn.

IT’S 70 years since the end of the Second World War and Western Europe has been at peace since then. It is easy to take this for granted. We should not. For most of the last 1,000 years Western nations have been at war with each other.

The fact that within living memory Western Europe was in flames is a stark reminder that peace cannot be taken for granted.

We should cherish this peace and continue to work at ensuring peace. The EU helped heal Western Europe after the war.

Nations that are economically and politically entwined are less likely to go to war with one another. The EU not only acts as a force for peace in Western Europe. Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, it has united East and West Europe for the first time. This is an historic achievement which the UK has been part of shaping.

If we walk away now, we will be putting ourselves on the wrong side of history. This is the big picture. This is what should concentrate the minds of voters in the EU referendum.

It is also the case, however, that the EU has fostered economic prosperity on a scale unimaginable when we joined the EU in 1973.

At that time, we were the basket case of Europe. Today we are the world’s fifth largest economy but every domestic and international financial institution has warned that UK Plc will deteriorate if we leave the EU.

It would be monumental folly. It would be economic suicide. It would destabilise the entire continent.

History sheds light on the future, not just the past and we ignore the lessons of history at our peril.

From: John S Murray, Moorside Road, Honley, Holmfirth.

SOME correspondents and columnists seem to think that shouting “Rule Britannia!” or “Thank God I’m English” will somehow bring back the glory days of Queen Victoria, a return to gunboat diplomacy and entry to the mythical paradise of Brexit land.

Do you remember in childhood writing your address something like this: Home Street, Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, Great Britain, Europe, Northern Hemisphere, The World, The Universe?

I enjoyed being a citizen of all those places and still do. One address does not preclude the other; so to say you are not European because you live in Huddersfield, Leeds, Yorkshire or England is ridiculous.

We are all in Europe, in a Union of 28 nations and 500 million people, and long may it remain so.

From: Don Burslam, Dewsbury.

UNLIKE some, I do not claim a monopoly of wisdom about the EU which is after all a complex issue. For those who cannot make up their minds, I suggest a possible way out of their dilemma. This would be to look at those ranged on either side of the argument.

The Remain side includes virtually the whole of the Labour party, a surprisingly large number of Tories, the whole of the Lib Dems, the Greens, the SNP and the trade unions. For good measure we have many business leaders and the chairman of the Bank of England.

On the other side we have Ukip, the rest of the Conservatives plus those intellectual titans Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. I hope this will prove helpful.

Tale of two professions

From: Mrs DM Priestley, Matlock, Derbyshire.

I HAVE seen the doctors’ strike on the TV, placards, shouting, operations cancelled, appointments missed.

At the farm, it is calving and lambing time. One night, last weekend, my farmer son-in-law and my (volunteer) granddaughter got up every hour to check on the animals. She told me of the struggle they had had to birth twin calves and their delight on seeing them healthy, only, the following morning, for the cow to roll on one of them and cause its death.

As a lifelong townie, I had no idea of life on a farm until my daughter married a farmer, but this is real life and unexpected death, with no overtime pay or contracts to have free weekends. After all, the cow has no idea it is Saturday night.

I looked at the striking doctors and thought to myself that they should be ashamed.

From: P Bradley, Chesterfield.

ON a recent visit to Scarborough, we had reason to call on the ambulance service when I had an asthma attack.

In 10 minutes, a paramedic in a car arrived followed by an ambulance with a paramedic and attendant driver.

I can only praise the service. Within 30 minutes, I was taken to hospital where I was treated very well, seeing a triage nurse followed by a GP. Thank you very much to all who were involved.

Living wage is a minimum

From: J G Riseley, Harrogate.

HOLLY Lynch MP (The Yorkshire Post, May 2) objects to the long-established practice of setting lower minimum wage rates for younger workers. While it has controversially been renamed the “living wage”, it still nevertheless sets minimum wage rates and not, as Ms Lynch appears to think, maximum rates.