THE recent increase in support for UKIP is depressing and worrying. I can’t see cutting ourselves adrift from Europe will help the UK – in fact, the reverse. For a country to be successful, size matters; which is why the US and China do well. Britain became very rich because it had the Empire to provide that necessary, huge market, but that is no more. Teaming up with the rest of Europe was our best option.

Modern products are complex and expensive to produce, which is why major British manufacturers treat Europe, with its lack of border control, as though it were a single country.

A prime example is the aircraft industry. The days when aircraft were relatively cheap to make and short-lived are no more: today, a passenger or transport plane costs billions to design and build and then will be in service for decades.

Many of the old European aircraft firms have got together so that manufacturing cost is spread over most European countries. For Airbus, England and Wales are the main assembly points for the wings. If I remember correctly, the work on the wing assemblies alone provides Britain with employment for some 12,000 people. What would happen if we were no longer part of the EU?

What’s this nonsense about Europeans being foreigners? Since most of us have a common ancestry and language, we can’t be that different. What’s wrong with adding to the gene pool? It’s been good for us in the past.

DERRICK HOLT Fortnam Close Headington

Today’s letters

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