Letter: Europe: in or out
Friday 30 July 1999
Europe: in or out
Sir: The extent to which Lord Ahmed and his co-signatories (letter, 28 July) are out of touch with public opinion is demonstrated by their statement that the anti-euro view is "rejected by the vast majority of British people". More than 60 per cent of all votes cast on 10 June were for parties opposed to the single currency.
The "vast majority" are not fools and can easily calculate the number of hospitals and schools that could be built with the pounds 5,488m (net) we contribute to Brussels every year. They know, too, that the three and a half million jobs which Lord Ahmed claims are linked to Europe will not be lost if we remain outside EMU (or outside the EU altogether) because Europe sells us pounds 8bn more per year than we sell them. For their own benefit, the EU countries would need to continue to trade with us on the same terms enjoyed by Norway and Switzerland.
The Britain in Europe group is, however, right on one point: our country's future does indeed depend on the outcome of this debate. If their views prevail, then the future is indeed bleak. Our absorption into a federal states of Europe would mean the consequent loss of nationhood and with it the ability to set our own laws, set our own taxes and control our own destiny.
As for the group's promise to keep the British people fully informed, I haven't noticed them informing us of the current EU proposals to change our centuries-old legal system with the proposed corpus juris. Among other things this would abolish the writ of habeas corpus, trial by jury and the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".
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