Ernest Sawdon (It was NATO not the EU that kept the peace, Letters, May 11) plainly hasn’t understood what people are talking about when they say that the EU has kept Europe at peace for 50 years.

It has nothing to do with the Soviet Union (which hasn’t existed for 29 years). What people are talking about is peace between the nations of the European Union. For centuries the nation states of Europe had fought each other: Serbia against Bulgaria, Poland against Ukraine, Hungary against Romania, the wars between the British and the French and the French and the Germans, between the Greeks and the Italians, two World Wars ... the list is long.

It was to end those wars that Churchill called for a United Nations of Europe at the end of the Second World War. There have not been wars between the member nations of the EU because the EU has successfully replaced the urge to fight for land and/or resources with a fair system of trade that has built bridges between nations and brought prosperity to all.

NATO’s mission is protecting its members, including EU, from outside threats.

Christian Vassie,

Blake Court, Wheldrake, York