Honest answer is '˜not a lot'

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Article 8 of the EU's Creative Europe programme clearly states it is open to eligible non-EU nations so why does Molly Hale (29/4/16) needlessly fear Brexit will plunge Britain into an uncultured wilderness?

We and the EU will remain dutiful members of the UN (1945) and 47-nation Council of Europe (1949) living in peaceful co-operation and harmony (read the Lisbon Treaty, 2009)!

Why would we descend to a feudal system with serfs deprived rights and Poor Law benefits?

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The EU legislation she cites existed in Britain to varying degrees before the EEC/EU was conceived: the EU merely demands all 28 nations’ laws comply with a common ‘acquis communautaire’ (whether relevant or not) in those many areas where the EU has exclusive or primary ‘competence’ (the right to determine) – ie 70-80 per cent of our laws, from environmental to trade and employment.

Westminster is perfectly capable of writing good and bad (‘gold plating’ EU) laws, but while it can freely repeal any UK Act, we cannot, today, repeal unnecessary and ruinous EU regulations.

Many ‘benefits’ accredited to the EU are in fact governed by international bodies, many co-established by Britain or the UN long before the EU was conceived: aviation and maritime laws; environmental (Bonn, Bern, CITES, Conventions); communications (postal, mobile-phone, radio frequencies etc).

While most ‘cultural, educational, economic, scientific, human rights and social cohesion projects’ are driven by the 47 nation Council of Europe (European Cultural Convention 1953; Eurovision) many open to non-EU members.

The Council of Europe and EU are not synonymous!

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All ‘free’ funding from the UK and EU governments comes from tax-payers’ pockets, yours and mine, including the legendary ‘free £5bn EU refund’ which, as part of our EU Budget contribution, is spent by the UK government as the EU alone dictates (CAP, Regional funding).

We still pay for it but outside the EU, British tax-payers will decide through our democratic parliament how our taxes are best spent.

So, in answer to Molly’s question, “What has the EU ever done for us?”, the honest answer is, “Not a lot!”

Barry M Jones,

Bixley Lane


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