‘Brexit’ could have bad repercussions

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I was delighted to read Terry Palmer’s response to my letter published on December 4. I should like to respond to some of the points he makes.

He starts by saying that, if we left, “we’d be free of the rotten shackles of the EU”. Actually, we’d be outside the world’s largest Single Market which none other than Margaret Thatcher was so keen to promote. Leaving would very likely lead to the reintroduction of import tariffs and custom duties, making British exports less competitive, and imports dearer.

As regards terrorism, of course what happened in Paris could easily happen in London or anywhere else. But the 7/7 bombers he refers to were not European migrants. They were UK citizens, largely of British Commonwealth origin. That atrocity had nothing to do with our membership of the EU.

The often quoted figure of how much EU membership costs this country per day is only around 1 per cent of national expenditure, and it’s not “dead money”. Have a look at how the regeneration of Sheffield’s West Bar area, or the restoration of the Chesterfield canal, are being funded.

The argument that if we left we could trade with whoever we choose is bogus. We already can. Germany has been in the EU from the outset, far longer than we have, and I don’t see their economy suffering because of it. They sell their goods around the world. It’s easier to deal with the world’s heavyweights as part of a larger trading block. Of course we could still do so individually, but probably wouldn’t get such favourable terms of trade. Recently, President Obama, the Chinese President, and the Indian PM have all said that they think Britain should remain in the EU.

Ever wondered why none of the other 27 EU member states are thinking of leaving the EU, or even holding an in/out referendum?

We should remember why the European Communities, as such, were established around 60 years ago. Both World Wars began in Europe, as a result of tensions caused by aggressive nationalism.

Yet it is a condition of belonging to the EU that member states should be functioning democracies.

It can be no coincidence that all of the former Communist states that joined the EU are flourishing democracies and none have lapsed back into authoritarianism.

It is easy to become complacent, after such a long period of tranquillity. Who knows what repercussions a “Brexit” might have?

NP Johnson