Grantham Journal letter: We need the EU

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What on earth is Councillor Richard Davies doing, using his Journal column to show his support for a referendum on our membership of the European Union?

I thought he was elected to deal with issues under the remit of Lincolnshire County Council. However, since he has raised the issue and is clearly in favour of withdrawal, he should at least have the honesty to explain that many companies would not wish to continue operating in this country if it became an “offshore” island, detached from, and with no influence on, the world’s largest market.

Nissan, Toyota and others would, over time, surely reinvest and relocate within the EU with huge jobs losses.

In other words, we would be on the road to decline and what influence would a country of 65 million people have with the emerging global giant economies like China, India, Indonesia and Brazil when we are adrift and isolated from the world’s biggest market?

It is an illusion to think we would have more control out of the EU. We live in a globalised world, where everyone is interdependent and events elsewhere can have profound effects on this country.

About 50 per cent of our exports go within the EU and it is wishful thinking to assume we would continue to get free access to that market as a non-member or have any influence on decisions that may have consequences for the UK.

Any attempts at renegotiating our terms of EU membership are a ploy to ultimately get us out, because no club can have a different set of rules for each member and the single EU market can only work with one framework.

Membership of the EU has contributed greatly to this country’s GDP and therefore living standards and while improvements are still needed in the EU, overall our best interests are served by continued membership and playing an active role in helping shape the future.

It is interesting to note that in his recent inquiry into the behaviour of the British press in relation to phone hacking and other issues, Lord Leveson found, and I quote, “clear evidence of misreporting on European issues”.

This is a polite way of saying the truth is not being told and the main culprits are the tabloids, most of which are owned by anti-EU individuals. It does not say much for the opponents of our EU membership when most of their arguments are based on falsehoods.

On such an important issue, it is essential that factual and accurate information is given, in order for the electorate to arrive at an informed opinion; otherwise there is a danger of sleepwalking into a situation that will have damaging consequences for this country.

So, Coun Davies, I hope you concentrate on what you are elected for and look forward to reading what you and your colleagues are doing, or not doing, about services and care for the elderly, rural bus services, potholes in the roads and many other issues that are the responsibility of Lincolnshire County Council.

PM Jones

Bell Close, Grantham