EUROPE: We can cut out the middle man

John Hobrough’s enthusiasm for the European Union appears to be derived from the funding that his employer EUROmove received from the EU (Northumberland Gazette, March 24).

It is true that the UK receives funding for various purposes from the EU, totalling £4.5billion per annum. This will include the funding of EUROmove.

The total EU budget is £143billion. The EU receives this money from member states. The UK pays £13billion, after rebate, a net contribution of £8.5billion. This is the second highest contribution after Germany. Indeed, 17 states are net recipients – they receive more than they pay in. The UK’s contribution subsidises these states. One might think of this as a second overseas aid budget.

If the UK were not a member of the EU, our Government could fund EUROmove direct, cut out the middle man and be £8.5billion up on the deal.

I absolutely agree with Mr Hobrough’s contention that when the British public vote in the EU referendum they should be thinking of their children and grandchildren. After all, would future generations wish to be encumbered with an undemocratic organisation, where all laws are initiated by 28 unelected commissioners, over which the UK’s 73 MEP’s in a parliament of 751 have little or no influence?

Would we want to ally ourselves to a European economy with virtually the lowest growth rate and highest youth unemployment in the world, and to an inflexible currency that fails to allow highly indebted member states to set economic policy to meet individual circumstances, and is in terminal decline?

Will future generations benefit from an organisation that fails to secure its borders and allows criminals and terrorists to travel throughout Europe without border controls to our doorstep in Calais?

And then there is the fact that the EU spends 41 per cent of its budget on the Common Agricultural Policy, an eye-watering £58billion. This is a system that creates an artificial market in agricultural produce, subsidising inefficient European farmers and imposing taxes on food imports, resulting in inflated shop prices.

The British public might wish to consider the comments of Ian Duncan-Smith when interviewed by Andrew Marr.

He said: “Britain is a phenomenal country, the fifth largest economy in the world. It has stood alone and fought for freedom, it has been a global trader, it can be a global trader again. I am positive about leaving the EU because rather than saying it is a leap in the dark, I think it is a stride into the light.”

It is unquestionably the responsibility of Mr Hobrough to protect future generations from this enterprise and vote to leave the EU.

Richard Spotwood,

Rothbury