LETTER:Hidden benefits of being in the EU

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The Independent Online
Sir: In support of the main impetus of Polly Toynbee's welcome article "Who will come out fighting, for Europe?" (10 May), may I point out as a member of the general public that we receive virtually no information about the benefits to this country of our membership in the European Union. Does the blame lie with the media, or with the European organisations themselves?

By chance, I heard of a civic project in Staffordshire made possible by EU support. How many others have there been? Are even local residents made aware of how such things have taken place? Knowledge of such developments, among other benefits, would be more to the point than the publicised in- fighting between the pro- and anti-EU factions.

And, at the very elementary level, can we not squeeze out the too prevalent usage of the single word "Europe" to mean the "European Union", in a context contrasting it with Britain. It is a sloppy abbreviation, predisposing the reader to oppose matters instigated in the union and ignore the fact that we are members in it. When I was a child at school, I wrote on the cover of my exercise book my name, street address, town - then England, Europe, The World, and I was glad to be part of it all. Do the Tight Little Islander anti-Europeans consider Britain to be a continent on its own?

Yours sincerely,


Chipping Camden,


11 May