World Chill May Weaken EU; Letters

The Birmingham Post (England), September 11, 1998 | Go to article overview

World Chill May Weaken EU; Letters

Musical experience: Simon Rattle and the CBSO. See letter feast of music

Sir, - With the chill wind blowing from the Far East being backed up by the cold blast coming in from Eastern Europe and Russia hitting the already fudged criteria for those signed up to join EMU, the fear is not that it will work but that the euro will be so weak that it will fail to flourish and, in collapsing, pull down other more efficient economies.

The problem of funding the huge pension liability due after the millennium will add to the burdens imposed upon us via the costs of conversion which, although initially met by business, will be passed on wherever possible to the consumer.

Bearing in mind that Britain's manufacturing trade with the EU amounts to only 15 per cent (15 per cent is other overseas and 70 per cent is for UK consumption) 85 per cent of manufacturing industry will get no benefits - but will still have to bear the additional burden of interfering EU legislation.

For these reasons I would be more than happy to eat any words said against the euro if Rob Coppinger (Post, Sept 7) will eat his as and when the single currency falls apart though world events.



Trade & Industry Committee,

Federation of Small Businesses.

Without global trade

we'll wither and die

Sir, - Yet another contorted letter from Graham Rea (Post, September 4). Although I am not fluent in Reaspeak, I think I have managed to translate the gist of it.

Somehow or other he seems to be conveying the impression that if Britain destroys the mother of all parliaments, which is the model for the world's best democracies, if we sacrifice all our historic rights and links which have served us extremely well, i f we hand over vast tracts of power to un-elected and unsackable people, we actually improve democracy. H'mm, this is way beyond my meagre intellect.

Graham is also under the impression the world beats a path to our door to obtain access to the EU, yet most, including many European companies, come here to escape the intransigent trading regulations imposed in a lot of the EU countries. We have a more flexible workforce with a far better tax regime.

Even the people of France are flocking here looking for the jobs which are impossible to find in their own country due to France's restrictive employment taxation.

The EU needs us, we do not need the EU. We have a trading deficit with the EU, it is our trade with the rest of the world which fills the coffers.

If Britain loses the freedom we currently enjoy to trade globally and is locked into restrictive and protectionist EU trade agreements, we will wither and die as a free nation.

We are involved in discussion and then constantly outvoted by the other member nations, we always have to tolerate second best for Britain and what is often harmful to us because of the increased use of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV).

We have a voice in Europe which is irrelevant and ignored, QMV soon puts paid to all talk of changing the EU from within.

If we cannot benefit from this very expensive club due to the other members constantly outvoting us, why be a member?

If Britain were set free, then just like the time we escaped the stranglehold of ERM, we will see a rapid and vast improvement in our fortunes.

All we need to trade with Europe is a simple trade agreement like Norway has. Its leaders prophesied all kinds of doom and gloom if it did not join the EU. Its people had more sense and voted against and Norway has thrived ever since.

There are some difficult times ahead, the chill wind of recession has already begun, we are beginning to shiver in its icy breath, Russia will create enormous problems for the EU's shaky new currency which was full of holes even before the rouble crisis hit.

Yet, so blinkered are the federalists they still intend to go ahead against the will of the people and common sense; the whole venture is just for their own vanity so they can go down in history as the men who locked Europe in its inescapable death throe s. …

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