Letter: UK role in Europe

Sir: So Brussels is "warning" Britain that if it is disobedient, it will lose "influence" over whatever Brussels decides to order it to do next. (" `Second rank Britain' warned by EU", 26 July).

This kind of language forces people who have hitherto considered themselves Europhiles to wonder whether Britain ought now to remain in the EU. We were pleased to join in the 1970s because we wished to be part of a co- operative trading endeavour. We did not join in order to become the battered wife of Europe, promised illusory goodies in return for doing what we were told, and threatened if we did not.

If our present choice has to be between independence from the EU and everlasting obedience to an inward-looking Franco-German sponsored bureaucracy, then, reluctantly, I think we should choose independence. We can then invest our EU budget contribution in hospitals, schools and transport infrastructures in this country and in more productive economic enterprises worldwide.

Happily, our self-esteem and long-term prosperity do not depend on the good opinion of power-hungry European commissioners. Yves Thibault de Silguy is entitled to give voice to his frustrated ambition; we are entitled to ignore him.


Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire