by Bill Etheridge Ukip Ppc
The UK Should Leave the EU.
The people of the United Kingdom would be better out of the EU.
This is a stark statement but one that an increasing number of people passionately believe to be true. In the heat of the argument between Euro Federalists and Euro Sceptics that has raged for as long as most of us can remember, the passion of the Sceptic or Realist argument has often been caricatured as being extremist and unreasonable while the Federalists have sought to justify themselves with economic facts and figures.
In this piece, I will break down the argument for withdrawal into two distinct sections: The first will be the economic argument for freeing ourselves from the addiction to regulation of the EU. The second will be the argument for freedom and liberty that is often cynically characterised as being Nationalistic ravings but which are in effect the principles that our country has endeavoured to spread around the world as our great legacy.
The economic arguments for leaving the EU are strong and compelling. The cost of British membership of the EU has been estimated at 10% of GDP. In 2009 this would have been equivalent to £139 Billion. Please note that our exports at £124 Billion to the EU in that same year.
Britain runs a trade deficit with the EU. Between 2005 and 2009 the cumulated trade deficit with the EU was £135 Billion, approximately 88% of the UK's trade deficit with the whole world. There are estimates of approximately 2 million skilled jobs that could have gone to the UK going to other EU countries as a consequence of this deficit.
British exports to the world outside the EU are growing faster than those to the EU. Currently, 40% of UK exports go to the EU but this proportion will shrink as the growth of exports to the none EU countries continues to grow and is presently approximately 37% greater than in 2000.
An important point to note is that a country doesn't have to belong to the EU to sell into the single market as the examples of the USA and China show. If the UK were to leave the EU, there is no reason why we could not continue to sell into the single market. The suggestion of trade barriers being raised against us in the event of leaving is patently nonsense. The EU countries would suffer equally if not more by losing a trading partner who buys more of their products than the UK sells to them.
On leaving the EU, the UK would be entitled to take up its seat in the World Trade Organisation once again. This seat was vacated in 1973 when we joined the Common Market but would be available to us once again as a founder member. This would allow us to exert more influence in our own national interest than at present when we have to rely on the EU to speak for us.
After withdrawal we can set policies and plans to suit our key industries and encourage their growth with UK centred policies. Presently, the needs and views of other European countries have to be taken into account.
An independent UK would have more freedom to develop trade with the rest of the world. These countries would include the fast growing economies in places like India where we have advantageous historic and cultural links through the Commonwealth. Our trade with the EU would continue unaffected whilst opportunities for huge additional exports would accrue.
The Billions of pounds that we would save by not needing to pay membership fees to the EU combined with disentangling ourselves from and exposure to European financial institutions, (currently estimated at 149 Billion Euros excluding the International Monetary Fund) would make a huge difference to our economy. This would mean a future UK government would have the facility to clear debts, lower taxes or do whatever it saw fit for our economy at the time.
After the facts and figures of the economic argument, we now turn to the argument for freedom and democracy. The only figure that I will contribute to this part of my argument is the widely accepted one that over 70% of UK laws are now passed by the EU.
In this era of low turn outs at elections and widespread cynicism about democracy, the fact that our elected representatives have less and less say in the way our laws are made does nothing to encourage greater interest and involvement from the general public. All the voting public see is the true base of power moving even further away from an already distant political elite. Law making is transferred to politicians based in Brussels who may as well be on another planet and know very little about the people their decisions are affecting.
More sinister still is the growth of technocratic government in the EU where all pretence at democracy is abandoned in favour or governments of so called "experts." The growth of this form of government is a blatant attack on the principles of freedom and democracy in Europe that previous generations made enormous sacrifices to defend.
The European Union is a deeply corrupt money pit that consistently fails to have its accounts audited successfully. There is no justification for any claims that this organisation could do a better job of governing Europe than democratically elected governments in sovereign, independent states.
For years the European project was sold to people on a dishonest basis. The claims of it being purely about a trade area have now finally been shown to be lies. The German Chancellor is the most senior of the many voices across the EU calling for "more Europe" through Fiscal, Economic and Political union; in other words the United States of Europe.
The EU is on an inevitable path towards one of two equally unpleasant destinations. Either there will be a total financial catastrophe leading to a worldwide depression comparable to the 1930s or they will pull together to form an undemocratic, highly regulated European super state. Both of these options are disastrous for the British people.
The only alternative that will help us to build a more democratic, free society with a prosperous economy is withdrawal from the EU and all of its institutions. Our ties to the EU have been compared to being handcuffed to a corpse. If the EU survives and forms itself into a super state it will be more like being manacled to a crocodile, sooner or later we will be consumed.
If a philosophy of freedom, democracy and liberty combined with economic growth as a trader with the whole world appeals to you then the only realistic option is for the UK to leave the EU and to do it soon.
* Economic data courtesy of the Bruges Group