Whatever reason our politicians of the time had for urging that we applied for membership of the European Union, it was not for free trade. That was not necessary, since the UK was already a major member of the thriving European Free Trade Association, which could have continued expanding to include more members.

What appealed to them was involvement in the extension of the regulatory arrangements agreed by Germany and France to prevent the unfair state-funded distortion of competition in the trading of their iron and steel sectors by means of, for example, state subsidies and minimum employment welfare conditions.

Our then politicians recognised the economic benefit provided by such regulations agreed in negotiation by consensus; and by a directorate to enforce them. That is to say, what membership of the EU currently provides.

It is absurd to imply, as some do, that we fought two world wars in order to resist and refuse the imposition by the fiendish Germans, French and others of just such regulations, eg. agreed levels of working hours, of maternity leave, of pollution control, or of power consumption by vacuum cleaners.

Maurice Vassie,

Deighton, York

Brexit a great idea - for the Victorians!

Pamela Brown (Letters, December 3) is mistaken if she thinks Mrs May’s “half in, half out” deal is the worst possible outcome of the sorry Brexit saga. A hard Brexit, as favoured by many Government ministers, might give us more freedom to make our own decisions but is unrealistic in today’s world and the economy would take an even bigger hit.

The fact is that the deal on offer, awful though it is, is the best we can get. Any further concessions would come with an even greater cost. Pamela Brown must be blinkered if she still believes that continued EU membership is “not in our best interests”. If we still lived in the Victorian era Brexit could well have worked but then there was no need for the EU. The world has changed since then. To thrive and prosper in a globalised world we have to work with other nations. An organisation of 28 countries will never agree on everything but if they work together they can still achieve good things. Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of getting everything you want.

Our financial contribution to the EU is barely half the figure quoted by the Leave campaign and even then the returns in terms of investment and economic growth far exceed the outlay. Many people who voted Leave did so in the hope of an end to austerity. Sadly for the Brexiteers, many of those voters are now starting to realise they were conned.

Richard Brown,

Horseman Avenue,


If we stay we’ll be run from over the Channel

Oh well done Ann Cruickshank (Did we fight two world wars for this? Letters December 4), I couldn’t agree more, you are spot on!

If we stay in the EU we will definitely be taken over and totally run from across the Channel, this will be a reality very soon.

If there is a second referendum (a dreadful waste of money) people will give in to fear and vote to Remain. We then say goodbye to democracy for ever. There is a lot more to lose by remaining than leaving, believe me.

By the way Mr Vassie (Letters, December 4), I made an informed decision long before 2016.

Mrs L Walker,

Low Well Park,