Not too late to “exit Brexit” before damage is done

Date: Monday 6th November 2017

Sir, Geoffrey Graham (Herald, 28th October) fails to understand the purposes of the EU. These are to combine in a loose confederation of states holding the high moral values of liberal democracy enshrined in Article 2 of the Lisbon Treaty, to give ourselves greater control over our own affairs, and make us more prosperous.

These purposes have been spectacularly achieved largely due to Margaret Thatcher, who took us into the single market. The EU has provided the framework, but it is up to national governments who run their own countries to take advantage of it.

The EU did not control the Heath and Wilson governments whose actions led to the disasters in the 70s described by Mr. Graham.

The ingenious and novel democratic constitution of the EU is specifically adapted to its needs. In our developed, highly specialised society we all depend on others, mostly of equal ability and talents in different fields.

Most of us therefore do not have the time or the inclination to study constitutions or the equally important field of finance. Though a law graduate of Britain’s oldest university, I rely heavily on the advice of my closest friend, a body repairer who attended Ullswater School and who is in most respects much the brighter of the two of us.

All democracies have since 5th Century BC Athens been vulnerable to the actions of demagogues who gain power by inventing an imaginary malevolent external demon and promoting nationalism.

At present in Britain they are assisted by right wing newspapers more interested in making money than telling us what is going on.

They tell us that we are being dictated to by a swollen bureaucracy in Brussels, that we can trade just as well outside the single market as within, we can make more favourable trade deals on our own, that inside the EU we would be propelled towards an ever-closer political union, walking away from a trade deal is in our best interests, we are being blackmailed by Brussels, or that the EU is corrupt and doesn’t produce accounts.

Not a single one of these allegations will survive an impartial examination of the facts.

But, as we live in a democracy, it is not too late to exit Brexit before the damage, forecast by experts and already apparent, does us much worse harm. Yours etc,

TIM STREVENS

Great Salkeld.