The UK political debate is now firmly focused on an EU referendum and it is right that people make their important decision, based on the “truthful” answers to the “right” questions.
When it comes to the EU and its true value to the UK (and the benefits to other member states), too much is said which is just, plain and simple, bullshit!
Pro-Europeans will continue to exaggerate the benefits of being an EU-member and – as they did with the Nobel Peace Prize – will be claiming success for things which is not of the EU’s making.
Those against the EU have been naively “sensational” in their criticism of the EU, but without their type of “headline-grabbing” outbursts, voters would have remained “completely in the dark” about what the EU were doing, and how their own politicians were giving law-making powers away to unelected EU “Kommisars!”
The EU is a political animal, created in good intent, but has grown into a monster, where people feed their own egos and pockets at a heavy cost to the people of Europe. To keep this monster moving, much is said in Brussels – and by our own MPS – about the benefits the EU is providing for Europeans, however, much of this is untrue. So Let’s look at just some of the things which are being said:
The EU is Europe.
“I do not see any sense in having an “arrangement” with a select group of European countries, when this excludes doing business with the rest of the world!”
First and foremost, the UK cannot leave Europe: it cannot hike up its sails and set-off out into the Ocean. We are, and will remain part of Europe, just as Japan is and will remain part of Asia! What the argument is about is whether or not being a member of the EU is good for us.
I mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize, so let me start with that issue
The EU is not responsible for peace in Europe. Peace in Europe came as a result of having 1000s of American soldiers on European soil, and cost billions of dollars to maintain. The presence of these soldiers deterred small European countries from attacking each other.
We should also add that peace also occurred, because after two major World Wars, Europeans were just too tired to fight one another.
57% of UK Trade is carried out with Europe.
It is geographic common-sense that a large chunk of the business we do is with our immediate neighbours. It has nothing to do with being a member of the EU!
If you are a shop, restaurant or printers, you will always expect that you will have more customers in your local area than you will have from thousands of miles away.
When it comes to trade, only a fool would think that the French would buy a ship from the UK, instead of from Korea, because we are in the EU. But, we are a big market for German cars and French wine and that will continue. Therefore, being Free to trade with the rest of the world will not damage our trading relationship with other European countries.
Although, when it comes to increasing our global trade, being part of a “European trade cartel” does more damage than good.
They say, the EU ensures we have lead-free petrol, cleaner air, clean beaches and rivers, restrictions on landfill dumping, a recycling strategy, a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives, wildlife and environmental protection, social welfare, smoke-free workplaces, minimum wage legislation & holiday entitlement, prevention and break-up of monopolies, patent & copyright protection, consumer protection & rights, harmonized food labeling, better product safety and improved animal welfare.
This is utter nonsense! Britain is not some barbaric back water!
People seem to forget that much of the above legislation was introduced by Britain, long before the EU existed. Not only was the British Standard was adopted by many countries in Europe, but we are also quite capable of labelling our own food, clearing our own rubbish, and cleaning our own beaches, we don’t need EU legislation to give us appropriate guidelines.
Besides, for international standards we are members of Kyoto, so why do we need another bureaucratic set of laws from the EU.
They say staying in the EU means no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market, the removal of commission on currency exchange, the freedom to travel, live & work anywhere in Europe, and ease of investment in all member states.
The fact is, moving good around Europe has not led to prosperity in the way the EU would like to suggest.
As for the movement of people, we are not the United States of America. People find it difficult to move and get jobs because of the language barrier, and those who do change location do it as economic refugee’s, which is adding massive strain on the more successful European nations.
When it comes to foreign investment, EU law has made it easier for companies to go overseas to exploit cheap labour: good for the new destination, but costly to those countries where the factories are closing.
They say the EU provides for counter-terrorism intelligence, policing to combat human trafficking, arms & drug smuggling, civil and military co-operation, continent-wide arrest warrants & crime prevention, support human rights.
Really? So what is the value of the United Nations, INTEPOL, and the UNHCR, which we should remember, most countries in the world are signed up to?
They say EU-wide powers to fire journalists and impose fines would improve reportage and press freedom in certain countries.
Possibly true for, say Romania, but what about the countries that already have a free press and the associated laws to maintain journalistic standards? What of privacy and libel? A “Berlusconi-esque” British politician would be untouchable. Makes you shiver, doesn’t it?
They say companies would avoid investing in Britain if we weren’t in the EU.
Crap. Companies go where the taxes are the lowest. Ever stop to wonder why many of the world’s largest companies are headquartered in the non-EU Switzerland? It is low taxes.
They say that a single European currency would protect all countries from a currency crisis.
In a perfect world maybe, but where’s the accountability and fiscal responsibility?
Greece benefited from low bond yields on its debt because people felt Greek debt would be secured by rest of Europe. Look what happened when the whole world was lulled into a false sense of security? A single currency and monetary policy leaves no scope for devaluation.
Since the introduction of the Euro, labour costs have risen all over Europe. The main result of this has been uncompetitive exports, which shifted industry to the developing world. Faced with uncompetitive export prices, a country would normally devalue to restore balance. Countries in the Euro-zone can’t do that. Result? Record current account deficits, falling exports, low growth and a decimated manufacturing sector. It’s way cheaper to buy from India or China.
They say the ECB can do a better job of maintaining equitable interest rates across the region.
How is that even sensible? Interest rates set by the ECB can never be suitable for areas that grow faster or slower than the average.
For example, if the ECB raises interest rates because of fears of inflation in one country, it would savage another country descending into recession at the same time. This is what accelerated the meltdown in Portugal, Greece and Italy.
They say the Common Agricultural Policy supports European farmers.
Paying Farmers not to produce food in itself is immoral and leads to massive imbalances.
Moreover, the CAP subsidised European farmers to produce goods with little regard for international market forces and demand. This excess supply was often dumped on world markets creating falling prices and incomes for world farmers.
As the EU bleed their taxpayers for subsidies for farmers, we’re witnessing large scale suffering in developing countries which are unable to sell their produce internationally in competition with state subsidized farmers.
This is market “rigging” and works against tax-payers, consumers and global producers.
They say the EU provides structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline.
Really? The UK is also suffering heavily from industrial decline, yet we still pay over £50+ million a day for nothing in return.
They say the Anti-EU lobby is made of Nationalists and Racists.
This “evil” accusation is simply wrong.
No country in Europe is more multicultural, multi-ethnic and racially tolerant, than the UK.
We have a history, both good and bad, or dealing with other countries, but over the past 50-years we have accepted more “foreigners” into the country than anywhere else (except for America).
Indeed, the economic benefits Britain has enjoyed due to this influx of foreigners and their richness they have added to our country is there for all to see.
However, the UK is only so big, and with more and more people wishing to come to the UK – when we all know less wealth is being created – it is no longer economically or socially viable, to keep our doors open any longer to anyone who wishes to relocate.
The UK has to tighten its borders to protect the citizens of this small Island: and when we say “citizens”, this also included the millions of immigrants who already are resident in the UK.
There is a job shortage, a housing shortage and our welfare state is already under immense pressure. Without creating more wealth, the country cannot supply the services that the present population has come to expect, more immigration will therefore do severe damage to the countries well-being.
Of course, those who believe otherwise will play the “racist” card, but those who are concerned about the immigration problem are not just “white-British”, they are also black and Asian-British, and they are people from all races, religions and cultures- Therefore this stance on immigration, is not a racial issue, it is economic.
Using terms like “Nationalist” is equally unfair, as it conjures up pictures of fascists and Nazi’s, and yet one of the major reasons for leaving the EU, is that it is undemocratic and unaccountable. i.e. it is behaving in a dictatorial manner which the British have for almost 1000-years opposed.
It would be fair to say that the British have a feeling of superiority, but so do the Chinese, the Americans, the French, the Germans, the Danes. Etc., etc. I see nothing wrong in believing your nation is as good as any other: all people should be patriotic…and being patriotic is not the same as being nationalistic.
I would go even further.
Growth and development has always occurred because of differences, not because we are all the same.
People find solutions to problems, in different ways, often dependent on their cultural or national upbringing. Others will copy the good solutions, and the bad ones will be discarded, and it is this which propels mankind forward. If we all worked in the same country with the same culture, had the same education and worked according to the same rules, growth and development would be very slow.
We need freedom. We need freedom of thought and freedom of expression, we need the freedom to pursue the life we choose, within the confines laid down by our own cultures and societies.
The pursuit of the EU, which is to homogenize the way 500 million different people think and act, and ultimately destroy nations, is not only disrespectful to most people’s cultures: it is detrimental to our future growth.
I will accept many people may disagree with my comments, and may wish to argue certain points, but after 15-years of arguing against the EU and the Euro, and arguing in favour of National Sovereignty and smaller government, I am happy to see more and more people are feeling the way I have felt. And now British people have the chance to vote for or against continued membership of the EU, they will look at the proposal in a more balanced light, and not blindly follow the advice of their pro-European, blinkered politicians.