How dare anyone assume or pretend that opponents of the European Union, or those who would like its powers and influence brought under closer, more democratic control, are anti-European? Anti – is a powerful and very negative prefix which can suggest spite and prejudice; it is used by those who have very little to argue in favour of the union and seek an easy way to discredit opponents.
I can converse in three European languages, and get by in two others; you do not learn other people’s languages if you are anti-them. Europe is home to close neighbours and it is right that we should get along with one another. Many of us believe that we can do this best by working with one another untrammelled by an unelected, supranational government, as does Switzerland, a tiny country at the heart of Europe where I worked for five years. No country is more anti EU than Switzerland. When we are warned about the flight of bankers or the loss of trade should we leave the EU we should think first of this successful and determinedly independent country with its close linguistic and cultural ties to five immediate European neighbours.
Opponents of the EU are pro-European. They are to be found in many EU countries, concerned that our countries should make a better job of working together.