Today’s letters look at particulars in regard to our situation while still in the EU, the first one, by our contributor and reader Jack Thomas pointing to a most important aspect:

Sir,

Whilst researching some information for my series of articles on defence I came across some worrying information. It seems that, despite our vote to leave the EU, ever closer cooperation with the EU is being pursued by government. The detail may be found here:

https://www.ukcolumn.org/sites/default/files/documents/Subversion.pdf

Even if only partially true it is perhaps the clearest indication we have that our vote to leave the EU is to be ignored; as defence is the primary purpose of government the intent is clear.

This needs a question to be raised in the HoC by the UKIP MP. Hopefully our MP-in-waiting may join the attack soon.

Respectfully, Jack Thomas

Our reader Roger Arthur takes a closer look at the costs of our – still! – remaining in the EU:

Sir,

There was a query in last week’s County Times about the circa £100 billion cost arising from our EU membership. In fact the UK carries direct and indirect costs as indicated below:

The UK pays around £19.5bn pa (about £375m per week) in direct charges, of which the EU spends about £8.5bn pa on schemes in the UK. So the UK pays over £2, for every £1 that the EU spends on UK schemes. Added to the net £11bn cost, UK businesses carry an indirect cost for complying with EU Regulations. In 2005 the UK Treasury issued a Paper, estimating that cost at 6% of GDP, which equates to £96 bn pa (£1.85 billion per week) based on a GDP of around £1,600 bn pa.

More recently Economist Professor Tim Congdon estimated the compliance cost to be around 6.5% of GDP, only a little more than the Treasury’s 2004 estimate.

While such estimates will not be accurate to the nearest £million, the magnitude of the numbers speak for themselves. Once businesses are no longer so burdened, their output and contribution to Government coffers should increase, to the benefit of all.

None of the above includes the tens of £billions lost due to tax avoidance by big companies – because EU Law allows them to nominate the EU country where they are taxed. Mr Corbyn said that:

“The EU knowingly maintains tax havens … around the continent … and allows European companies to outsource their profits to countries where tax rates are low.”

A Daily Telegraph article in 2013 puts the tax loss at around £120 billion pa. The above also omits over £2bn pa taken on average by the EU from UK VAT receipts and it does not include UK contributions to Eurozone bail-outs.

Clearly the compliance burden is unlikely to reduce, until regulations are once again proposed and implemented by Parliament, but that is not going to happen soon.

Respectfully, Roger Arthur

Our Reader Dr Raymond Shamash takes up a controversial point, namely the question of waterboarding:

Sir,

I welcome that our leader Paul Nuttall has not shied away from the waterboarding debate.Whatever views one may hold about Trump, one can at least admire his honesty talking openly about taboo subjects. It is  clear to me that there must be some intermediate stage in the interrogation of terrorist suspects, between on the one hand, using Gestapo methods and on the other legislating to allow the suspect three meals a day, eight hours sleep and access to a TV for relaxation. Best that this intermediate stage be the subject of legal regulation, based on the primary need to prevent civilian casualties, rather that left to individuals to decide for themselves.The jurist Alan Dershowitz puts forward the “ticking bomb scenario”. In this scenario, a suspect is in custody who knows the whereabouts of a bomb that will soon explode killing large numbers of innocent people. In that case, we should balance the rights of the suspect against the need to stop maybe hundreds of innocent people being killed or maimed.There is clearly a need for “enhanced interrogation” in this situation, and it is for us to decide where the line should be drawn.

Respectfully, Dr. Raymond Shamash PC UKIP Hendon 2015

Finally, a request by our reader and contributor Jack Russell, which we’re happy to grant:

Sir,

given the demos in our cities yesterday (Monday 30th January) evening against the “Muslim Ban” Executive Order by President Trump on the weekend, and given that the reports on this Executive Order in our media are factually incorrect because muslims from other islamic countries are not ‘banned’ or affected by this 90-day stop, may I ask you to publish the video of this BBC interview with Nigel Farage on that topic which was broadcast yesterday.

Respectfully, Jack Russell

 

Here is the video of Nigel Farage’s interview:

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