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Mark Wallace

Whilst I disagree with some of the article's assertions, the implied direction is correct.

It is right in principle and for practical success that euroscepticism focuses on offering a positive vision of a world without the EU, rather than in either talking only about the past or trying to scare people into scpeticism.

The fact is that the 21st century is less and less eurocentric than the 20th - culturally, politically but especially economically.

The EU offers a protectionist, inward-looking, negative response to this future. The alternative response has to be one of a free-trading, outward-looking, democratically accountable future - one that by necessity will be without the EU.

There are those that will tell you that everyone who supports the EU project is driven by sinister and wicked motivations. In reality, whilst the practical results (especially of protectionism on the third world) are often horrendous, most pro-EU people are driven by a genuine idealism, however misguided.

The EU might have been a nice if impractical idea in the 1950s. Now is the time for sceptics to lay out our positive and practical vision for the 21st century - that has to be the platform from which to counter the EU.

Mark Wallace,
Campaign Manager,
Better Off Out


Britain belongs to the world - not to a shrinking protectionist power bloc run by a corrupt and undemocratic bureaucracy. It is not only the fish which are gone. So are belief, hope and trust. Moving on...the world awaits a Britain that has the curage to free itself from this unhappy EU marriage.

It's time to get down to the divorce lawyers and talk terms. Life beyond the grip of Brussels has far more potential.

Frank McGarry

The EU is corrupt (no audited accounts)
The EU does not believe in equality before the law (the bureaucrats have given themselves immunity).
The EU is not democratic (the people cannot vote out the Commission).

The British people believe in the rule of law. They also believe in freedom and democracy. We fought two world wars to defend these things. Governments do not have the right to give them away.

Throughout Europe the people are being betrayed by a self-serving political class.

Lindsay Jenkins

Peter gets there in the end – as Mark Wallace has already suggested - but en route he has touched a lot of buttons marked ‘muddled’.

Of course Peter is right that many of our ideas of freedom came from the Continent of Europe – the Saxon mete is the forerunner of our parish councils - and at a stretch the localism promoted by some on this site.

But it is also pretty self-evident that the full range of political models from communism to fascism has also come from the Continent. The British triumph it can be argued has been to resist the extremes and promote freedom of the individual and a free society – and that not without many bloody fights internally and externally.

In short Peter is wrapping up over 2,000 years of the ebb and flow of ideas and people into a quick sentence, which commonsense suggests will lead to a dog’s dinner of an argument.

I am more surprised by Peter’s suggestion that we have much to learn from other European nations – such as diversity in the provision of public services, localisation of decision-making power and support for the institution of family. I have no idea what is meant by ‘diversity of public services’ but it does tick all the current jargon boxes.

Localisation of decision-making powers? Well it depends which country in Europe you are talking about – France? And arguably the broad statement about the family has an awful lot to do with Catholic Church.

While I agree with Peter that ‘ever closer union’ or one country is a bad idea he then assumes that European civilisation is the greatest mankind has ever known –try asking the Egyptians for one - but what does he mean by European? There has never been a Europe – but there have been lots of different countries with as many different attributes.

And what does ‘Europe is united as never before’ mean? Simply the diktats of the EU. Is that ‘glorious’? One could argue that a greater unity was achieved by Germany under Hitler so even the first part of the premise is suspect.

To pick up on a key point from Peter last paragraphs, that of the EU and trade. The EU is at heart a protectionist bloc – what has so far prevented it from going the whole hog has been the US – from the Kennedy Round onwards. Every WTO negotiation is blighted largely by EU officials. Get rid of the EU and the world would be a more prosperous place - and the poorest counties of Africa would have much to be thankful for. So thank God for America but it could be a lot better.

Again Peter raises an important issue of the wars in the former Yugoslavia - but let us ask which country lit the blue touch paper for its own economic ends? Germany.

In short Peter is right that EU ‘federalism’ has produced colossal failures but he has a funny way of showing it! So Better Off Out!

Yet Another Anon

Who knows? In a future parliament, even if the Liberal Democrats are not part of the government; a combination of Euro Realist Labour, Conservative and UKIP MPs with Liberal Democrat support could force a referendum - it would be rather ironic and rather amusing if the main Liberal Democrat political achievement was to effect the machinery under which the UK withdrew from the EU.

Henry Mayhew - Ukipper

Thank you Editor for allowing an article on this topic - the elephant in the room.

I will not support the Conservative Party, indeed am looking forward to standing against it again at the GE, until it agrees that we are Better Off Out.

Then we can all get down to sorting out schools, Welfare and all the rest of it. Until then, Dave, this is the number one issue for your correspondent.

William Humbold Jr

Amaze yourself. Vote already about the EU at www.FreeEurope.info.

Vote YES (or No) to Free Europe Constitution!

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