LETTER: Erosion of democracy

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It is encouraging to see the interest taken in the EU Referendum by Caitlin Corley (May 19th).

However, their reasons to remain in the EU need to be put into perspective, as follows.

1. The UK taxpayer stumps up over £2 for every £1 given to UK universities. So we could continue funding them at the present rate, retaining a big surplus to fund the NHS. In addition, we also pay £2.2bn pa average of our VAT take to the EU which is often forgotten.

2. People in over 100 countries are employed exporting to the EU, but they do not rely on membership of the EU. 160 countries trade successfully outside the EU with or without trade agreements. Jobs are created by trade and not political union.

3. The UK has no trade agreement with the US and neither does the EU, but has traded continuously with it.

Many countries trade under WTO rules and are not EU members. Since 2008 the EU has not shown any growth as a trade block, whilst every other trading continent has grown.

4. EU output has fallen from 30 per cent of world GDP in 1980, to 17 per cent in 2015. But UK trade with markets OUTSIDE the EU has been rising for many years and we should focus increasingly on those markets.

5. The EU is more concerned with regulation and harmonisation, than with innovation and increasing productivity. Just 100 EU Regulations imposes around £30 billion pa of needless costs on UK businesses which do not trade with the EU, but they are forced to comply. We need to release businesses from that millstone.

6. The number of UK MEPs has fallen to less than ten per cent of the total and will fall further, as more new countries join. The UK has lost most of its vetoes. So our influence in the EU has reduced dramatically and will continue to reduce.

Above all, many people want laws and trade agreements to be made in our Parliament, by MPs who are accountable to us. But sadly that can only be achieved if we leave the EU, because the PM has failed to get any legally binding treaty change needed to return powers to the UK, or to prevent us from being dragged further into political union. The EU is not democratic and run by unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats.

Now we are witnessing the erosion of a parliamentary democracy that has evolved over almost 1,000 years and many want to stop that. Many want to hand over a free and sovereign nation to our grandchildren, as our grandparents did for us. But sadly we can’t do that if we remain within the EU.

TOBY BROTHERS

Ripley Road, Worthing

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