Sunday, 5 December 2010

In Europe, but not run by Europe.

Remember that phrase? Its been chanted as a mantra by the Conservatives for decades. The concept being to fool the public into thinking we're still only loosely connected to the EU.

Of course the reality is different, with thousnads of directives spewing forth from Brussels an d Strasbourg, all of which directly affect our lives and none of which our government can oppose. Of course if you start do rail against the great United Europe project, you're met with the phrase above. If you look closely and provide proof that we are in fact run by Europe, the secondary line of we're better off in the EU than out of it gets trotted out. Immediately you get tales of dire consequences: of barriers to trade being put up, of increased costs due to dissimilar currencies, etc, etc.

But lookm at Switzerland: they are in Europe, but are not in the European Union. Yet, even surrounded on all sides by members of the EU, they continue to survive and thrive economically. They have no need to hand over their governmental powers to the EU, as they're doing alright thank you very much.

In fact just a few days ago, US based firm Kraft announced that a number of key jobs would be moved to Switzerland, effectively moving the head office offshore in order to gain a tax advantage. How can this be? How can a company with its manufacturing base in an EU country save money by moving outside the EU? Isn't this exactly what we've been told would increase costs? Isn't this the sort of thing we are constantly warned against every time a vote comes around to increase or tighten EU powers in this country?

So, given that one company at least thinks its better off trading across EU borders rather than trading within them, would we really be worse off outside the EU?

Would we increase costs by extracting ourselves from the EU? I seriously doubt it as we can save the cost of EU membership immediately. Subsequent to our extraction we can repeal some of the stupid directives from the EU that indirectly add costs to our lives. Would trading with EU countries be more difficult? I doubt it, as China continues to trade huge volumes with the EU from outside EU borders.

I really can't see a downside. All I need is a chance to vote on it. Fat chance of that while Parliament is filled with EU yes-men. Where's the democracy in that? Its about time an anti-EU voice was heard there.

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