Letter:Answering German question

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Marr thinks further European integration is too difficult and we had better come to terms with the status quo in a Europe that will inevitably be dominated by Germany ("Don't fudge it: the European question is Germany", 7 March).

That proposition is not acceptable either to most of our EU partners or to Germany's eastern neighbours. Above all it is not desired by Germany herself. For them, in a politically united Europe of 370 million, rising to 475 million within 20 years, a Germany of 80 million inhabitants will no doubt be important and influential but certainly not dominant.

This has always been one of the principal motives for European integration ever since the creation of the European Coal and steel Community in the 1950s. Difficult though the process has been, we are well on the way to an economic, monetary and political union, which has always been a clear objective for most EU members and Germany in particular. None of them wants a superstate, but they favour a union in which member states retain their national identities and autonomy for all matters that are not agreed in common.

Wishful thinking that they might fail or that Britain can stop them will merely repeat the costly errors of the past, when we chose not to join at the start.

Ernest Wistrich

London NW3

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