ANTI-EUROPEANS peddling myths and falsehoods about Europe in your letter pages is sadly to be expected, but their continual packaging of them in the Union flag has frankly become nauseating.

Together with much of the right wing national press, they in actual fact treat this country and its people with contempt and ritually denigrate Britain in the bizarre guise of being 'patriots'.

If they are to be believed, there exists a conspiracy of Johnny foreigners deceiving us at every turn and hell bent on destroying our history, including roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

We, the citizens of poor old blighty, are apparently so small, so feeble and so stupid that we can't even see it, let alone prevent it. Anyone who disagrees is clearly a fifth columnist with a penchant for garlic. How very patriotic!

On the contrary, Britain is a powerful and prosperous trading nation. We are part of Europe, both geographically and as members of the European Union. Our membership has increased trade, protected the environment and strengthened the rights of working people.

Nearly two thirds of North West exports go to other EU countries and more than 400,000 jobs in the region depend on that trade. This will increase with the expansion of the EU from 15 to 25 countries. Pro-Europeans believe Britain should rightly continue to play a leading and central role in Europe.

Joining the Euro will make Britain more influential, maintain our economic stability, increase investment, trade and jobs and ultimately make us all more prosperous. We believe in Britain. Who are the real patriots?

Gary Arthurs, regional director, North West in Europe.