It’s time we played the European game

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UKIP have always been excited by Europe – just not in a good way. It’s all that immigration – people coming to steal our jobs, benefits etc ad nauseum.

A shocking 220,000 people immigrated to the UK last year. This amounts to a massive 0.4% increase in the population of this country.

Is this staggering figure all from Europe? No. It includes every country of the world. Still, in three years time, at this rate our culture will have been diluted by immigration to the tune of 1%, so no doubt the country will be unrecognisable.

But it’s the fact that, according to UKIP, 75% of laws that we have to obey originate in Europe. Comforting then, that some of our Euro MPs are looking out for Britain’s interests by being a party that doesn’t want to be there. How useful is that? (The words “a chocolate fire guard” come to mind).

In recent years, some of the more right-wing literature posted through my letter box come election time used pictures of Winston Churchill – presumably to engender some sort of nationalistic pride. However, this would seem to be the same Winston Churchill that advocated a “United States of Europe” in order that these countries could stand up to the size and might of the Soviet Union and the USA. It would be big enough to “mediate” in disputes between those other two. It would be big enough not be the economic football of those larger powers. It was a bold vision. A vision which became more poignant after the iron curtain fell across Europe.

The truth is that the Britain has never been keen to play on this field. Edward Heath recognised that we were in danger of being marginalised by our next door neighbours and succeeded in getting us in to Europe.

Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, saw it as allowing “socailism by the back Delors” – a reference to the then EU President Jaques Delors – missing the bigger picture entirely.

We even had a “should we stay or should we go” referendum ... and we decided to stay.

Now, people are talking of doing it all again ... we really don’t like playing with other people do we?

It’s because we don’t really like playing with other people that our population doesn’t understand the EU. “It’s unelected people making our laws” they say and then, ironically, these same people go to elections and vote for people who tell us they dont want to be there.

Isn’t it time we started to play properly in Europe? Why aren’t we changing it to make it work properly in all of Europe’s interest instead of just saying “we dont want to know”? “All for one and one for all” instead of “stuff it, we’re off”.

Rod Main

Seaford