Europe: We'd be worse off with exit

It was nice, but odd, for Nigel Coghill-Marshall to reply on behalf of our MP, Mrs Trevelyan, to my question on her extraordinary post-election conversion to his own UKIP policies, (Northumberland Gazette, February 5).

Friday, 19th February 2016, 5:00 am

Just what is ‘sovereignty’? Is it that of the few constituency party members driving the Tory Brexit agenda? Or of the corporate lobbyists and media moguls who interfere in UK politics? Or of the UK’s fostering of a web of ‘tax havens’?

In one generation the UK Parliament has been infiltrated by a dogma of selfish greed, which demands that responsible, fair-minded British citizens should be reduced to passive, exploited ‘consumers’ and ‘customers’, while our young people are being loaded with impossible public and personal debts.

Whatever happened to Cicero’s dictum for democracy, “The good of the people is the first law”?

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield was asked about circling the Earth every 90 minutes for six months. He said that the unforgettable impressions were of the fragility of our little 8,000 mile-wide planet, with its gossamer-thin atmosphere, but also the absurdity of “them-and-us-ism” with mistrust and conflict over invisible, artificial borders.

In the face of massive global challenges such as climate change, the resulting migrations, robotisation, and the power of vast corporations, which shift jobs and tax-bases to where they are cheapest, national governments are powerless.

We need active co-operation, not rolling into a bad-tempered little ball under our duvet hoping it will all go away.

Perhaps it is a result of its impotence on such issues that the Government is backing big property developers against local communities, and supermarkets against farmers, and even contemplating pumping yet more CO2 into our already-damaged atmosphere from opencast at Druridge, and methane from fracking.

If we left the EU we would lose our ties with countries where local democracy still has clout.

Without the rational, far-sighted and dogma-free influence of the EU, just imagine how much worse things would be.

Aidan Harrison,