I profoundly disagree with Valley News Editor’s take on the EU and our current and future relationship with it.

Leave was a brilliantly-managed PR campaign, selling lies, half-truths and misinformation to a British population keen to find a scapegoat for our current ills: 34% were convinced that exiting the EU was the answer, Leave won: now we are told that decision is immutable and unchangeable.

Unlike the results of a General Election, we cannot change our minds. We are throwing away our position as leading members of the EU – and for what? Sovereignty? We never lost it. How else could we have waged war on Iraq, elected our Conservative government, sash the NHS budget, bail out the bankers, control of our borders/immigration?

We always had it. Any decisions about immigration were made by our own (sovereign) government. We could have implemented the “three months to find a job” rule, implemented by most EU nations, but we didn’t, quite apart from the fact that we need immigrants, from fruit pickers to brain surgeons to function as a society.

We were never part of Schengen, because we chose not to be. No problem. But the EU is undemocratic? Well, we have as much influence as the leading member states and more than most. We elect MEPs. There are fewer civil servants employed by the EU organization than in our British Civil Service.

Laws and regulations originating from the EU form a small part of our legislative whole, and many were initiated by the UK. Besides which, I have yet to hear a cogent example of any law originating from Brussels that caused serious injustice or harm to any individual Leaver. Few now believe Johnson’s fabricated nonsense about “straight bananas.”

Austerity has been difficult, some would say ruinous, for Britain. Many, at the time of the Referendum, were keen to give “one in the eye” to Cameron. Austerity was not a policy imposed on us by the EU, it’s entirely home-grown.

We are broke, there is no ‘Magic Money Tree’, according to the PM, but recently, miraculously, it is bearing fruit enough to bribe the DUP and offer deprived area funds to get Labour MPs onside for her terrible Deal. And Austerity is over, she says. Hurrah! We seem to be on the verge of disaster.

Some Leave Campaigners now claim that ALL of the 17 million voted for, and expected, NO Deal from the start, despite being told we would “do the easiest deal in history” (Liam Fox) for we “held all the cards” (Michael Gove and John Redwood) and there would be “no need to leave the Single Market” (Boris Johnson).

But now, some seem almost eager to embrace any hardships or shortages than might result from “No Deal.” Their attitude to ending Free Movement? Doesn’t matter; it’s only the elite or traitors that want to live or work abroad. At least the voices now shouting that “they need us more than we need them” seem to have gone quiet.

Leavers laud the WTO despite the fact this is labyrinthine is far, far less democratic than the EU and it will take many years to negotiate trade deals under its auspices. We already have the best deal. As James O’Brien on LBC described it, it’s “Germany Plus” – we have all the many benefits of being part of the EU without being part of Schengen or using the Euro.

Your Editor says: “The EU is a mess.” The EU is far from perfect, but we should Remain as leading members and help to forge its future, not run away and carp from the sidelines. Since the 1970s, when we were the “sick man of Europe” we have flourished as members of the Common Market and the EU. And we want to throw it away – why?

Vivian Wells (AKA Snowflake, Whingeing, Remoaning Traitor) Tisbury.

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