Letter: Britain in Europe

Sir: Paolo Grossi (letter, 17 June)is preaching to the converted. The British people do not want to be in the EU, but he is wrong to think of that as anti-Europeanism.

The EU is not Europe, but only one part of the geographical and cultural entity of Europe. Many of us who are well disposed towards our fellow Europeans, and who see the need for close cooperation in many areas of government, regard the EU as a hopeless failure.

Its failings are widely acknowledged: corruption, the common agricultural policy, fishing policy. On the whole, the EU's defenders do not attempt to deny these failings, but say they are reasons for reforming it, not withdrawing from it. Well, the years roll by and the reforms never come.

I believe the EU is not able to reform itself, and without reform it will do far more harm than good, for Europe as much as for us. If Britain withdrew, it would encourage the dissenters in other member states. Only when they see the house beginning to collapse around them will the real powers in the EU accept that reform is in their own interest as well as ours. British dissent is not a threat to Europe, it is its best hope.

CHRISTOPHER PADLEY

Market Rasen, Lincolnshire

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