Your Seaford correspondent Michael Staples makes a compelling argument in favour of Britain leaving the EU in the 23 June Referendum, but there are some points which I feel need further consideration.
He points out that Germany is the strongest country in the EU, with perhaps the inference that it is running the EU largely for its own benefit.
This is not borne out in reality, though the Paris – Berlin relationship has certainly played a major role in the reshaping of Europe post-World Wars 1 and 2.
Admittedly De Gaulle (never a friend of this country) did not want to admit Britain into this partnership, but it has been Germany, not France, who thought otherwise and wants Britain to remain in the EU, for reasons of solidarity and mutual benefit. Edward Heath succeeded in getting us into the EU, but we have never wholeheartedly played a part in it, preferring to keep making special concessional terms of membership for ourselves.
No wonder some of the constituent EU countries, like Poland for example, have a somewhat jaundiced view of us.
In some ways we have only ourselves to blame for staying stuck in many of the old isolationist prejudices of the past, while countries like Germany and to a large extent France have turned their backs on the turmoil of the past and moved on in a rather more positive way.
It does seem that it is in our interests to grasp a future remaining in the European club we once strove so hard to join and exert our own positive and where necessary reforming influence on an EU organisation which plainly needs our continued presence.
Even the major part of the UK business sector, in addition to our Government, advises us not to listen to the blandishments of such as Michael Gove who appear to think that we can simply stand aside of the whole Continental block of countries via an infinite series of individual tailor-made trade agreements for whatever commodity arises for negotiation.
I regret that I am one who is not seduced by such beguiling arguments, and will be voting on 23 June to remain in the EU.