The Acts of Union 1707 united England and Scotland creating Great Britain wherein began the Industrial Revolution in the following century.
In succeeding years GB exported machine manufacturing to the countries of Europe and thence to the world.
It was good to read in the News Letter on Monday, ‘Companies urged to enter Europe’s biggest business competition’.
The first half of the 20th century saw two world wars using the greatly developed manufacturing expertise to cause great loss of life. Six European countries got together after the wars saying they must learn to work together and war no more. That started with the Coal and Steel Community Treaty 1951.
This was followed in 1957 with the European Economic Community Treaty and today it is generally referred to as the European Union (EU) with 28 member countries. Now two sets of poorly informed politicians competing for seats in the House of Commons are keen to dismantle the UK and the EU.
Northern Ireland farmers have benefited greatly from the UK and EU. Do folk want to see customs posts on the border again with passports to cross from one side to the other?
Apart from all that the UK pays £9 billion to the EU annually but the Confederation of British Industries (CBI) estimate it brings £60 billion annually in business.
In 1984 Lord Cockfield became Commissioner for the Internal Market at the Commission in Brussels. He must have amazed Eurosceptics back home when he issued over 300 directives to complete the Single Market.
As I know that makes trading in the market more straightforward. It is like what happens in the 50 states of the USA. Currently over 50 per cent of UK exports go to the EU.
This privileged planet is designed for development with the elements required to make it happen provided. It is no time to pull up the drawbridge and bring down the portcullis!