Letter: Britain was ‘Great’ long before the EU was formed

Letter writer Rosemary Twelftree says she is still pleased to have voted to leave the EU...

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 10:32 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:49 pm

Prior to the 2016 Referendum there was already a mood of euro scepticism sweeping the country. The most obvious issue was the rising migration into the United Kingdom. A people’s vote was a chance to take control and assert our national sovereignty or remain in the EU. Until then I had been vaguely hostile to the EU but not actively in favour of quitting it, but the four pillars of the EU appeared to be crumbling, it was imposing laws bypassing national parliaments, denying any member state to control its borders, decide its taxes or its trading relationships.

However, I was mindful that the European Regional Development Fund had provided Northants with Digital Improvement grants; small and medium enterprises implemented the Innovate Northamptonshire project; ZEC02 under the Interreg programme (to reduce C02) and the Emergency Mass Shelter Capability project.

The European Council had built Birmingham’s ICC and had refurbished the NEC Conference Centre as part of a £1bn direct EU investment and the EU Objective One Status had spent £1.8bn on projects in Liverpool including the Arena and Convention Centre, redevelopment of its waterfront and the transformation of the city centre.

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And the John Lennon Airport.

ERDF part financed the pedestrianised walkways across Rivers’ Tyne and Clyde, the Waterfront Museum in Swansea and Manchester University Museum, all now displaying the EU Logo “Gratitude Plaques”.

At that time The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reported that 13.44 million people (21 per cent of the population) were living in relative poverty in the United Kingdom; 3.9 million were children – this was despite integration for 40-something years within the EU Legislation Regional Policy.

This shocking statistic was precisely why I voted to leave in the hope that out of adversity comes opportunity.

Britain was “Great” long before the EU was formed and I choose to believe its future outside the EU project will be bright.

Rosemary Twelftree, Northampton