One HUNDRED years ago the First World War came to an end. Just 20 years after that, seven months before I was born, the storm clouds were gathering from another hideous conflict. Just a few years after that, as a small boy in a basement air raid shelter in Newcastle, I heard German bombs exploding in the street outside.
The Common Market which became the EU was established, not only to facilitate trade but, vitally, to put a stop to the wars which had raged in Europe for centuries. In this it has been brilliantly successful, a prize which relegates arguments about economics into insignificance.
At the referendum in 2016 the electorate was seriously and deliberately misled as to the effect of a Leave vote. That effect is much clearer to us now and very unappealing it looks.
The Conservative and Labour parties are in total disarray on the issue. Liberal Democrats have been united from the outset on the desirability of remaining in union with our continental friends and, bearing in mind the chaotic situation we are now faced with, champion a People’s Vote, a second referendum, now that we all know how damaging Brexit would be.
I am not blind to the faults in the EU and a good outcome of this turbulent exercise, and bearing in mind the nationalist movements gathering strength in various European countries, could be that the EU examines its governance to address the issues which I know trouble many people but which should not blind us to the over-riding value of the institution.
From: John Cole, Baildon, Shipley.
Since the referendum, I have written to your paper almost weekly to express my very strong opposition to Brexit. A lot of the time I have felt like an Old Testament prophet out of time. It seemed people did not want to hear me and I was a voice crying in the wilderness. My letters seemed to elicit far more opposition than support.
How things have changed in the last few weeks - especially since the resignation of Jo Johnson and his clearly-expressed reservations about Brexit.
These days, whether it is among members of my choir, people I am playing bridge with or talking to in the chip shop while waiting to be served, there is a distinct shift of opinion. People who are not normally “political” or who previously just wanted the Government “to get on with it” are finding a voice.
They do not want a bad Brexit deal stuffed down their throat. Given a choice, the majority would now choose to remain.
The arguments for a People’s Vote are incontrovertible.
From: John Van der Gucht, Cross Hills, Keighley.
Gordon Lawrence (The Yorkshire Post, November 13) refers to the EU as a ‘degenerate institution’.
Dan Cruickshank’s very moving BBC Four programme, Monuments Of Remembrance on the same evening as his letter was published, should have given him pause for thought.
Cruickshank was right when he referred to the truly shocking sight of serried ranks of headstones for the dead of the Great War.
The EU originally came into being to prevent the repetition of just such a war and the subsequent one, by locking France and Germany together in that so-called “degenerate institution”.
Brexiteers seem blind to the advantages to our economy, of being in the customs union and single market – that’s if they actually understand the effects of leaving them.
From: Ken Cooke, Ilkley.
JA KING (The Yorkshire Post, November 13) notes Sir James Dyson struggled to get his vacuum cleaner approved by the EU. Why should the EU matter to him? Because it’s the biggest single market in the world. Yet Brexiteers want to disengage from it and Dyson intends to build a factory in Singapore.