12 APRIL 1975, Page 4

Th o e ri C an o d urtyard, Kir M y kb G . L d o e ns S d t a V le . , A W tke in isilts ' Sir: In his

letter which you published on March 22, Mr C. V. Porter challenge5 anti-Marketeers to state their 'alternt tive' to British membership of the EE ' In asking somebody to state an alterntve is assuming that the course o tive to a proposed course of action, 0n., find such friends if, and only if, 5" f actioP, proposed will solve some particula' problem, and is demanding an alterna' tive solution to that problem. '5 The short answer to Mr Porter challenge is simple — non-membershii; The alternative to cutting your ovi,.. throat is not to cut your own throa't Anti-Marketeers generally deny thls membership offers any benefits to th._. country — either political or econotrife The question of an alternative the simply does not arise. it Mr Porter apparently disagrees W „ this analysis, and thinks that Brit.1,: in need of 'friends' to help her deal NO.!: the problems of an increasinglY danger() ous and hostile world, and that she ca„, remains in the EEC. There are at least two things wrong With that argument. In the first place,. none of the other members of the EEC would be in a position to give this country much help even if they wanted to. All the major members are suffering from the same problems of unemployment and recession as is this country; all except Germany have similar balance of P, ayments problems (without the same 'ong-term prospects based on oil and coal resources which we have); and our external defence is secured, not by EEC, but by NATO and the American nuclear deterrent. And even though Germany's Payments position remains sound, she is hardly in a position to give Us economic aid just now. (Just this week, as I write, the lead story in Die Zeit is headed: "Bonn faces the worst financial disaster in its history — is the crisis inevitable?") In the second place, our continued membership of the EEC is not the way to secure the goodwill of the other _Members. Both the objectives of the EEC (e.g. economic and monetary union) and the institutions (e.g. CAP and control by Brussels of regional P°IicY) are unacceptable to this country. The whole process of negotiation and renegotiation has been about the attempts of the British pro-Marketeers lo persuade the original six to let us in without having to obey the rules. As the Six are genuinely well-disposed towards US, they have made substantial concessions. But these are still short of our requirements, and the pro-Marketeers a,re now claiming that we can break, ,'nose of the rules which we dislike (this .. called "pragmatism"), and obstruct those of the objectives with which we disagree (this ip called the "veto"). Economic and monetary union may be ?,t:1 the endangered species list, as Mr Wilson says. The question is whether we want to help the six to save it, or Whether we want to force them to kill it °ff. It may be true, as Mr Callaghan says, that progress can only be at the pace of the slowest member, but if that slowest member is us, then what the others will feel for us is not normally ?,!scribed as friendship. If we want the endship of the Community we should ti!ither obey their rules and help attain eir objectives, or else get out and stop tbahering them. As hardly anyone in this country wants to do the first, the °MY sensible thing to do is to quit. i.. Incidentally, the Financial Times dustrials index is now lower than it Was before the Dublin summit. The s,liccess" of renegotiation, and the Cabinet, recommendation to the elech°,rate to approve membership, must ,.'ve increased the probability that we s,L.aY in. But despite all the talk about the tulilseastrous consequences of withdrawal, CitY obviously couldn't care less.

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