Sammy Wilson is wrong about working people and their attitude to the EU

editorial image

I found Sammy Wilson’s letter to this newspaper (April 15) very difficult to comprehend.

The MP for East Antrim seems not to have noticed the rock-solid support for EU membership that the Labour Party and the trade union movement have had for decades.

Just about every Labour leader has given his backing to EU membership since Mr Wilson entered politics over 30 years ago and this support goes much wider than the parliamentary Labour Party.

As Mr Corbyn was giving his speech yesterday the Unison trade union and its 1.3million members were giving their almost unequivocal backing to supporting the UK remaining in the EU, why Mr Wilson claims to know better what working people want is not mentioned in his letter.

That Mr Wilson blames the EU for Austerity in Ulster when his own party is the senior partner in government at Stormont with numerous economic responsibilities is difficult to accept. Contrast this to the £420 million the EU has now made available for Northern Ireland until 2020 and the East Antrim MP’s claims look to be built upon sand.

Yesterday the 5,000 workers at Bombardier in Belfast were told yesterday that being in the EU was better for their company’s success and stability, yet Mr Wilson ignores this and instead offers only an analysis of the steel industry which simply don’t stand-up to further scrutiny. It is the EU as a bloc of 28 nations which can better-oppose Chinese steel dumping than the UK alone.

I don’t always agree with Mr Corbyn but when it comes to protecting jobs and investment in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK I urge Mr Wilson to consider the facts more carefully and for the sake of the 5,000 workers in Belfast and those that depend on them think more carefully how to vote on 23 June.

Paul Hagan, Portadown