As a Brit living in Portugal, my interest in the future of these two countries is obvious: as is my dislike of the EU.
Political classes being what they are: i.e. They will happily “spout rubbish” and prostitute their votes -at a cost to their countrymen – if it furthers their personal agendas. So it is perhaps time we moved away from their “words” and “spin” and started looking at few facts.
We are told that being out of the EU will be disastrous; “it will cause enormous economic hardship and cause our countries to be completely isolated”.
Fact 1; Since 1991 the EU has grown by 1.5% per annum, whilst the rest of the world has grown at over twice that rate.
Fact 2: In 1991 EU output represented 22% of global output, it is now down to 15% and by 2016 is forecast to be as low as 12% (both IMF figures)
Looking at these figures we can see that membership of the EU is not doing our country any favours.
It would appear to me that there are 166 countries outside of the EU – countries which our politicians consider “isolated” from the EU. These countries, far from suffering from economic hardship, are in the main, experiencing much higher levels of growth than the members of the EU.
We all know that EU member states are over-governed, over-regulated and over-taxed. But it is worse than that…We are badly-governed, badly-regulated and badly-taxed.
Why has this happen? Quite simply, it’s because undemocratic technocrats in Brussels are in control of the continent and OUR countries are no longer run by democratically elected representatives.
It is also a fact that government spending in the rest of the world amounts to around 30% of government income, whilst in the EU countries this amounts to over 50% – The EU governments budget has never been properly audited (last year 14-billion Euro’s were unaccounted for!)
It is obvious that the EU is simply not working, it is becoming obscenely expensive, and we are suffering from its inadequacies.
The UK, with its Commonwealth ties and synergies with other English speaking countries – the USA, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Has a great opportunity to join the growth pattern of the other 166, so-called, “isolated” countries. All it has to do is leave the EU.
For Portugal, as a member of the Euro-zone, it may be more difficult to leave the currency and the EU. But, unlike the Finns, the Germans, and most other European nations, it has its own commonwealth of Portuguese speaking countries – Countries with whom it shares synergies and languages such as; Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Macau. These countries have enjoyed massive growth over the past decade, and they are countries which are forecast to grow at a rate, far exceeding that of Europe’s.
Politicians can talk all they want, but surely if you want to see growth in your country, you need to get away from the over-governing, regulating, and taxing, which is all Europe offers, and start working with countries which are growing faster.
How people can say that leaving 20-odd countries in Europe and joining a group of 166-countries is isolation is beyond me. Indeed, as the rest of the world is forecast to grow at twice the rate of Europe and increase their percentage of global output, I would suggest it is madness for the UK AND Portugal not to leave the EU.
Just today, because the UK is outside of the Euro-zone, Nissan invested in a car plant in the north of England, which will generate 2000 new jobs. It’s a start, but think what would happen if the UK removed all the ridiculous EU regulations which are making its businesses uncompetitive!
Portugal also has major potential. Although it is currently suffering from debt (which was sanctioned, if not encouraged by the EU) and obscene Austerity, it enjoys a much lower cost of living.
I believe the highly educated workforce, lower labour costs, and geographic location, would make Portugal an extremely attractive place for foreign investment – “IF” it got away from destructive Germanic influences; influences which have systematically destroyed many – once profitable – industries, which existed in many other EU member-states.
We must ask the question – Would so many factories in Portugal have closed and relocated to Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, if Portugal still used the Escudo, and doing business here was not made so expensive due to ridiculous EU regulations?
I know the road ahead is not going to be a simple one, but both the UK and Portugal should remember why they joined the EU. It was because of a promise of growth, prosperity and jobs.
These countries may have joined for selfish reasons, but looking back on it today, we all know the decision to join was a mistake.
But to compound the mistake, by giving away our sovereign right to leave, is thorough madness.
It doesn’t matter what we are told by those on the EU gravy-train, or by our own politicians (who let’s face it, are only looking after their own pensions and careers) It is time to go!
If our problem is lack of economic growth – and the IMF forecast that growth and output in Europe is going to continue to shrink – then we are bound, if not obligated, to get out of Europe now and head for greener pastures.
If as countries we have been proven “selfishly wrong” for joining, let us try to be “selfishly right” this time, and get out before it is too late!
As a footnote:
The UK fought Germany and her allies to keep her independence and sovereignty, battling against the political aims of a foreign dictator. Portugal had its own battle and won the right to be a truly democratic nation.
It makes me sick when I hear European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, and European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, talk about their democratic credentials to “talk on behalf of the people of Europe”…
Who voted for them???????