Peter Rickaby (Letters, July 8) asks who remembers voting for the new EU presidents? Has he forgotten the European Elections in May when we chose our Members of the European Parliament? It is the MEPs who elect the president of the parliament.

The president of the European Council is elected by council members, who are the heads of government of the member states (including the UK prime minister), all of them elected in their own countries.

The president of the European Commission is appointed by the European Council (democratically elected) subject to the approval of the European Parliament (democratically elected).

Compare this with a country which entrusts the election of its prime minister to a very small number of people who are party members, with no option for approval by the elected parliament.


Anthony Day,

Lastingham Terrace, York

I won’t get a vote for our next PM - or the Queen...

I am getting tired of the anti-Europe letters. In answer to Peter Rickaby (Who voted for new EU presidents?, Letters, July 8) as I understand it the President of the EU is voted for by the heads of the governments of the individual countries, so Theresa May would have had a vote.

With reference to voting, we will soon have a new Prime Minister. I have not got a vote.

In 65 years of voting I have never seen a Prime Minister’s name on any ballot paper. We do not have a President although the contenders for Prime Minister seem to think they are going to be.

The head of the United Kingdom is Elizabeth Windsor. I did not vote for her and I am not bothered as she has done an excellent job.

Harry Punter,

Strensall, York

No mandate for Tory leadership candidates

Three years ago this country voted on its future in Europe. We were told we were taking back our country. But now, and for the second time since that vote, our country is changing its leader - not through a democratic election but by the choice of a few thousand Conservative party members.

That is not taking back our country.

Three years ago York voted to stay in Europe, and at the European elections it was the Liberal Democrats who topped the poll in York.

Across our United Kingdom, it was the Remain parties who out-polled those parties who would see us leave without any kind of deal in place - backed by many people who have changed their minds and now support remaining in Europe.

The two contenders to be leader of the Conservative party now openly admit that leaving in this way will cause a recession at least as big as the financial crisis of ten years ago. The effects of a recession will be devastating, throwing a generation of young people on the scrap heap, damaging our ability to pay for our NHS and social services, and belittling our country on the global stage.

Both candidates tell us that it will be worth it. But it won’t affect either of them.

One political party shouldn’t get to decide on a Prime Minister. We should be democratically electing our Prime Minister and holding a People’s Vote on Europe now that we all can see what the deal looks like. It is time to take our country back.

James Blanchard,

York Liberal Democrats,

Curzon Terrace, York

Widdecombe speech was misrepresented

Anne Widdecombe’s speech to the EU Assembly has been subject to much disapprobation. I suggest much of it is as undeserved as it was misrepresented - and that the ‘mock outrage’ betrays more about the desperation of her accusers than about the philosophical beliefs of Ms Widdecombe.

“How dare she compare the restrictions we experience (individually and nationally) due to our membership of the EU and that of slavery?” these people say.

She did, of course, do nothing of the sort.

It is intrinsic to human existence that people have sought to resist all manner of attempts at suppressing their ability to exercise their ‘free will’.

This has most recently become crystallised in the notion of democratic representation, whether at an individual or national level.

To dismiss and deride these expressions as ‘populism’ and akin to Fascism is to seriously misrepresent and misunderstand these desires.

Never have humans been more readily connected to each other. And yet some seem (or at least feel) increasingly less connected to those supposed to represent them.

The North South Divide, real or imagined. has become magnified ten fold in the perception of ‘us’ and Brussels.

Those who campaigned for Remain in June 2016 and who now seek to overturn the referendum decision continue to do so solely on the basis of ‘economics’.

In creating a new Project Fear thinking that this will persuade Leave voters that the EU is inherently ‘a good thing’, they are repeating the same mistake(s) now that they made in 2016.

M Glover,

Lindsey Avenue, York

I hope Labour get their general election

The Labour Party say they want to remain in the EU in order to protect the jobs and pay of workers.

With less EU immigration now leading to record numbers of people now working and wages rising above inflation, why have they taken this stance?

It must be because their real aim is a general election, with their patronising words just being a means to an end.

If we aren’t out of the EU by the end of October, I hope their campaign for a general election comes to fruition.

Geoff Robb,

Hunters Close,

Dunnington, York