Letter: European? Not us

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Sir: Earl Russell (letter, 16 June) says that the control of economic policy by a sovereign nation state such as Britain is something that events such as the electronic movement of money world-wide have precluded .

Therefore, he implies, we have little to lose by jumping into a mainland continental ship large enough to deflect at least some economic waves. But this "element of political control" of world economic forces, in return for which we are expected to give up autonomy in economic and other matters, is not defined.

It is, in truth, a vague, pious hope, predicated on the belief that the market-wave-defying boat of a politically integrated Europe will be steered benignly in a direction of our choosing.

In fact, Britain has always accommodated itself to the economic forces governing world markets. To be "run" by market forces is, in fact, merely to continue to adapt ourselves to forces with which we have always co- existed, and amid which we thrive.

We will get buffeted occasionally, but this is surely preferable to jumping into a political vessel which will offer limited and temporary protection, and which is more than likely to get its propellors jammed in bureaucratic weeds within a decade or two.


Centre for Legal Studies

University of Sussex,