LETTER: Two different EU arguments

All the arguments about our future membership of the EU seem to be whether we will be better or worse off in or out of Europe. I regard these of little consequence compared to two other arguments.

Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:38 am

The first is that we the public never voted to become members of the EU, the majority in the last referendum voted to join the European Common Market; I can only think that this was largely to provide a Franco/UK alliance to balance the growing strength of Germany. It was certainly not for trade as we had already given up the historic Commonwealth (originally Empire) trading group (a third of the world population) in favour of the European Free Trading Area (Efta) which was just as good for our trade as the ECM.

The second, and more important argument is that we, our family members and our allies fought two wars to protect our democracy and all those lives which were lost or damaged will have been in vain if we now vote to stay in the EU, which is anything but democratic and getting less democratic with time.

We may have to suffer a short period while we re-adjust our trading treaties, but this will be nothing compared to the suffering of our (and our allies) service men and women, and also the population between the wars and in the first twenty years or so after the last war. If we cannot put up with some minor restrictions for a short time to save the oldest democracy in the world then we deserve all that would be coming to us if we stay in the EU. At least one country has indicated that it would negotiate a trade deal with us if we leave the EU and I am certain that others, given our lead, would follow us out of the EU.

Our trade with the EU is very one-sided so, properly handled, we have nothing to lose; our services are more balanced, but with our world famed renown for these, our expertise will still be needed.

We must exit the EU now. No long drawn out negotiations of terms; no future payments for the privilege of trading with Europe; no cap-in-hand begging for terms. We are not a small economy like those quoted as paying for trade deals with the EU; we are Great Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world who, freed from the shackles of the EU can go back to developing our trade with Commonwealth countries (a third of the world population) and other rapidly expanding economies. If the EU wishes to trade with us (which they will) they can come to us, cap in hand.

The PM (and Chancellor) would enhance his reputation if he was now to admit he was unable to negotiate terms good enough to keep us in the EU; and to lead us out of the EU. In case, the terms he has negotiated will be negated by new legislation once the EU can claim we voted to stay in.

As for our own safety, we will be much safer outside the EU. We are a founder member of the United Nations and NATO, members of the Commonwealth and have atomic weapons. Germany could not beat us when we stood alone with our Empire (now the Commonwealth); no one will beat us as members of NATO and the Commonwealth.

So let us respect the sacrifices of our brave servicemen and vote to leave the EU in June and resume our long term position in the world.

K. W. Newby

Elm Park