Stay connected

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 February 2013

I’m sure UKIP member Ann Prior (Letters, January 24) is not really the ‘raving lunatic’ she describes herself as being, and that’s good because we do need mature, thoughtful debate in the coming months and years about our place in Europe - not tub-thumping, not foot-stamping and certainly not lunacy!

Her arguments are mainly based on sums. We pay in more than we take out and just think what we could do with all that money!

Well - here are two figures which might be helpful, provided by Simon Sweeney, an expert in international political economy at the University of York and recently published (sorry, Ann!) in the Guardian: 57 per cent of our trade is with the EU; our nett contribution to the EU is £7 billion out of a total government expenditure of £695 billion.

That buys us a huge market and keeps Britain centrally-involved in European decision-making, placing us in a strong position as a ‘portal’ for companies from all over the world which want to trade within Europe and find us a good place from which to base their operations.

It also allows us to have a say in the many laws and regulations which emanate from Brussels, some of which are pointless and annoying but many of which are right and proper and benefit us a great deal.

And - perhaps more valuable than any of these - a strong British voice helps keep the peace in a Europe which otherwise might once again be torn to pieces by war.

So there’s a lot at stake, and - as Ann Prior rightly says - there will be many letters to the press about this issue over a five-year period which, since the Prime Minister’s speech on January 23, with his promise of an in-out referendum on Europe by the end of 2017, is now alarmingly uncertain. In the interim, I fear that our international partners might well lose patience and go elsewhere in search of more reliable long-term markets. We shall see.

One thing seems clear to me: Britain can only prosper in a today’s world, a globalised world of networks and alliances and unions, by staying connected.

Remember, we now face a Scottish referendum which threatens to break up the UK, atomising its parts disastrously, and threatening to make England (now on its own with Wales and Northern Ireland) a much-diminished power.

Were we, as UKIP wants, to come out of Europe as well, we would ‘stand on our own’ as a small island province in what could be a fruitless search for more powerful friends. Does Ann Prior really want that?

Mike Newby

Wilderness House

Exmouth

0 comments

Other News Stories

06:30

An Exmouth man has received an award from the RNLI in recognition of more than 40 years of fundraising.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:13

See our slideshow tribute to Exmouth’s vintage vehicle enthusiast - Reg Imray.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:34

Police are making enquiries to find the owner of a car which was found in a bank near Woodbury Country Park.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:22

Exmouth photographer, Nathan Richmond, captured this beautiful picture of a floral display in Manor Gardens and wins our iwitness24 photo challenge.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Tributes have been paid to intrepid deaf pensioner Reg Imray, who died at his Exmouth home aged 94.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:40

East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire is one of seven Devon MPs who have signed a letter written to the Prime Minister asking her to make sure no school in Devon is ‘worse off’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:15

Police are appealing for information after two puppies were taken in an alleged burglary in Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Exmouth musicians say they have been forced to leave the venue for their popular free concerts due to an increase in fees charged by the district council.

Read more
Mon, 17:02

Police attended a stuck HGV in Topsham on Saturday, (April 22) after it struck a pub.

Read more
Mon, 16:59

New attractions join old favourites when Budleigh Salterton celebrates its annual Gala Week.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications