25 MARCH 2006, Page 24

Doing well without the EU

From Douglas Carswell MP

Sir: David Rennie supposes that Britain has had to ‘sign away great slices of national sovereignty in the hope of prising open other nations’ closed markets’ (‘Eurosceptics against the nation state’, 11 March). Nonsense. Switzerland, relying on a simple bilateral trade accord, sells twice as much per head to the EU from outside as does Britain from inside. Norway and Iceland, through the European Economic Area, also manage to export more, proportionately, to the EU than we do. And countries which have no preferential trade accords with the EU at all, such as the United States, have seen their exports to the EU rise far faster than has the United Kingdom.

Incidentally, we are now in surplus with every continent in the world except Europe. Since joining in 1973, we have run an average trade deficit with the rest of the EU of £30 million a day. Put simply, the other states have a far greater incentive to ensure continued free trade across the Channel than we have. Leaving the EU would not just make us freer; it would make us richer, too.

Douglas Carswell London SW1