Better off in EU

Mr Beechey-Newman (Letters June 14) might speak for himself when he cynically says “Cornishmen cannot be bought” with regard to EU Aid used to plug the gaps left by our London government, but he does not speak for all of us.

Having been involved with EU funding at various levels, I have never seen the remotest evidence that the EU was trying to bribe Cornwall, for some strange reason he doesn’t explain.

On the contrary, we are all the better off for EU membership locally. The much-used Dracaena Community Centre, which wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the £400k our board received from Brussels. In my case, like so many local companies, I was able to substantially increase numbers employed due directly or indirectly to EU funded schemes, staff who then supported families, that used local shops, that paid taxes.

The firms on our industrial estates who export tariff free and almost red tape free not just to the EU, but to a vast number of other countries worldwide due to trade deals the EU has negotiated on our behalf; a benefit we lose overnight in 21 months’ time. The docks. Falmouth University which injects so much cash, culture and worldwide prestige into our town. Recognition of the Cornish as a minority group and support for our culture and language – something Westminster has no interest in supporting. Transport links, infrastructure improvement and business development advice – look at the success of the part EU funded Cornwall Marine Network.

The priceless benefit for our young people to freely travel, meet people from different backgrounds, study, work, live in 27 countries, as well as our own.

It is said that if you find a hole in the ground anywhere in the world, there will be a Cousin Jack at the bottom of it. For 200 years other countries welcomed the Cornish diaspora to their communities recognising that their hard work and fresh ideas benefited them. What a shame some of us don’t feel they can reciprocate that same generosity, but instead fearfully want to build walls and pull up drawbridges. Still in 21 months, when we stand alone, we can then start to see whose vision of the future for our young people turns out to be the best one.”

Christopher S F Smith

Falmouth via email