With reference to Rod Main’s letter, “It’s time we played the European game”, could I make the following comments on the points he makes?
Some 220,00 people did not migrate to the UK last year. That was the net inflow. The gross inflow was over 500,000. This makes the dilution of our culture rather faster than he supposes. If this continues year on year, and neither this nor the previous government seem to be able to control the flow, then in 10, 20 or 50 years, we are talking about a country that will be unrecognisable from today.
This will be well within the lifetime of my children.
UKIP’s representatives in Brussels take part in a large number of debates, but know that they can do little to change any of the legislation and consider their primary task to warn the British public of the creeping danger of closer and closer integration.
We, as a country, have very little influence in Brussels. Even if all of our political parties banded together, after the next EU election we will have just 73 out of 751 MEPs, or 9.7%. In 1979 we had 81 out of 410, or 19.8%. Our influence is small and diminishing.
In 1973, when we joined, we had 17% of the vote in the Council of Ministers, we now have 8.2%. We used to have two EU Commissioners, we now have one. The number of staff we have in the major EU institutions has fallen by 24% in the past seven years. We now have 4.6% of staff, with 12.5% of Europe’s population, France has 9.7% with 13.0% of the population. The 15 smallest countries in the EU have, in total, a smaller population than the UK, but have 167 MEPs compared to our 73. There is a democracy deficit here.
Winston Churchill did indeed advocate a “United States of Europe”, but he was quite careful to say that Britain should support it, while not being part of it.
Mr Main is very selective in his quotes, in much the same way as the Left always quotes Margaret Thatcher as saying, “There is no such thing as society”, but always fails to go on and quote the rest. The Churchill quote he might like to peruse is, “We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed. And should European statesmen address us in the words that were used of old: ‘wouldest thou be spoken for to the King, or the Captain of the Host?’, we should reply with the Shunammite woman “Nay Sir, for I dwell among my own people’”. UKIP policy in a nutshell. I like Europe, but I do not like the EU.
It is impossible to change the EU. There are too many vested interests. David Cameron is deluded or disingenuous if he thinks the other 27 countries will let him negotiate to cherry pick the parts of the EU he wants, without them wanting their own concessions.
If this happened, there would be chaos and the whole edifice would come tumbling down and the powers that be in Brussels, Berlin and Paris know it.