LETTER: Let’s embrace vision of EU

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Michael Staples wants us all to leave the EU because he believes it is incapable of reforming itself.

Come, come, Michael, all institutions naturally gather a few flaws and a bit of dust as they age, but that does not mean we should forsake them. We have to put our backs into coaxing them to work well again.

My thoughts today are informed by a few of the cards that Europe, without the EU, has dealt just to my family and me.

Grandfather Louis lies in some unknown Flanders field. Great Uncle Will lived for 63 more years after half his brain was blown away; a girl I knew and her mother who lived less than 300 yards away from my home were both killed outright by a bomb. Three of my classmates at primary school were orphaned, one a Czech refugee called Georgi learned in 1946 that his father, who had parachuted back into his homeland, had been captured and executed by the Nazis.

Lovely, brilliant Uncle Geoff died soon after the war from injuries sustained. I had to wait until I was six years old before meeting my own father.

My father had started his own business aged 20 and returned aged 31 to find his premises and all his stock buried in a bomb crater. No doubt we all have similar tales to recollect.

In historic terms, I am at a loss to think of a single European country with who we British have never been at war. Except Belgium: and let us please try to remember why Belgium even exists! And remember too why we in Seaford once lived in a Cinque Port?

Idealism seems today to have given way to the doctrine of Mammon, who we will recall, is one of the seven Princes of Hell. We are forever asking ourselves whether a thing represents value for money.

And that very question precisely misses the point of what De Gasperi, Monnet, Schuman and Spaak sat down together in 1945 to create; a means of ensuring peace and co-operation across all European nations for ever.

Let us do no damage to that vision, but cherish it, and embrace it with all our hearts.

Geoffrey Jury

Upper Belgrave Road

Seaford