Does Sir Nicholas really believe that the EU is capable of formulating a ‘coherent response’? The EU always reduces to the lowest common denominator; it is quite incapable of formulating a robust response to any threats, from Putin or whomsoever. Germany, where I live, and a traumatised state, will only ever defend its interests in the economic sphere. It is really difficult for UK citizens to understand or even appreciate what it’s like for the national psyche to be so thoroughly beaten up as Germany has been. And it’s a great mistake to think that the effects of this beating are over and digested. Germany therefore concentrates on economics and jobs for the untrustworthy electorate. They will never ever share the UK’s global openness and international view. Let alone understand Britain’s idea of democracy with an opposition(!) and lack of consensus.
It’s also not the case that the failure of British governments, of whatever colour, is responsible for the UK’s lack of influence in Europe. The overriding concern, at least in Germany, is the relationship with France; the UK doesn’t even come in second place. That the UK is seldom mentioned and when it is, it is only in terms of ‘the Anglo-Saxons’, i.e. Wall Street, the banks and hedge funds? (without question immoral, economically useless, and unproductive). Britain will never play a ‘full hand’ in Europe; its interests, its history, its very pragmatism is not wanted, it is an uncomfortable and, fundamentally, an unwanted influence, a virus, disturbing a commonly assumed and accepted ideology; Britain is part of a different world. Recognise it, in a European context Britain is special, different, not understood, an outsider. And Europe certainly doesn’t want your ideas or vision; Europe believes it already has a ‘sane and sensible path’ and it’s not yours and it (believes it) doesn’t need your input. Britain disturbs.
Dr Roger Davies, Wolfratshausen
When Mr. Drexler says “there can be no choice but to commit to European integration while emphatically rejecting all anti-European trends,” does he not realise that it is precisely this sort of Euro-federalist condescension, intent on removing decisions further from ordinary people, that is in no small part causing the abandonment of traditional parties like his own in the first place? When there’s a federalist bulldozer squashing the centre into a monochrome pulp, it shouldn’t be a surprise that people run for the fringes.
Nicholas Stone , London, UK | @NicoStone1
Daniel Hannan, Remain campaign is misleading voters on the Single Market.
Yes, Daniel, they are. In fact, I would say they are misleading everyone on just about every aspect of their argument as this is all they can offer. Joseph Goebbels would be proud of them.
Tell me if it is a coincidence, but why is it that virtually all the contentious Remainers are members of the Bilderberg Group. Cameron, Osborne, Lagarde, Carney, Mandelson, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Ken Clarke, Rhona Fairhead (chairman BBC Trust), to name but a few. To quote Denis Healey, a founding member involved with Bilderberg for thirty years, “To say we are striving for a one world government is exaggerated, but not wholly unfair”. Is the EU their failing first experiment in this endeavour? I ask because Cameron’s ambitions in his Bloomberg speech were nowhere near achieved in his failed re-negotiation. There is therefore nothing logical in his current stance to remain.
Roger Farmer , Altea, Spain
With regards to your article After Brexit we will negotiate a winning “British Option” free trade deal with the EU – 3rd May 2016
Could this article be sent to all the people in the country?It is optimistic and positive,giving
information that is badly needed. I think it would help a lot of undecided voters.
Richard Yates, Boston, Lincolnshire, UK
I am writing in response to George Greenwood’s article titled The myth of American sovereignty – 17th May 2016 in which he argues that a ‘great deal of rulemaking is no longer completed within the boundaries of the state ‘. This is true, but his conclusion that ‘outside of the EU, we will go from being rule makers to rule takers’ shows a basic lack of understanding about international regulatory formation.
In fact, we would likely become even greater ‘rule makers’. The Adam Smith Insitute has recently pointed out that an increasing number of EU regulations are made at the global level – where the EU as a bloc has one seat at the table. These ‘global’ regulations are then simply enforced by the EU (not created anew). This means that the UK often does not have a full voice at the global level because the EU needs a common position.
Less than 8% of genuinely EU-originated law reaches countries like Norway, who are in the EEA, and thus, have free trade with the EU but no political union. Outside of the EU, Britain could cast aside the shackles of EU membership that muffle us, and instead have a much louder ‘say’ on regulation and rules that affect us. We can be a powerful ‘rule-maker’ in our own right.
Oliver Wilson , Suffolk, UK | @OllieRWilson
EU Directives are enshrined in legislation. Legislation is not something I can simply say ‘no’ to. That’s what the word legislation means. It’s not a common standard to which I must comply or explain, and risk losing customers who can’t be bothered to follow my explanation. If the EU were indeed simply a European wide standards body, there would be no UKIP or indeed any real debate at all.
If you think your opponents in an argument are complete fools – in this case, they don’t even know what they’re arguing against – then you must actually try a little harder to ensure you’re not making a fundamental error yourself. If it were that obvious, we wouldn’t have the population split down the middle
Adam Scott , London, UK
Ref: yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show with the excellent CapX paper reviewer. Yet again Marr lets Brexit get away with the £10m EU rebate promise without pointing out the amount the UK would have to pay the EU (the same or more) to be allowed to trade within the single market.
Switzerland, in order to get the EU to agree to bilateral agreements, had to join Schengen and has had to fund EU development to the tune of 100 billion CHF over the past 10 years. After the referendum (Feburary 2015) to stop so-called mass immigration, renewal of the bilateral agreements are proving difficult to renegotiate/renew and may break down. Time for the UK to face up to reality.
Yvonne de Henseler , Montreux, Switzerland
Watch this space
Fast becoming one of my weekly highlights is reading James Clark‘s weekend articles on watches. I know bugger-all about watches, yet his passion and knowledge on the subject shines through in every article he writes.
Stjepan Bosnjak , Melbourne, Australia