I'm pro-European but I can't advocate rejoining the EU

Pro-EU campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of Brexit day.

Pro-EU campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament ahead of Brexit day earlier this year - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

One reader is against the UK rejoing the European Union, despite being in full support of the project.

As I read the columns in TNE #222 – and nodded sagely at Donald Macintyre’s analysis and absorbed the various arguments put forward for re-engaging with, if not re-joining, the EU sometime post-January 2021 – I gave birth to a hellish heresy.

Having had a German father and English mother, being married to a Finnish wife with relatives in Holland, Sweden, Germany and Finland  I am, and always will be, a committed European who believes unreservedly in the European project.

However, to look at the nature and performance of the UK government since 2010; to note with sinking heart the constant cultural referencing of the Second World War; to hear the jingoistic ranting’s of the current cabinet and the unremitting anti-European (especially German) rhetoric, is to realise that none of this is likely to change any time soon.

If, in addition, the record of Britain within the EU and its well-earned moniker of ‘the Awkward Squad’ is considered, then the cause of my madness becomes apparent. For the sake of all I hold dear, I no longer want the UK to be a member of the EU.

This is the saddest truth of all. The EU and the European project cannot develop and progress with the belligerent, carping and obstructive contemporary UK inside it. Perhaps I should redefine that? For ‘UK’, read England.
Paul Stein,

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It’s difficult to understate just how appalled I was by Gavin Williamson’s comments about how superior Britain is to other countries. The level of misjudgement and incompetence he needs to attain before Johnson considers him an embarrassment must be incredibly high. Still, he’s loyal to the cause, and that’s all that seems to matter.

Couple that with the specious outrage at the EU from ministers and the Tory media about the failing Brexit negotiations and, far from being in any sense better, the country’s stock reaches a new low. No doubt the French and Belgians will cop the blame when everything goes pear-shaped in January. After all, what did the EU ever do for us, apart from sponsoring the project which produced the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine, produced as the result of multinational cooperation underpinned by Turkish expertise?

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At least some involved in the fishing and farming industries seem to be starting to understand the extent to which they have been duped, alongside the growing number of people who no longer support Brexit. The Tories, and they alone, must be made to own the forthcoming economic, political and social disaster, just as they should be made to own the Covid death toll. Labour must oppose whatever now creeps out of the carnage, on the grounds that it does not and will not deliver what Johnson and Co promised before the referendum and again before the 2019 election.
Surely, as a country, we are better than this?
Anne Green

The problem with Gavin Williamson as minister for education (after embarrassing the UK as minister of defence – did Russia ever “go away and shut up”?) is that he is a shuffling paradox. Williamson – along with the rest of this cabinet – is proof personified, to every parent and child in the UK, that it is not the brightest and the best who get to the top.
Amanda Baker

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