EUROPE: Industry was thriving pre EU

The excellent letter from Dr Keith White-Hunt (Morpeth Herald, March 17) puts the EU referendum question into firm perspective by numbers.

He tells Herald readers: “It is one’s wealth and not just annual income which determines living standard.”

But without income, UK Plc. is unable to generate wealth.

Often we are told that the economy is in good order because the GDP figures are satisfactory.

Not quite so, because GDP is a measure of gross product, which is turnover and not income or profit. We can have turnover without profit, but it is impossible to make profit without turnover.

Therefore, the contribution to the EU must be compared as a proportion to the net profit and not the total sales.

Because the UK buys more manufactured goods, by value, than it sells to EU customers, membership is in some instances a disadvantage.

If we purchased more British made goods and imported fewer that would help to keep more of the income, which would increase the wealth to which Dr White-Hunt draws our attention.

Further to the “emotion and the rhetoric” and politics, just one more statistic — UK MEPs are often in a 27 to one minority against the continental MEPs in the EU Parliament. So how valuable are the UK’s votes in Strasbourg?

The writer is old enough to be able to remember that Britain had a thriving farm tractor and machinery exporting industry before joining the European Common Market.

Now Britain’s farmers use almost all equipment imported from other EU manufacturers. How many jobs has this trend exported?

All that glistens is not always gold, but having the freedom to make our own commercial mistakes enables us to choose our suppliers and customers, ie our business friends.

Norman Bateman

Low Espley

Morpeth