Letter: Britain's bright future in Europe

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Europe 97 campaign is a welcome and timely reminder of the crucial importance of Europe in British life. Culturally, economically, and politically, Britain and the British people have gained greatly from membership of the European Union.

Contact with other European cultures has enriched the cultural life of Britain, just as the British contribution has been important to other European countries. From cinema to sport, fashion to music, literature and art, the benefits of this European cross-fertilisation are apparent. We believe that to turn our backs on Europe now would be to set our faces against both the lessons of history and the best prospects for our future.

As with culture, so with business and politics. The vast majority of business-people and politicians know that Britain's future prosperity can only be secured as a full and enthusiastic member of the European Union. Millions of jobs in this country, as well as most of our inward investment, now depend on our close links with other European countries.

No one should forget what came before the European Union. It has risen from the ashes of a continent devastated by the worst conflicts in our history. Since then, the European Union has helped heal the wounds of war and introduced a new era of peace, co-operation and prosperity. Britain's future does indeed lie at the heart of Europe.

Sir DAVID PUTTNAM

BRIAN ALDISS

Sir TERENCE CONRAN

FRANCES FYFIELD

HOWARD GOODALL

MICHAEL IGNATIEFF

EDDIE IZZARD

KATRINA AND THE WAVES

BARRY NORMAN

Sir EVELYN de ROTHSCHILD

Sir PETER USTINOV

MINETTE WALTERS

RICHARD WILSON

London SW1

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