LETTER: Trade without political union

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The EU motion I put forward at the West Sussex County Council meeting in April was non-political, it proposed that the economy of West Sussex and the UK will be better positioned to prosper outside of the EU.

The lack of politics behind the motion was acknowledged by the chair of the council.

So why did I present this motion - the answer is to help the people of West Sussex further understand some of the facts of our EU membership which they seem otherwise denied access too.

The figure I presented on Structural Funds leaving this region and paid to the EU are indeed substantiated figures from the European Commission themselves. They are the same figures used by Mats Persson who is now Special Advisor to David Cameron.

The essential figure I raised is that for every £1 received back from the EU in structural funds, this region (which for EU reporting combines West Sussex, Surrey and East Sussex) has already contributed to the EU a figure of £12.70.

I want the taxpayers and residents of West Sussex to know this enormous absurdity that exists where for every £12.70 paid out to the EU, just £1 is rebated back to this region.

This is especially relevant when the county council in West Sussex has raised the council tax by 3.95 per cent for 2016/17, where capital borrowing by West Sussex has levied a further borrowing requirement of £175 million to residents adding to the debt mountain that already exists for this county.

We still have county and national services which are either strained or non-existent, where our county road network (the A27 being a prime example) is hugely underfunded and where this directly affects our economy; where our schools are overcrowded, I could illustrate more.

I also remarked within the motion that 99.7 per cent of businesses in West Sussex are SMEs; who are disproportionately affected by the huge volumes of EU rules affecting their cost base.

The motion I proposed had an amendment proposed by the Conservatives. This amendment was voted on and passed.

I would encourage people to view the entire debate via the West Sussex website as it may help with their formulation of how they wish to vote at the Referendum in June.

In answer to L.N. Price’s letter published earlier by the County Times – the figures I drew upon are indeed substantiated.

I am sorry that he did not understand them.

The amended motion was carried.

As for the Lib Dems forensically destroying the UKIP case (as alleged by L.N. Price); I suggest he relooks at the debate, Dr Walsh (Lib Dem leader) was reprimanded by the chair for looking to make this a political debate.

I offered to give Dr Walsh access to the European Commission’s own document that substantiated the EU structural fund figures I was quoting from and which clearly neither Dr Walsh or his colleague Cllr Millson fully understood.

Finally I would say to L.N.Price, you are factually incorrect in so many things you have written in your letter into the County Times but then that IS probably politics at work! As I have said, this EU referendum is way above party politics.

In my view we can trade with Europe without being in a political union governed by unelected EU bureaucrats and which displaces this country’s sovereignty.

SANDRA JAMES

(UKIP) Member of West Sussex County Council for Bourne Division and Leader of the Opposition at WSCC, County Hall, Chichester

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