I CANNOT for the life of me understand why so many local Labour MPs are addicted to the European Union. The argument that so many jobs in the North-East depend on the EU is a complete distortion of the truth.

It would be foolish to principally blame the EU for the loss of tens of thousands of industrial jobs that have been shed from this region during the last 40 years, but being a member of the EU did not save one job in mining, iron and steel or shipbuilding. Moreover, the EU’s adherence to globalisation and neo liberal policies probably accelerated the loss of jobs in consumer industries, such as the once thriving clothing factories of County Durham.

If leaving the EU and the customs union is such a threat to manufacturing jobs then why is it that Switzerland, (not a member of the EU), nevertheless produces the highest value of manufactured goods per head of population of any country in the world? Also the notion that companies like Nissan will not be able to sell cars in the EU is a blatant lie. You only have to visit any car park in Britain or the EU and you will see many cars manufactured in South Korea.

Finally, if the EU is so wonderful then why has it reduced the Greek working class to the status of the paupers of Europe?

John Gilmore, Bishop Auckland