LETTER: ‘Taking our ball home’ over Europe can’t be done

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I WAS interested to see local Tories, including our MP Andrew Stephenson, giving their enthusiastic support to David Cameron following his use of the European veto last week.

I share the concerns of many about the European Union – it’s expensive and bureaucratic. That said, conservative estimates suggest 47% of UK trade is with fellow EU countries – so to simply “take our ball home” is not an acceptable negotiating position.

And while local Tories crow about Mr Cameron’s bulldog spirit, they overlook the fact he has a strangely narrow view of the “national interest”. By opposing a transaction tax, he has sided with the City of London’s “casino bankers” – the people directly responsible for the economic chaos of recent years.

Specifically, Pendle will be severely hit. We have a higher proportion of people employed in manufacturing businesses than just about anywhere else in the UK – 26.9% This sector relies upon co-operation with our European colleagues. Instead of supporting Pendle’s manufacturers – the producers that form the foundation of the economy - the Tories have sold us out to defend the interests of financial engineers and tax-evaders.

While the local Tories are cracking out the champagne, the coalition is bringing about economic stagnation which I fear could hit Pendle disproportionately.

TONY HARGREAVES

Labour candidate, Horsfield Ward, Colne