Vive la difference on European front

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Peter Neilson’s letter (Southern, December 29) illustrates some important points.

May I add here that the pro Europeans are fond of pointing out that half our export trade is with Europe, which is true, but a more honest way of presenting this fact would be to say that 80 per cent of our trade is domestic and half is export, of which rather less than half is with Europe.

In or out of the EU, who believes that we will stop buying Mercedes, VWs, Renault or Citroen cars, or that the French will give up ownership of some of our gas and electricity companies, or the Spanish will give up ownership of BAA or stop using our financial services through the largest stock exchange in the world?

And who thinks Europeans will not continue to visit the UK in their millions, or that we will not go to the lovely Florence, Rome or the Greek islands, or not continue to buy Italian wine and olive oil?

Another old chestnut is that three million of our jobs depend on Europe, but what many forget to mention is that five million Euro jobs depend on their trade with the UK.

We ought to celebrate our differences, and the fact that the Italians and Greeks are not the same as the Germans or the northern Europeans – and long may this be so, instead of trying to make us all the same. How boring.

The European dream is disintegrating. Meanwhile, the pro-Europeans have yet to learn the maxim of “never reinforce failure” and continue to try and find a way of pouring more money into the system.

John Gee Turner

Kelso