I read with great amusement the letter from J L Sanchez regarding the importance of EU trade to the UK. There are one or two points that your readers need to be aware of. Firstly, UKIP does not advocate ceasing trade with our European neighbours. UKIP has enough sensible and experienced professional people from the world of trade and commerce to know that such an idea is ridiculous.
We have traded with our European neighbours from time immemorial and we will continue to do so. We have also traded widely with the rest of the world since the 16th century. Perhaps J L Sanchez is unaware that our main imports of grain come, not from the EU, but from two old Commonwealth Dominions, Canada and Australia.
The UK is actually far better placed geographically to trade on a global basis than is mainland Europe. A brief study of the two World Wars will prove that point quite adequately. China is the largest trade area followed closely by India. Both of these nations have more than double the 500 million souls living in the EU. The EU is not a free trade area but a Customs Union – built on the same lines as the German Empire that caused so much strife and grief in the 20th century.
Whilst agreeing that the UK must continue to trade with the EU I would take J L Sanchez to task regarding the statement that the EU accounts for half of our trade in exports of goods and services. This is simply not true and yet it is constantly flouted as fact by EUphiles. If your readers would like to take the time and trouble to study our balance of payments either through the Office of National Statistics or the House of Commons Library (ref SNEP 62110) they can easily read the real facts. Those facts are that the latest trade figures indicate that 47.5% of our trade is with the EU and 52.5% with the rest of the world. The trend is toward less trade with the EU and more with the rest of the world.
And there is an anomaly with EU export figures which means they are inflated as goods travelling from the UK via Europoort are classed as EU exports irrespective of their destination. The "Rotterdam Factor" may be as high as 15% according to some sources but I have been unable to calculate any firm figures.
Moving swiftly to the next myth propagated by politicians and EUphiles – the alleged 3.5 million jobs that are linked to EU exports. I will request again to any politician or EUphile reading this – please substantiate your claim.
I will not be holding my breath because I know that you cannot.
I trust that a few hard facts may be a lesson to those who wish to dip their toes into the world of political mischief.
It is of course quite understandable that UKIP will attract this sort of childish attention – we are, after all, consistently beating the sorry Liberal Democrats in the national opinion polls and also doing rather well in local council elections.