Readers' letters

Churchill's vision was United States of Europe

Sunday, 5th June 2016, 7:00 am
Winston Churchill wanted a 'United States of Europe' says a reader

It was Winston Churchill who, in the wake of the devastating defeat of fascism, saw the post-war imperative of freeing Europe from nationalism and war.

In 1946, he famously proclaimed that: “There is a remedy which... would in a few years make all Europe... free and ... happy. It is to recreate the European family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe”.

Nationalism was the curse of the last century.

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Millions died as war devastated the continent and Britain played a leading role in the fight against fascism and in the subsequent post-war reconstruction of Europe and its institutions.

The success of these institutions has been visible in the past decades, as citizens of the continent in the main experience better life and health than any generation in Europe’s long history.

As Britons, we should be proud of our active role in shaping the Europe of today.

A return to inward-looking nationalism would be welcome only by dark forces.

President Putin is rubbing his hands at the prospect of European fragmentation.

Within Europe, organisations of the extreme right are stirring at the prospect of a nationalist resurgence in the wake of a British decision to leave.

In the nationalist wars of 20th century Europe, it was young people who bore the brunt of sacrifice in the trenches, the seas and the air.

I’m heartened that the youth of today share the same determination in their majority to remain with a vision of Europe so articulated by Churchill in the wreckage of a divided Europe.

Mr D Smith, Preston

Democratic deficit of EU

Mr Bovington seems to be unaware of the democratic deficit of the EU (LEP Letters May 30). The EU is not governed by a parliament and cabinet as in Britain.

The EU ‘parliament’ has little power. It cannot even legislate, and, in any case, its members are very remote from its electors.

The EU is largely administered by the unelected European Commission, comprising one commissioner for each member state: one for Malta, population just over 300,000; one for the UK, population around 63,000,000.

Most of the commissioners have been appointed by their home governments from failed or retired politicians. Their President Juncker, now one of the most powerful men in Europe, was Prime Minister of the tiny state of Luxembourg, a major tax haven, which he worked hard to sponsor.

He and his bureaucracy have plans to extend their powers at the expense of the sovereignty of member states. Perish the thought !

Ron Atkins, Preston

Luvvies or rich whizz-kids?

I don’t know which Remain group is the more hypocritical – luvvies united or financial whizz-kids George Osborne, Christine Lagarde and Joey Barton.

Harry Santiuste via email