LETTER: These are the facts on our ties with Europe

It appears I am being ganged up on by Mr Jones and Mr Hall over my letter regarding our EU membership and the comments about MEPs. I will take them one by one.

First I am aware the MEPs are duly elected to the European Parliament to represent their constituents in Europe - fact. The only way a referendum can be called is by the government not by MEPs - fact.

Nigel Farage as a member of the parliament has had no power to call a referendum - fact. So he waited his opportunity to push for a referendum and try and get elected to UK Parliament with the help of defecting Tory MPS - fact. With regards to our membership you talk of money going to Europe. What about the funds which come back to the UK, no mention. So let’s enlighten the regional growth fund, European social fund and retraining, there are other funds which can be accessed. I mention the European social fund and retraining because in 2008 the then government used it to aid the unemployed but I understand the SNP Scottish government failed to pledge any of it to the unemployed fact.

Let’s now go on to the question of going alone. Our biggest trading partner is Europe, most of what we export goes to Europe, so even if we come out of Europe we will still have to abide by Europe’s trading laws as does Norway and the other non-EU countries.

Now on to companies that came to the UK as a gateway to Europe solely for that purpose, not because of the nation but a way of getting into Europe. Do these people honestly think they will stay?

This is not scare mongering it is reality. Most were assisted in setting up in the UK and I have said and I will say again these companies owe no allegiance to this country, only the market and what is best for them. And if they decide the UK is not for them outside of Europe there is nothing we can do.

I am trying to decipher Mr Jones’ comment of going alone in 1940 and jack boots up Bridge Street. We did not end alone though did we - fact.

Just to finish, our trade balance is widening, we are importing more than we export to the rest of the world and Europe so when these say ‘Go it alone’ with what?

Our manufacturing base was decimated in the late 80s and 90s, our main growth is in the service sector, this may have created jobs but not helped on the export market - fact.

Derek Bowskill