IT seems to be a common idea that the 1960s were a golden age, bought to an end by joining the EU. Let’s look at a few facts.

First, in 1960 we joined the European Free Trade Association, so if we leave the EU with no deal we are going back to the 50s, not the 60s.

Second, the signs of industrial decline were clear in the 60s. The only British supersonic fighter aircraft, the Lightning, was developed in the 50s, and development of its replacement, the Jaguar, was begun in co-operation with France. Concorde followed as an Anglo-French project.

The age of the ocean liner was over and there were no new large ships to be built for the Royal Navy, heralding trouble for our shipbuilders. The car industry was struggling tooand the British manufacturers were merged to improve efficiency. The railway system was slashed by a minister with financial interests in road construction, heralding trouble for trainbuilders too. Increasing dependence on oil undermined our coal industry.

Third, the oil crisis of 1973 was a large influence on our problems in the 70s.

All the fault of the EU? I think not.

Howard Tudor by email

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