Your correspondent David Fox (read his letter here) accuses others of misleading, and then, in my view, misleads.
He speculates about a trade treaty with the USA that has not been negotiated and may never be negotiated. He states that the EU has no budget and then exceeds the ridiculous with aBoris bus-type statement that our contribution to that budget is £290bn a year – an exaggeration of 2200%!
No wonder your interviewees in the market are confused. The EEC we joined in 1973 andvoted on in 1975 was never just a trade agreement – read the actual text of the documentsent to all voters at the time. The aims of the Common Market are:
To bring together the peoples of Europe.
To raise living standards and improve working conditions.
To promote growth and boost world trade.
To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.
To help maintain peace and freedom.’
The EU law-making remit is very restricted, it is not a superstate, If you swallow that myth you should wonder why our political parties issue manifestos.
Do MPs sit in Parliament – just waiting to rubberstamp Brussels edicts? The Queen might as well not bother turning up tomake her speech. In fact Brexit politicians like Gove, Duncan-Smith and Grayling never seemed to have let the EU stop them turning upside down our education, welfare andhealth services.
The government reforms our pensions, tax rates and will be voting tospend £100 billion-plus on Trident and, with a few minor exceptions, the EU never gets a mention.
The EU is far from perfect. Its recent record on joint action over the Syrian refugee crisis islamentable but it represents our best hope of meeting the problems bearing down us,world population growth, climate change and conflict exacerbated by these and otherfactors.
Island or not, we cannot isolate ourselves from these issues and the Brexiters are burying their heads in the sand if they think we can.
Nigel Farage scoffs at the idea of working together, thumps the British chest and suggeststhat all the others thump theirs. Look where that got Europe in the first half of the 20th century – how short our memories are! To gleefully anticipate, as he does, that our exit willprompt the break up of the EU, is lunacy.
Benjamin Franklin famously said– ‘We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.’
No, it won’t happen on June 24.
But let’s make as sure as we can that it will never happen.