Having had the pleasure of a nice holiday in Portpatrick, the one disappointment I have had was to read the article by Allan Massie (Perspective, 15 May).
Its argument that Eurosceptics were “irrational” and subject to “mental deficiency” reminded me of the kind of arguments used to support European membership at the time some years ago when I resigned from Ted Heath’s government on the issue.
Would it not be a boost for democracy if your paper would publish an article setting out the facts on Europe? I think such a decision would strengthen and not weaken public opinion.
First, what is the actual cost of our European Union membership? If you explained to your readers what is the daily gross and net cost of membership I think it would be helpful.
Second, what has happened to our trade with Europe since we gained the EU? Would it not strengthen the debate if you published the figures for exports and imports the year we joined the EU and the last available annual figures?
Third, is it true or untrue that the professional auditors have refused to approve the annual accounts of the EU for 15 years? What has been the problem?
Fourth, what has happened to the economies of the two countries which refused to join the EU? What has happened to the living standards and unemployment of Switzerland and Norway since they decided not to join?
I can well remember the voters in those countries being told that disaster will lie ahead since they decided not to join.
What has actually happened, by comparison, with the other nations since then?
Fifth, what has happened to our democracy since we joined the EU?
What percentage of the decisions are now made outside the control of the people’s representative?
If these issues were clarified and explained to the voters I think the debate would be more realistic.
Allan Massie thinks arguments against EU membership “border on the insane”
Clearly the Swiss – who have roundly rejected EU membership in referendums – must be collectively insane.
It must be awful to live in that country, with its high GDP, low unemployment, small sovereign debt, low tax, low inflation, high life expectancy, high educational achievement and comprehensive healthcare system.
Thank goodness we’ve got Mr Massie keeping us right. The thought of life outside the EU is clearly absurd – we might even end up like the Swiss.