Cameron's EU referendum pledge

Fri, Jan 25, 2013, 00:00

Sir, – At last it’s out in the open: if Europe doesn’t mend its ways in the next five years, the Continent will be cut off forever (Front page, World News Opinion, January 24th). We all shudder. – Yours, etc,

Dr GERARD MONTAGUE,

Zaumberg,

Immenstadt, Allgäu,

Germany.

Sir, – There is nothing “surreptitious” (Simon O’Connor, January 24th) about the EU’s aim to bring all countries closer to a single European state. The EU has always been upfront and open in putting forth its fundamental aims, which can be summarised as the free movement of people,capital, goods and services within a common market. This necessarily means that all countries form part of a single European state, or as it is more commonly known, the European Union. Mr O’Connor views a united Europe as the “demise of a sovereign Irish state” whereas it is more appropriate to class it as the “progression of a sovereign Irish state”, where the people of Ireland can not only be citizens of Ireland but also citizens of Europe, with all the economic, political, legal and cultural benefits that that entails.- Yours etc,

MARK CURRAN,

Darwin College,

Silver Street,

Cambridge,

England.

Sir, – It should not be taken as a “given” that “ever closer union” is necessarily a good thing. The current problem in the euro zone is likely the result of that close union. It has taken over a decade, but now the euro zone economies are harmonising in a downward direction. In the past, each country operated within its own “cycle”. The Central Bank and its effect on the economy is now evident. A global central bank will result in global economic harmonisation. The ECB, with its low interest rate policy, its loose control over money supply and government debt are just a bigger version of what each state was capable of on its own. Prior to the ECB however, economic catastrophe was prevented by access to a market, with countercyclical conditions in a neighbouring country. This is no longer the case, with the ECB and the US Federal Reserve in cyclical union.

It is not a coincidence that this has happened. Margaret Thatcher, predicted with incredible accuracy what would happen within the euro zone. She was correct. It is important that we understand the theoretical basis for her predictions.

Another point is that closer political integration increases the likelihood of a “tyranny of the majority”, by an omnipotent state, and ever-declining economic performance, leading to poverty and a breakdown in social order. Is this what we want? Is this in our interest? Why is it that no commentator seems to understand any of the economic theory that is capable of explaining and predicting the consequences of this economic and political integration? – Yours, etc,

GEOFF WALES,

Glenabo Heights,

Fermoy,

Co Cork.