Letter: Britain in Europe

Britain in Europe

Sir: The fact that only six Conservative Members of Parliament joined a Euro Commissioner and a small number of former MPs in signing the letter (5 January) on Conservative Euro policy does, I believe, demonstrate that their views are those of a very small minority. Perhaps most significant of all is that these opinions of the Party's old brigade are not supported with the signatures of one of the new intake of Members of Parliament.

On the basis of discussions with Conservatives at meetings throughout the nation I would offer the opinion that the clear and unambiguous policy declared by William Hague is supported by the vast majority of Party activists.

It is no secret that the decision on joining the Euro currency marks the end of the road in our nation's absorption into a single European state without democracy, and the voters are entitled to have a choice of two parties offering the alternative arguments on this fundamental choice.

As regards the arguments advanced by the Howe signatories, I wonder if they genuinely believe that Britain's trade has benefited from Euro membership. While we formerly had a reasonable trade relationship, our balance with the EU since we joined shows a massive deficit of over pounds 100,000m. Likewise, the claims about agricultural reform seem difficult to square with reality. The CAP remains the most significant and illogical protection racket ever devised by man. And on the issue of economic power I wonder if the signatories have looked at all at the devastating unemployment figures in the EU and if it troubled them that the UK had to create substantial additional unemployment and borrow vast sums of money before the UK escaped from the ERM.

But perhaps the most significant issue neglected by the signatories is the impact of the EU on democracy. EU policies, which now cover a vast area of legislation, cannot be changed in any way through the democratic process. And if the Conservative Party was to co-operate with Mr Blair in entering the single currency, I wonder what the signatories believe should be the issues to be decided upon at the next general election.

On the basis of the views expressed in the letter, I believe that our democratic problems in the UK could be greatly simplified if the signatories were to consider a transfer to the Lib Dems or new Labour where their views would be appreciated.

Sir TEDDY TAYLOR MP

(Rochford and Southend East, Con)

House of Commons

London SW1

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