LETTER: Golden age delusion

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Your views.

We were amused but also disconcerted by the lack of knowledge or bad faith displayed in the article written by Mr Duncan Crow, councillor for Furnace Green (Crawley Observer 18/01/2017).

He says he is very pleased that part of the £410million RAF military transport contract has been awarded to defence contractor Thales at Manor Royal because it shows that Crawley continues to prosper after the Brexit vote. Then he goes on to state that defence is an industry where Britain excels on the global stage and that by getting rid of “the European shackles” we will be able to do even better post Brexit.

What Councillor Crow conveniently forgets to tell us (or perhaps is completely unaware of) is that that the contractor Thales is a major European or more accurately French firm ( 26 per cent owned by the French state and a further 25 per cent by Dassault Aviation) and that it is because Great Britain has been a member of the European Union these past 40 years that it has been able to develop a close cooperation with France which also has a prominent defence industry.

So, far from European shackles impeding the progress of the British Isles, it will be a hard Brexit that will endanger the prosperity the country has acquired since joining - it has rarely been mentioned before or after the referendum that Britain was in a very sorry state economically when it joined in 1973 - for it will very probably put an end to such cooperation. As BAE Systems chairman Sir Roger Carr said in 2016, several contracts including a £1.6bn Anglo-French programme to develop a combat drone and a Kuwaiti order for 28 Eurofighter Typhoons made in cooperation with Airbus and Italy’s Finmeccanica will be at risk if Britain leaves the single market. Please let us have both more information and less prejudice about the countries of the European Union and let us acknowledge the vast benefits of belonging to it before crowing about a deluded future golden age free of its so-called shackles.

B and D Crawford



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