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Where threat lies to sovereignty

July 4th, 1989

A letter to the Editor of the Daily Telegraph which was published on 4th July 1989.

Mr Heseltine (letter June 29th) conspicuously declined to answer my question about what limits, if any, he would set on the transfer of British sovereignty to Brussels.  Instead we have the usual obfuscation about all alliances imposing constraints on a nation’s freedom of action.

Most people, however, can see the difference between an alliance like Nato with its specific and limited objectives and the Single European Act which, inter alia, allows the 11 other members of the Council of Ministers to issue instructions to Britain on matters that have nothing to do with free trade, which was what the British people have been led to believe was the objective of joining the EEC.

As for the EEC being a means of avoiding economic domination by the United States and Japan, Mr Heseltine should contemplate the make-up of our colossal manufacturing trade deficit, 85 per cent of which is attributable to our trade with the EEC (chiefly Germany).  By contrast our trade with our biggest customer, the United States, is fundamentally in balance, as it has been through the years of our mounting deficit with the EEC.