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Mr Morrison of Inverness declares the biggest monster in Europe is the EU. This is the time of Holocaust Memorial and yet lessons have not been learned. Nationalism and populism is gaining ground – just as it did after the global crash of the 30s - with similar political movements on both left and right of the spectrum pandering just like back then with politics of blame, envy and hatred.  


The EU was founded out of the need to end war in Europe. Mr Morrison quotes Edward Heath – a decorated Colonel who saw blood spilled and killed people himself during the war. Then he quotes Jean Monnet from 1952 talking of a European superstate. It is all about context. Both these people wanted to stop western Europeans from killing each other and themselves. That is why Europe as an idea was formed. End war and killing which had devastated the continent twice in 40 years.


Mr Morrison declares, in rude and perfunctory fashion about ‘puppets’ ‘devious’ etc when talking of European politicians. Ok. How about Sir Winston Churchill, “We must build a kind of United States of Europe” (Zurich 1946). Was he afraid of sovereignty being lost in some EU superstate? Of course not. He saw how war must never happen again and how Britain could play a part in a Europe of sovereign nations.


Europe has been a great mechanism to get more things done and create a free trade area that can compete with the USA, China and the BRIC’s. One can make a product, sell it anywhere in Europe with no tariffs. Ones child can sell that product in a job anywhere in Europe with employment standards and rights the Americans wonder at. The child could study at a university for free or tiny costs anywhere in Europe, again at costs the American youth can only dream of. If on holiday one becomes sick anywhere in Europe one is treated, simply by registering for a card before one goes. If one is sick in America one’s travel insurance better be paid up – or it’s a million dollar bill coming.


Ones homes are more energy efficient and appliances in them use less energy; mobile phones are on the same tariff; cars are cleaner; beaches are clean; aviation is safer and cheaper than ever; queue’s at airports are quick in the EU lane to walk through, I could go on and on. Europe has had a positive impact on all aspects of our lives and yes cost money but saved us a lot more too.


So we have a supranational body called the EU. This is not a state, but a body in which we pool ideas, resources and gain better lives for our people and retain sovereignty at every level. Is Her Majesty still our Queen? Is the National Anthem still God Save The Queen? Do we fly the Union Flag, or the Saltire, or Y Ddraig Goch? Can CnES still pass motions and laws, as well as the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly or the Houses of Parliament? Of course yes to all of these, and ask the Queen if she is still sovereign.


Mr Morrison always ends on a quote from the Good Book. I offer one in return. St Matthew 15:11.


Brian Whitington,

43a North Shawbost,

Isle of Lewis.

Letter: Europe is a good thing - and we should learn from history

28 January 2018