Put an end to jingoism.

I refer to the letter from Geoff Wood (letters, page 11, 12 July). One is reminded of the Cold War, Star Wars, Entente Cordial, Splendid Isolation, Sick Man of Europe, King Henry of France from 12th to 18th century, non alignment, and so on.

The euro has come about as a result of the vision of European leaders going back about 60 years. They then had just come out of two world wars.

Had it not been for their gradual efforts and achievements in terms of moves towards a tariff-free market, more stable exchange rates, common agricultural policy, common defence policy, better social conditions for workers, and so on, we would already have witnessed a third world war by now. These 60 years have not seen any cultural or national diminution of the very distinct German, French, Italian or British cultures.

What has changed is that common economic interests have increased prosperity and reduced the chances of past ethnic or political problems.

The bureaucracy in the United Kingdom, if anything, is far greater than the bureaucracy in the rest of Europe.

The living proof of that is that the standard and cost of living in the UK is much higher than in several European countries. Europe, as it stands, is not a vast incompetent and impenetrable mass, as Mr Wood says.

Europe is in fact a vibrant, fast-moving, efficient powerhouse of what is best in art, science, medicine, cuisine, fashion, technology, high-quality public sector services, and the manufacture of goods.

The euro is merely a commodity that is used for settlement of transactions.

It is nothing more. There is a costly waste of about 10% just in the spread between buying rate and selling rate when you convert and then reconvert from and to the same currency.

It is a fallacy to believe that somehow the euro reduces our sovereignty and our ability to manage our own economy.

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