WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

The UK should continue to exercise its influence inside the EU

17 January, 2019

• I WASN’T surprised to read Louis Loizou’s letter (We can work continent-wide for a whole new European project, January 10) that begins “I am proud to say I voted for Brexit. I knew exactly what I was doing”.

That says it all. This is the position taken by many who were anti-EU prior to the referendum and would not have changed their minds regardless of the many lies told before, during and after the campaign.

The author writes that in 2011 the EU terms for the bail-out of the Portuguese banking industry caused “mass increases in the cost of living (which) led to a sharp rise in the use of food banks”.

Clearly, someone has never heard, among other things, of the banking crisis of 2008 with its global repercussion. It wasn’t the EU that started it.

He then proceeds to telling your readers what the Italians are thinking about the EU. “The people of Italy” he writes “are no more fans of the EU than the 17 million bravehearts in the UK who voted to reject this rotten club.”

Wrong again. In spite of Italy’s owns brand of nationalism and a resurgence of neo-fascism, the latest opinion poll (September 2018) says 44 per cent have trust in the EU, with 32 per cent of undecided who think that belonging to the EU is neither good nor bad and only 24 per cent would want to leave.

While it is true that Italians are less trustful of the EU than the European average of 66 per cent, the general feeling is that the UK has made a serious mistake in voting to leave.

As an Italian who has lived in the UK for several decades, I happen to think that two of the most significant decisions taken by this country in terms of human progress have been the contribution given to the defeat of Nazi-fascism during Second World War and the joining of the European community in 1973.

I find it tragic the UK voted to leave a union of countries that has helped maintain relative peace and stability. I am of a generation that has benefited from this.

I would be the first to say that the EU needs to bring about changes, but this can be best achieved by working together.

In times when aggressive nationalism and neo-fascism are once again posing a threat, many like me would like to hear that the UK is steadfastly continuing to exercise its influence inside the EU.

ALFIO BERNABEI
South Hill Park Gardens, NW3

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