LETTER: Stop snubbing Germany's goodwill

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The Independent Online
Sir: The idea that Britain made war on Hitler to bring its influence to bear upon the Continent ("The Euro-sceptic lie about why we fought Hitler", 2 January) will seem ridiculous to anyone who was grown-up in the 1930s.

We joined the Second World War to stop the nastiest racist dictator from taking over Europe and a great deal of the rest of the world. With help from many others, we succeeded.

At the war cemetery at La Baule, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the raid on St Nazaire, an old retired dock-worker came up to me and asked me to "do him the honour" of going to his house and taking a glass of wine.

"Before you fellows came that night", he said, taking my right hand in both of his, "we thought we would never be rescued from the most appalling oppression. Thank you, thank you."

There were tears in his eyes. Mine too. We all knew what that war was about.

It bears no relation to what is happening in Europe today, of course. But the idea that Britain can "maintain its influence" in Europe only by joining in deeper integration with the countries of the Continent is way off-beam too. We have no serious influence in continental Europe to start with. The majority there want us to join in and to do as we are told.

Unfortunately, if we do this we will suffer massive unemployment and severe social divisions. For that is what the economic and social policies of the EU are already bringing about.


Oxshott, Surrey