Readers' letters - June 15

Blame MEPs for EU wrongs

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 4:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:18 pm
A reader explains why he is thinking of voting Remain, rather than Leave. See letter

For most of the EU campaign, I have been 50/50 on which way to vote. However, I am edging closer to Remain as I just don’t know how any sane person can trust the figure heads of the Leave campaign. It is clear to me that Boris, Gove, et al do not have the best interests of the entire nation at heart, they are pandering to a Euro-sceptic demographic and using the referendum to increase their own power within the Conservative party.

They have taken a gamble that opposing the PM will put them in power should their side win. I have no doubt that if David Cameron had supported the Leave campaign, those MPs would have backed the Remain campaign.

Every Leave supporter I’ve met seems to either live in a fantasy world or are in denial because they think the second we leave all our problems will be solved.

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Voting to leave will not suddenly stop people risking their lives to enter this country. No one from the Leave campaign has given an accurate answer as to how our border agreement with the Republic of Ireland will change if we leave the EU? It is an open border so anyone from any EU country can simply enter the Republic of Ireland, walk across the border unchallenged into Northern Ireland and either stay there or get a ferry to mainland Britain.

The very mention of Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro joining the EU any moment now is nothing but pure scaremongering. Montenegro is the only country with any realistic chance of joining the EU in the near future and it has a population similar to Edinburgh’s (c.600,000). That’s hardly the millions of immigrants we keep being told will flood into the UK the very second they join the EU.

I would like to know why Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, and other supporters of the Conservative Friends of Turkey, who wanted Turkey to join the EU, now use it as a scapegoat to scare the public?

I don’t believe any politician who says leaving the EU will lead to an increase in spending on the NHS. I think we all know the long- term goal of the Conservatives is to privatise the NHS and a government led by Boris Johnson et al would only accelerate that plan.

Why is Great Britain the only country even debating leaving the EU? Would you be happy to create a situation where, by leaving the EU, we basically surrender to Germany and France and say “We’ll let you rule Europe now, you can now have the final say on any trade/business agreements, you can do what you want now because we decided we’d rather be Little Britain and isolate ourselves from you.”

Finally, I would ask, shouldn’t we be blaming our MEPs for anything we perceive to be wrong with the EU?

They vote for EU laws, they elect EU leaders and they are happy to take a £79,000 per year salary plus expenses.

If we have any problems with the EU, shouldn’t we be telling our MEPs to do their job properly?

Steven Nicholson, Preston

Don’t be scared – go it alone

Being an Australian visitor to England and listening to the views of countless people, I get the impression that many seem to be suffering from a sort of Stockholm syndrome in that they appear to be terrified of venturing out on their own.

It amazes me that this was the nation that, in the relatively recent past, had conquered a quarter of the globe and created the greatest empire the world has ever known!

Being frightened is nothing new. After all, in the 1960s, Britain told Australia and other Commonwealth countries that the preferential trade arrangements that then existed were at an end so that Britain could negotiate entry into the then Common Market.

We were therefore forced to go out on our own but we prospered. I am sure that Britain will do the same thing if it leaves the all-encompassing arms of a crumbling EU empire.

Philip Benwell, Sydney, Australia

On the hunt for village photos

During my research for my book on Goosnargh and Whittingham, I have recently come across a set of scrapbooks which have been loaned to me.

They were started in the 1930s by a lady called Ellen Catterall of Meadowcroft Farm, Goosnargh, who died in the 1960s.

Pasted in the scrapbooks are cuttings from the Preston Guardian on events that happened in the village and surrounding areas and in Preston itself. They are a fantastic source, the Guardian seemed to report in great detail and Goosnargh is well represented.

It records the Whitsuntide festivals, local weddings as well as matters of national importance.

There are many photographs accompanying the articles that were taken by the Preston Guardian but unfortunately these were apparently destroyed many years ago. I am wondering if anyone possesses any such images in their family that could be reproduced and, if so, I can be contacted on [email protected] or telephone 01253 724035.

Janet Rigby via email

Leaving is right thing to do now

When even senior Conservatives are, in effect, calling Mr Cameron ‘a liar’ regarding all his wild claims about Brexit – it should make us stop and think.

Cameron told us emphatically that he wasn’t able to accept coming back to the UK with nothing from so-called renegotiations. He also said that even he would support quitting if that happened because the EU needed reform.

Well, he brought less than 0.1 per cent back of what was so desperately required – admittedly tied in a nice blue ribbon. If leaving was right before failed negotiations, it must still be right now.

Dave Asher via email

Division of UK and of Europe

Today’s Sun newspaper screams the headline, BeLeave in Britain, as it supports the campaign to divide Europe.

This is the same Sun newspaper, owned incidentally by an Australian, which campaigned to divide Britain by calling for a Scottish independence vote in last year’s referendum.

Do the press barons think their readers are idiots?

David Parker, Preston