LETTER: Sounds like good value

Oh dear – Cllr Alan Latham has once again graced your letters pages with an ill-informed – ie, incorrect – rant, this time about the costs of EU membership.

Nowhere does he substantiate his untruths. He claims that it costs £55m/day to be a member of the EU, and goes on to list the things he would spend that money on instead.

Sorry, Cllr Latham, but that figure is nowhere near the truth and has been widely discredited as an urban myth. It also does not include what the UK gets back in direct investment, nor what tax-paying businesses say they gain from being in the EU.

The correct figure, including Britain’s rebate, according to fullfact.org, is £35m/day. Subtract what Britain gets back from the EU, and the figure falls to £23m/day – less than half of Cllr Latham’s claimed amount.

Ask the CBI what they think about EU membership and you find they’ve conducted a poll.

Here’s the result (from news.cbi.org.uk): “71% of CBI member businesses report that the UK’s membership of the EU has had an overall positive impact on their business, including 67% of SME members.

“Only 13% said there had been a negative impact. Overall, 78% said they would vote to remain in the EU in a referendum, with 77% of SMEs taking the same position.”

So business agrees the EU brings benefits, and the cost is not much for free entry to a huge and delightfully varied set of people, cultures and landscape, with free phone roaming coming soon, courtesy of the EU.

At £23m/day shared between 64 million people, my calculator makes that 35p/day each.

Puts a different perspective on it, doesn’t it, Cllr Latham? Sounds like good value to me.

I urge you to get your facts right before waving your poorly-informed opinions in front of the rest of us.

Manek Dubash

Lancaster Street