Letter: Democratic Europe

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Richard Graham (letter, 12 November) suggests that those who wish to break free from Brussels ignore the shortcomings of the British democratic system.

On the contrary, those of us who campaign for sovereignty to be vested in the people and institutions of Britain understand that democracy is an evolving process and that some aspects of British democracy leave much to be desired.

What we argue is that the maintenance of effective democratic representation, and the evolution of participative democratic frameworks are more likely to be guaranteed at the level of the nation-state than the supra-national state.

As Tony Benn MP put it in a letter to his constituents in Bristol South East before the 1975 Referendum on continuing Common Market membership: "British membership of the Community, by permanently transferring sovereign legislative and financial powers to community authorities who are not directly elected by the British people, also permanently insulates those authorities from direct control by the British electors".

ALISTAIR D McCONNACHIE

Edinburgh

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