Letter: Euro paean

Sir: In reviewing Hugo Young's book This Blessed Plot ("Britain misses the Euro-bus again", 5 November), John Campbell emphasised the "inevitabilist" argument for the UK's submersion in the ever closer union of Europe. Anyone of different persuasion is dismissed as "Europhobe", isolationist or, where appropriate, not a "serious politician"; a travesty, rather like saying: If you aren't Conservative, you must be Communist.

Campbell failed to mention a single reason for this inevitability, not even the old "no more European wars" fallacy. Is this because they are absent from Young's book? For brevity, here is just one reason to stay clear of the EU: the latest prototypes for such a polyglot aggregation are the former USSR and Yugoslavia, both of which collapsed with incalculable human suffering.

Of course, both were Communist, with dirigiste economies run by an unaccountable and self-indulgent executive, with pretence of democratic involvement and rampant local corruption. But then, the EU is increasingly socialist and dirigiste, run by an unaccountable and self-indulgent executive, with pretence of democratic involvement and rampant local corruption. Most of its member states flagrantly flout even their internal treaty commitments and EU policies. We don't have a EuroKGB yet, but we do have Europol; be patient: it's a start, and meanwhile it's useful in a Europe sans frontieres.

The UK is G5 of the OECD's G7 economies of the world. To suggest that is has no viable future, except as a bunch of regions in the next German Empire, is ridiculous and defeatist. We do have a role, which is to be available, strong and independent, when the wheels fall off the ramshackle Euro-bus.

M J KNIGHT

Slough, Berkshire

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