Dear Mrs Merkel,
You will be made most welcome in the UK today. Many of us wish you well in your battles to improve financial discipline within the Euro area, to sort out the problem debts and deficits in the zone, and the remaining substantial difficulties in Eurozone banks. We would like the rest of the Eurozone to enjoy similar growth and prosperity to Germany’s, based on hard work, enterprise and business success.
As you know, the UK did not join the Eurozone, for both economic and political reasons. Seeing the damage the European Exchange Rate Mechanism did to us and others on the continent, we showed ourselves to be good Europeans by staying out. Had the UK entered, with a banking system and economy that was not harmonised with the rest, we might well have brought the whole Euro crashing down in the crisis of 2008. Who would have stood behind the UK banks at risk when we no longer controlled our own money supply and money markets?
We also stayed out because the UK electorate and government have no wish to be part of a common government from Brussels. The UK entered the EEC after the founder members, and did so to belong to a common market. It was such a concept that the voters approved by referendum in 1975. They did not consent to ever closer union, and more common government. They were reassured by the Labour government at the time that we would not lose sovereignty.
Today UK voters want reform in many areas. They want benefit reform, better control of our borders, cheaper energy, better flood protection, less interference with small companies and enterprise. In each of these areas the UK government is blocked or diverted by EU laws. Increasingly we feel we suffer from having two governments for the price of three, with high taxes and high energy prices limiting our ability to compete with the USA and Asia.
The UK is of course willing to back Germany in any sensible moves to tackle the problems with dear energy, open borders and welfare reform on an EU wide basis. However, at the same time many in the UK want a new relationship with the EU. We have no wish to stand in your way as you go about your necessary task of leading the Eurozone to reform and greater economic policy control from the centre. As non Euro members we wish to go in the opposite direction, and need to protect our interests as an independent trading nation.
We of course have no wish to impose any new constraints on German exports to the UK. We appreciate the importance of the UK market to you , with many here enjoying buying German goods. Similarly we are sure Germany would not wish to impose any new barriers against UK exports to the continent.
I wish you a happy stay, and trust we can make progress both in general EU reform and in establishing a new relationship for the UK as a non Euro member wishing to restore its national independent democratic government. Many of us who are English would also like our country to be recognised and to be proeprly considered in debates, instead of being pushed off the map of Europe altogether.