The COLUMN by Iain Shepherd in the Observer last week (In my View), paints a sad picture of the ability of our businessmen and women, which I do not share.
Why does Mr Shepherd believe it is necessary to hand over £50m every day to Brussels before we can have meaningful business arrangements with our neighbours?
According to the TaxPayers Alliance, EU regulations cost British business an estimated £120bn per annum.
Thus, clearly free of EU diktats, the UK would enjoy a vital cost advantage over many of our trading rivals.
Before we joined the ‘Common Market’ we had a trade surplus with Europe, a situation lost in all but one year since the early 1970s.
The UK deficit with the rest of the EU is approaching £97bn which contrasts with a trade surplus we enjoy with the rest of the world.
It should be noted about 80 per cent of our trade is between ourselves, 11 per cent with the EU, and nine per cent with the rest of the world. EU regulations seriously compromise our trade with countries outside the EU, and make our internal trade costs much higher than they would be otherwise.
It has been stated by EU enthusiasts, ad nauseam, that three million British jobs rely on trade with the EU, implying those jobs would be lost if we left the EU.
Absolute rubbish as, at least, four million jobs in continental Europe would be lost if we stopped buying their goods.
Some readers may dismiss the above argument on the false grounds the EU has prevented another European war.
This is not true on two counts.
The only threat to peace after the 1939-45 war came from the former USSR, and that was held in check by NATO.
In 1991 the European Community, through its spokesman, Signor de Michelis, made it absolutely clear to the Serb leader, Milosevic, they could not accept the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
A ‘troika’ of EC politicians, including de Michelis and M Poos, arrived in Belgrade to represent the European Community foreign policy in action.
Poos greatly pleased the Communist Serb leader, Milosevic, by saying it was absurd for little nations like Slovenia to think they could be independent.
Within three months the massed artillery of the federal Serb army was pounding the Croatian towns of Vukovar and Osijek to rubble, as Milosevic did exactly what the EC foreign ministers had advised.
The time when the UK ditches EU membership and governs itself is long overdue.
St Leodegar’s Way