Tony Simpson (M Star February 2) says that we need a serious left debate about what is to be lost by leaving the EU.
When you are in a prison, the important thing is to get out, regardless of what you might leave behind. However, I will try to address his arguments.
He suggests that, if we leave the EU, 40 per cent of our export market would be lost. EU countries import from outside the EU, so I don't see the validity of this argument.
He talks about progressives making up almost half the so-called European Parliament, and says we would lose our links with them.
Well, the inmates of a prison may have links, but that's no reason to stay inside.
The EU "parliament" can't make laws, levy taxes or appoint a government. Even if it had a united, progressive majority it could not amend or disobey the Lisbon Treaty, which is designed to make socialism impossible and to maximise the freedom of big corporations and their super-rich owners.
The EU is a "meeting place of 27 countries" mainly in the sense that the political elites of those countries meet to bargain on behalf of their own national capitalist classes and to plot against the rest of us.
It is true that, in earlier times, the European Community made - or promised - some progressive measures.
That is because the labour movements of the member countries were much stronger than today - before the EU disempowered them - and there were socialist countries in Europe which, with all their faults, provided full employment and unprecedented social gains to workers and their families.
Capitalism had to compete with socialism, but no longer feels the need to do so.
Whatever may have been progressive in the EU has long gone.