In my opinion: Britain well placed to survive as independent nation
In his letter "EU trade is vital to Britain's economy" (Letters, Monday October 15), J L Sanchez uses a number of tactics common to those who argue against the UK leaving the EU.
No-one would disagree with the heading to his letter, because obviously all trade world wide is "vital to Britain's economy".
However, Mr Sanchez maintains that UKIP seek to replace "all the trade which would be lost as a result" (of leaving the EU) with trade with the Commonwealth. He later writes that 3.5 million UK jobs are "linked to the export of goods and services to the EU". I wouldn't dispute that, but does he know that the official figures relating to "trade with the EU" always include any exports beyond the EU which happen to pass through ports within the EU such as Rotterdam? Does he also know of any estimates of the number of jobs in the EU (not counting the UK, of course) which rely on trade from the rest of the EU into the UK? Every estimate I've seen exceeds 3.5 million. Mr Sanchez obviously believes that the EU will sacrifice many of these jobs – what, as an act of spite? – if we leave. Surely they won't stop selling us cars, wines, foods and I don't know what else? Clearly not. No-one, as Mr Sanchez claims, is suggesting the UK turns its back on the EU. UKIP's policy is to trade freely with the whole world and the last time I looked (though its leaders and supporters sometimes appear to live on another planet), Europe was part of that world.
If he believes that UKIP is living in 1912, then his reference to Britain's closeness to mainland Europe until wicked old Henry the Eighth scuppered it is a bit self-contradictory. Mr Sanchez, back then much of what is now the Commonwealth wasn't there to be traded with; furthermore, obviously, such overseas trade was via sailing ships rather than jumbo jets and the internet. It tended to restrict nations to trading with close neighbours. Now, the world is our customer, if only we could trade freely. The Commonwealth as a whole is an expanding economy and the currently "impoverished" members are what are accurately described as "developing" nations.
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Britain is well-placed through its history and language to survive perfectly well as an independent nation in the modern world. Breaking away from the EU may well be the kick up the backside that we need to get people pulling together and climbing out of recession faster than when held back by the bureaucracy of the EU.
Lastly I would pose my usual question: why, Mr Sanchez, do you support a form of government which cannot be removed via the ballot box? Did you not study any history?