European Union need us more than we need them

Giles Goodall, the Lib Dem MEP candidate, (letters, April 18) perpetuates a myth that was conclusively shot down in flames during the recent TV debates.

Some 1,600 jobs may well be linked to trade with Europe, but not to our membership of the EU. Does he honestly think that if we withdraw from the EU, Europe will immediately stop trading with us.

In 2011 our trade deficit with the EU was over £41b. From 2007 until 2011, it was over £200b. Our trade with the rest of the world is in surplus.

We are Germany’s largest export market in the world. Put simply, they need us far more than we need them.

As regards the car manufacturers, they said exactly the same sort of thing about joining the Euro. That turned out to be a jolly good idea, didn’t it? But never ones to let a bad idea go to waste, on Andrew Neil’s politics Show last week, the Lib Dem spokeswoman said that they had still not ruled out joining.

Out of the EU, we can still have a free trade agreement with them. Exactly as Turkey does. And far from it being an impediment to the trade in motor vehicles, if Mr Goodall will remember, Ford recently moved their Transit van factory from Southampton to Turkey, with the aid of a £80m EU grant.

I will say this for Nick Clegg, though. Given our recent performance against the Netherlands, his idea of WG Grace opening the batting for England has much to recommend it. As for Nick Clegg’s other ideas, a glance at the latest polls will show what the electorate thinks of them, as Mr Goodall will very shortly find out.

Peter Griffiths