Letter to Herald (unpublished)

With his usual brio, Richard Mowbray has now taken up the cudgels regarding the European Union, and urges us to vote for UKIP as he believes that “Nothing else about this European election is of any consequence whatsoever.”
However, Mr Mowbray appears to have been in Rip Van Winkle-like state of suspended animation for some forty years, during which quite a lot has happened, not the least of which was that the United Kingdom chose to share sovereignty with its European partners. This was first of achieved through the accession process of 1972-3, which was arrived at through representative parliamentary democracy (as have further steps towards greater integration) then confirmed by referendum in 1975. 
As a result, the European Parliament is now an integral part of the governance of the UK (as well as of all member states) in which the various political parties will compete for our votes in support of their own visions of Europe. Labour will seek a more socially just and progressive Europe, the Tories want  a return to a Common Market, and the SNP to pursue their vision of a Europe in which Scotland will pursue greater co-operation with every country except its closest neighbour, England.
In contrast, UKIP (and the wilder fringes of the Tory Party) seeks to remove the UK from European politics by withdrawing to a position similar to that of Norway, which must obey the EU’s laws and regulations on trade while having no say when they are decided.  
UKIP’s position on Europe is one of co-dependency without influence or responsibility: which is identical to the SNP’s plans for its relationship with the Pound sterling.
Scots should reject both.
Peter A. Russell

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