Can we make it clear

Can we please get it clear that there is absolutely no comparison between the would-be conquerors of Europe in the past, and the present-day European Union.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 6:03 am
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 7:06 am

To compare a voluntary union of 28 states, all of which have to be functioning democracies to qualify to join the EU, with Hitler’s murderous regime, as Boris Johnson did recently, is frankly ludicrous.

The EU was established to bring the warring countries of Europe together after two disastrous conflicts which cost millions of lives.

The EU has given us more than 70 years of peace and support to states emerging from both right wing and communist dictatorships to establish democratic institutions. (NATO is important too of course, but both have played their part).

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The European Commission is not some dictatorial, undemocratic body as some Star letter writers allege. It is the Civil Service of the EU (no-one elects our Civil Service), and it responds to the requests of national leaders – elected Prime ministers and Presidents – for draft legislation on issues such as climate change, food safety, consumer protection, workers’ rights etc. which make sense across the single market.

The job of the European Parliament, all of whose members are directly elected, is to scrutinise, revise and amend the draft proposals to benefit the whole of the EU, including the UK. The final decisions are taken in partnership of all the three institutions, with member states having a veto in the Council of Ministers if there is some really strong objection.

Yes, the countries of Europe have decided to pool some of their sovereignty for the greater good of all. This does not make us any less British. As a nation we need to ensure that we elect a government and MEPs who share that ideal.

It should be pointed out to Iain Duncan Smith, who recently declared that the EU is against the poor – yes, the man who has presided over massive cuts to the incomes of the poor and disabled over most of the last six years – that while his government, like the previous Tory government, savagely cuts resources from the poorer parts of Britain while destroying their manufacturing jobs, it is the EU that has poured millions of euros into regions like South Yorkshire to support jobs, training, research etc.

This is why the Labour Party and Trade Union Movement support our membership of the EU.

Do you think a Tory Government led by Boris post-Brexit would retain EU legislation on workers’ rights?

I don’t think so.

Veronica Hardstaff

Northfield Court, S10