The Spectator

Feedback | 26 April 2003

Readers respond to recent articles published in <i>The Spectator</i> and pose questions to the editor of The

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Comment on The dawning of a new Europe by Tim Congdon (19/04/2003)

What an excellent article by Tim Congdon. It is so good to see a coherently argued case for UK withdrawal from the EU. I agree entirely that the case must be made in a way that is not narrow and jingoistic so that its advocates are seen to be forward looking and positive. However I do not agree with Professor Congdon that the UK can keep its Treaty of Rome obligations as a matter of "good form". The Treaty of Rome makes UK law subsidiary to EU law and hence impinges upon the sovereignty of Parliament. The UK should withdraw from the Treaty of Rome too.

It would be good to see many more articles in The Spectator making the respectable case for withdrawal. For too long it has been taboo to discuss the subject in polite circles. Perhaps The Spectator can take the lead in changing this so that at long last we may begin to re-examine the arguments for and against membership. It is no longer good enough for the EU-philes simply to characterise the case against membership as mad and extreme. By forcing them to engage in rational argument The Spectator would help to stop them getting away with it.

Tom Harris

I understand the rationale for turning Europe into a trading club without any political clout. That's simply Britain's traditional role of being America's Trojan horse in Europe. Obviously, with a GDP equal to the USA, a population 60% larger and a currency that is stronger than the US$ and backed by prudent financial policies, there are those in the anglosphere who are getting worried about where Europe is heading. The current divisions on Iraq are amongst Europe's leaders and not it's public. The only thing I don't understand is how the author expects the French, Germans etc would go for such a crazy and stupid idea. If you don't believe in Europe and would prefer to be a poodle rather than a leader amongst equals that's fine but I don't think the rest of the EU would agree to being neutralised.

Get ready to join NAFTA and good luck, you'll need it.

Larry Chiera

I agree with every word of this article. I am not sure the UK can function any further into Franco-German-Russian value systems, or that there is any point in it at all. Gaining much smaller slices of a bigger pie is not an overwhelming argument. As a businessman, being treated as object and systematically robbed as a thank you for our efforts is not an overwhelming argument either. It is clear that the EU has been captured hook line and sinker by the barmy army trying to combat social injustice with a paint-by-numbers trillion-rule policy idea. Why in the world we bother to even contemplate handing over what we would die to defend beats me.

James McCrea

I'm afraid you've got it the wrong way round [as indeed did Mrs Thatcher]. She too underestimated how far reaching a project the Single Market was. If you want to keep the maximum of UK independence, you would be better off leaving the Single Market but adopting the single currency. The former necessarily involves the adoption of quite a lot of joint rules and their management; the latter doesn't.

Peter Coldrick

Comment on The day of the jackals by Rod Liddle (19/04/2003)

That's rich. "The Americans are rapacious crooks out to make as much money as they can