EUROPE: Not a question of sovereignty

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One of the supposed reasons for wanting to leave the EU is to increase the sovereignty of the country. The intention being that decisions made about Britain should be made in Britain. However, this is based on two misled assumptions.

Firstly, that the decisions made in Britain only affect the British, and secondly that those decisions made in the EU only affect the British.

The assumptions are that decisions made in Brussels are set to punish us, like we are the last bastions of common sense, and that we can do what we like to the world without any repercussions.

The reality is that decisions affecting our lives, involving Britain and the world, need to be made at many levels. Britain is an island in geographic terms alone.

To improve economic growth, maintain national security, trade and workers’ rights, and to solve man-made climate change, food security and environmental issues, decisions need to be made at local, national and international levels. This involves working with our European friends to make a better standard of living for ourselves and the next generation.

And what do we want to gain by an increase in sovereignty? It is to increase democratic accountability – to hold our politicians to account, be more represented by them and give us more control as to how we are ruled. This end, however, cannot be achieved by leaving the EU. Do we really imagine that the transferral of power to the Palaces of Westminster in London will represent the best interests of rural Northumberland?

Yes, we should be aspiring to a good balance of power throughout local, national and international levels. We should aspire to increased democratic accountability, an increase in sovereignty, and an increase in local power and control. But we should realise this is not being lost through membership of the EU.

Over the past few years we have seen the depletion of decision making capabilities by local councils and the starving of county council funding to make any real difference at a local level. Add to this that Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s Government stands for the reduction of the number of MPs from 650 to 600, reducing our access to MPs.

Anne-Marie’s arguments don’t sound like someone standing up for democratic accountability. This doesn’t sound like someone standing to give us more access to the decisions which affect us.

I’ll be voting to remain.

Peter Edge,

Hobberlaw Farm Cottages,

Rugley Road,

Alnwick