Letter: EU Referendum - Disappointed by both sides

As the co-ordinator of the Remain campaign in Harrogate I have been very disappointed by the politicians of both sides in this very important debate.

Sunday, 19th June 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:58 pm

All sorts of ‘facts’ and statistics have been thrown at us; remember that statistics should be used like a lamppost by a drunken man, for support rather than illumination. Particularly irritating is the Leave contention that we send £350 million to Brussels every week, which has been shown to be a blatant lie but still adorns Boris’ battlebus.

Then there is the old canard about unaccountable and unelected people in Brussels making our laws: even the Leave campaign would concede it is not true if they took the trouble to inform themselves about how the EU is constructed and they would be surprised to learn that our European representatives (MEPs) are chosen in a far more democratic way than our own Parliament at Westminster (by proportional representation).

We are not losers at Brussels: we have been on the ‘losing’ side 56 times but 2,466 on the ‘winning’ side.

The EU is about compromise and negotiation and we can’t win them all. However for me, as a child who grew up during the Second World War and whose nights were punctuated by the sound of bombs falling all around our home in Essex, I value the contribution of the EU in keeping the peace in Europe for 70 years.

I also happen to be a history graduate and am well aware of the regular conflict and carnage that has taken place in Europe over the last thousand years, culminating in the two devastating world wars of the 20 th century. Is that what we wish for the future ?

The EU has brought great advantages of stability, democracy and economic prosperity to the Eastern European states that gained their independence from Russia in 1919 only to have it snatched away again in 1939 and that danger is not over yet.

Spain , Portugal and Greece have been released and recovered from fascist dictatorships. Any fragmentation of the EU may well lead to the inter –country conflict of the ‘good old days’.

I don’t want my grandson to die in a European war.

Open your eyes and see that remaining in the EU can continue to bring us enormous benefits and its faults put right if we, the people, have the interest and the will to do so.

Are the French less French or the Hungarians less Hungarian, for being in the EU? Of course not.

The 28 member states work together on matters of mutual interest, with our shared geography, history and culture.

Alison Harris

Victoria Road, Harrogate