Politics - Challenging UKIP candidate

Opinion is free but facts are sacred.

I support the Market Rasen Mail covering the establishment of a local UKIP branch, however I would encourage the paper to be challenging in its coverage.

In his letter published October 29, Dr Howard Thompson gives an analysis of what he believes are three major brakes on the economy,” policy now means that we are now no longer able to dig coal, b uild ships or forge sufficient steel to meet our needs without permission of the EU.” Taking these in turn

1. The UK consumed (in million tonnes) 60.7mt of coal in 2013, including 50.1mt steam coal in power stations. UK coal output was 13.0mt, 49.4mt were imported and 1.1mt was put to stock. Steam coal imports came from Russia 45%, Columbia 26%, USA 22%, EU 3%, Other Countries 4%. The UK consumes an awful lot of coal but buys it on the world market. The amount of and mix of coal consumption reflects international commodity prices.

2. Global shipbuilding completions in 2013 were (gross tonnage in millions), China 25.9, South Korea 24.5, Japan 14.5, with the biggest tonnage in the EU being Romania at 0.5. The decline of UK shipbuilding and identifying the modernisation needed to arrest it- little of this was done- was covered by the Geddes Report of 1967, which of course pre-dates UK membership of the EU.

3. UK crude steel production in 2013 was (in million tonnes 11.9mt, while UK steel demand was 9.6mt. UK steel exports to the 27 other EU member states totalled 4.2mt while imports from the EU27 totalled 4.6mt. The UK produced more steel than it consumed.

Many statements issued by politicians simply do not stand up to scrutiny and Dr Thompson’s statements are no different with the examples simply not fitting his anti-EU narrative.

Gail Gefrane

Market Rasen