YP Letters: Sceptical of arguments made in favour of EU

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

David Cameron is failing to convince readers ahead of the EU referendum.

I’ve been sceptical of benefits of EU membership back to when Britain joined the then Common Market under Ted Heath. I’d like to believe leaving the EU would usher in manufacturing led economic success. Would it?

Professor Patrick Minford, a serious economist and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, is a leading supporter and adviser to the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. Recently he wrote that if Britain left the EU “it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and high-tech”.

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In other words if Britain leaves the EU, most British manufacturing will fold. Isn’t that a scary prospect except perhaps for an ivory tower economist? Unemployment is likely to show a shocking rise.

Britain already runs a massive current account deficit (also known as a trade deficit). This will worsen when the manufacturing sector declines, as our Professor predicts, on leaving the EU. I find this a shocking vision. Damned if we stay in the EU, damned if we leave.

From: J G Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.

DON Burslam (The Yorkshire Post, May 7) helpfully suggests that the question of which side in the referendum has the backing of the greater number of MPs would be a useful guide when casting our votes.

We should bear in mind how many members would follow their party line.

I have more respect for the judgement of some independently minded members. For Labour, I’ve long regarded Frank Field as being in this category, and some will recall where Tony Benn stood on the current matter.

Those of the Conservative Party include Nigel Lawson and Michael Portillo, who being half Spanish cannot be slandered as a Little Englander as easily as the rest of us. From the antecedent parties of the Liberal Democrats, there is David Owen. When a man of his political background says we should leave the EU, we should sit up and take notice.

From: June Warner, Kirk Deighton.

I READ the trio of pro-EU letters from Messrs Burslem, Murray and Crowson (The Yorkshire Post, May 7) and found it difficult to elicit a single, solid fact.

The cases made were nebulous but should we really be surprised? In these columns, the Brexiteers have fed us fact after fact showing the negatives of the EU and how to overcome them.

The Remainers have consistently waffled about how nice the EU is – in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary. The vagueness in their case should act as a warning to all.

From: Les Arnott, Sheffield.

MARTIN Crowson’s letter (The Yorkshire Post, May 7) is 24 carat head-in-the-clouds stuff. How can anyone pontificate on peace in western Europe without a single reference whatsoever to Nato? Unbelievable – and what a demonstrable bias in his alleged arguments in having expunged the true peacekeeper entirely from his letter. Sadly, Europhiles are enamoured with an insubstantial ideal.

From: Peter Bye, Park Crescent, Addingham.

THE reason the ‘Remain’ camp are saying such silly things is that even they can’t see any logical reason why we should stay in the EU.

From: Paul Morley, Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston, Skipton.

IF leaving the EU will cause Armageddon as David Cameron now seems to be suggesting, then surely as a world statesman he should see that he has to call off the referendum to save the world!

Politics of madhouse

From: David E Fletcher, Cragg Vale, Hebden Bridge.

AS so often, Austin Mitchell has his finger on the pulse (The Yorkshire Post, May 7). His description of the Northern Powerhouse of Greater Manchester versus the madhouse that is currently Yorkshire should be a great concern for all who live here.

Greater Manchester has brought together 10 Metropolitan Authorities representing nearly three million people into a single devolution bid, with a single Mayor and secretariat. In contrast, the so-called Combined Authority of Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale has achieved no such success because it is too small.

There is a proposal for a matching Greater Yorkshire, 
with a population of 3.7 million people by bringing together North, East and West Yorkshire together with Humberside.

This has far more geographic, economic and social logic – and could have far more clout. The only stumbling block appears to be the refusal of the five Labour leaders of the Leeds Combined Authority to talk to their Conservative equivalents to the North and East. Come on, let’s have fewer prima donnas and more progress.

From: Nat Wendel, Land of Green Ginger, Hull.

AUSTIN Mitchell really is a political dinosaur. Does he think there is any appetite for a return of Humberside County Council?

Locally we are still trying to eliminate this “H word” from illustrious organisations like the BBC and the police; we don’t want it resurrected.