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Selective statistics don&#39t tell the full EU story

Harry Katz&#39s article (Money Marketing, June 17)does not persuade me that we ought to go along with giving even more power and money to Brussels, much less surrender the pound to the euro. If we had to give up the pound for any other currency, many people would much prefer the US dollar than the euro.

It is all very well for Harry to rattle off a load of impressive sounding statistics to show all the ways in which poor old UK plc is behind its European neighbours but these statistics are selective.

And on what basis does he assume that these statistics are a direct consequence of our being in the EU? The US is not a member of the EU and it does not seem to have hurt them too badly. Would our standards of living improve if we were to surrender to the EU? By what mechanisms? Harry doesn&#39t tell us.

What about the fact that the UK has nearly the lowest rate of unemployment in the EU? Or that the UK is now the world&#39s fourth-biggest economy? Or that the UK seems to be the most favoured destination for economic migrants claiming asylum? Why would they choose us if UK plc were the lame duck of Europe? And let us not forget that VAT is 22 per cent across most of the EU. Is that a good reason for backing the EU? Personally, I don&#39t think so.

If selling UK life insurance policies denominated in sterling is a problem in other EU countries, then why not simply denominate them in euros instead? Over time, the constant ebb and flow of exchange rates would surely even out and cause no major problems for UK life insurers?

The other big problem with the EU is that if Brussels does not deliver all the fabulous benefits that Harry suggests, how will we ever extricate ourselves from it?

At least we can vote out our own Government if they make a mess of things but the Brussels commission is an unelected and unremovable institution spending our millions in ways that they rather than we think fit, so voting it out of office is not an option. Enough of the UK&#39s GDP is consumed by Westminster as it is, why surrender an additional slice of it to Brussels?

Would doing so represent money well spent? Personally,I doubt it. And once the pound has gone in favour of the euro, we can never get it back.

As for Italian as the official EU language, I don&#39t want to sound too xenophobic here but Italy has the most notoriously (and all but openly) corrupt political system in the EU as well as being the home of the Mafia. Or does Harry consider those to be desirable commodities of the EU as well?

If you think the EU is such a great place, Harry, then why don&#39t you go and live there? Me, I&#39ll stay in England, which I believe should be governed by the English, for the English and not by anybody else.

Julian Stevens



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