EU is past its sell-by date

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I find Amber Rudd’s column 13/5/16 downright insulting when she writes of the importance of government of the people, by the people and for the people, quoting Abraham Lincoln.

Has Ms Rudd never heard of the Boston Tea Party in which Americans revolted against the tax on tea being dictated by London, an event that helped pave the way to war and the American Declaration of Independence in 1776? We came second by the way.

It is interesting to note that after that war the Americans continued to tax tea but the fundamental difference was that it was their parliament that determined the tax on tea. This year, 240 years later, our Chancellor George Osborne had to go through the public humiliation of having to ask Brussels whether we can or can’t zero rate the VAT on that other luxury item the tampon.

If we enjoyed government of the people, by the people and for the people, our elected Chancellor Mr Osborne would be able to decide the tax on tampons for himself, with our consent.

Instead he is subservient to a decision reached by 27 other countries. Our say is diluted somewhat.

In the event, the EU decided that women may not have to pay VAT for the privilege of enduring the curse. But it could easily have gone the other way couldn’t it? We have to pay VAT on our energy bills because the EU says so. Ms Rudd says that staying in a reformed Europe will make us stronger. I agree.

But as David Cameron demonstrated when he came back empty handed this spring, Europe will not be reformed.

The political elite in Europe are following an ideology that is past its sell by date.

The EU has served its purpose.

In the 1980s while the Soviet Bloc queued for bread we sat on food mountains.

After the cold war the EU has provided a democratic template for former Soviet Bloc countries to adopt. But now it is time for reform.

The people of Europe have lost faith in the EU and this is giving rise to ugly nationalism.

The National Front is making huge gains in France. In the first round of elections for the Austrian presidency a right wing candidate has pushed the mainstream parties out of the race.

This is the new danger for Europe. Our government has accepted a few thousand refugees from Syria.

Rightly or wrongly that is the decision of our elected government.

But soon, when the million refugees that Germany took in last year obtain German citizenship, they will have the automatic right to come and live here if they wish.

That seems at odds with our government’s wishes to take in a few thousand refugees.

It is time for government of the people, by the people and for the people throughout Europe and the only way to get change is to vote to leave the EU. Cameron has demonstrated beyond any doubt that you cannot change Europe from within.

Steve Spice

Udimore Road

Broad Oak

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