LETTER: We can do more within the EU

Your views.
Your views.

In 1975, when we had a referendum on whether to stay or leave the Common Market, I wrote to your newspaper to express my support for staying.

I wrote because I was not able to register to vote (having been working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone and only returning to Crawley in February 1975) and I wanted to cast a public vote.

Forty one years later and we are again being asked to vote on whether or not to remain in the EU. This time I can vote and I will vote, however, I want to share some thoughts with your readers.

Putin is in favour of Brexit – I cannot contemplate agreeing with him on anything.

Trump is in favour of Brexit, but he seems unsure as to what this actually means - just as a large section of the British public may think.

Most heads of international financial institutions support remain for what, to me, appears sound reasons.

However, economists appear to be divided which is hardly surprising- when I studied economics many years ago, I was often in trouble for arguing the exact opposite of the theses proposed by my lecturer. He could not fault my mathematics. Perhaps economists have improved their mathematics?

Friends who work for the EU (not British) tell me that since Britain joined the EU, the main language used for almost all meetings has become English rather than French, which used to be the EU’s main language. This applies even when there are no British or Irish participants in the meeting.

Should we leave the EU this will no doubt boost the French argument to replace English with French – and much as I like the French, I would be happier at stopping the spread of their language in the EU.

The referendum was only called by David Cameron because he was scared by the threat of UKIP to the Tory vote. It seems UKIP had taken more votes from Labour than from the Tories, so the need for the referendum is suspect. Splitting the Tory party is the most likely result.

Immigration and jobs are reported as being issues that concern many people. Britain has always been a destination for immigrants – as well as, for generations, a source of emigrants to other countries. Employment has gone up, unemployment has gone down, many more jobs have been created. Ask the catering, hotel and agricultural sectors how they could cope without immigrant workers, who do the jobs that are not considered attractive to us Brits. Any reference to immigrants in a negative tone risks the charge of racism, which is illegal here and should be beneath the dignity of all of us. I have lived and worked in many countries around the world and found that Britain is viewed as an important member of the EU as well as a source of great music, very good at organisation, honest and reliable and a proponent of ‘fair play’. Some remember the colonial days but this memory is dying out with the older generation. Britain is an honourable country and, in my opinion, it would be dishonourable to walk away from treaties that our government signed, especially if the reasons for leaving, at best, appear to be short-sighted and misguided. How will I vote? To remain, of course – we can do so much more within the EU than we can outside it.

David Knevett

Ifield

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