I cannot let the letter from Christopher Beazley (letters, March 3) pass without making reply.
Mr Beazley states correctly that we are entering four months of debate characterised by ‘invective and exaggeration’. He then proceeds to produce a letter full of both!
The PM’s ‘hard-won’ agreement has been labelled by most responsible and logical commentators as not being worth the paper it’s written on – if they even bothered to write it down!
It does nothing to protect our borders: immigrants from Eastern Europe, and in due course horror of horrors, Turkey, will still pour in as the basic wages in their countries are a tenth of our new minimum wage; it has nothing to do with benefits.
Furthermore, if we remain in the EU, all the immigrants currently invading Germany, Sweden and Belgium will be able legally to transfer to the UK once they have been given that priceless document conferring EU citizenship, and we shall not be able to stop them. How ‘secure’ is that?
Mr Beazley also makes the assumption that in order to co-operate with the Eurozone countries we have to be part of the EU. This is patently rubbish, we were co-operating with them over matters of common interest long before 1971. Inside or outside the EU we should still be members of the Commonwealth, NATO and the UN, and would regain our seat at the WTO. Just how does that leave us “isolated from friendly countries”? Experience has shown that often Eurozone countries are far from “friendly” to the UK, giving the lie to the argument that the EU unites countries against outside forces: indeed, it is very often divisive, witnessed by the problems between nations brought about by mass immigration.
Mr Beazley also brings up that old chestnut about “half our trade is with our nearest neighbours, upon which millions of jobs in Britain depend”.
The facts are that half of our export trade is delivered to the EU, but half of that then is moved on elsewhere in the world. Since we export about 20 per cent of our GDP, we in fact sell under ten per cent of our output to the EU, and this is declining annually, as our trade with the rest of the world is increasing whilst that with the EU is decreasing, along with the Eurozone economy.
And the three million jobs ‘depending’ on European trade are only marginally ‘affected’ by it, as the organisations concerned also sell to other, internal and non-EU, customers.
Many other countries are trying to persuade us to remain in the EU: you can be sure, in this ever more self-seeking world, that this is entirely for their own various benefits and not that of the UK.
Furthermore, it is for the people of the UK to determine whether we remain in the EU, not for outside agencies to interfere. Once we are out, they will all queue up to trade with us, as the sixth largest economy in the world and one of the wealthiest.
The vexed question of the possible breakup of the Union is being cited as a reason for us to stay in the EU. This is pure crystal ball gazing. Scotland knows full well it could never survive outside Great Britain, especially with the price of oil, upon which their economy heavily depends, being so low, and would not vote to leave the Union simply because we left the EU. And where did this “new barrier” between Eire and the UK suddenly appear from? More crystal ball gazing, especially when, by extension, Mr Beazley argues that the peace settlement in Northern Ireland would be adversely affected. As Mr Beazley said, invective and exaggeration.
Finally, Mr Beazley completely ignores the enormous democratic deficit endemic in the anti-democratic EU. We are presently governed, in the fullest sense, by a gang of unelected, unsackable and corrupt bureaucrats, whom we cannot remove from power, but who dictate how we live in every detail. The European Parliament, whose members are elected, have no executive powers whatever, and have only marginal influence on EU laws and so are largely democratically irrelevant. What a way to live!
Peter N. Beukers