24 May 2016

Why I Want a "Leave" Vote in the #EURef

I'd love to stay in a reformed European Union. I really would. The problem is that it just doesn't want to reform, and will never reform. In fact, the famous debate in 1990 where Thatcher went "no, no, no" is still relevant. And it's not just me. There are those on the Left who want to leave. There are those who believe in globalisation, so want to leave. And anyone who believes in democracy should want to leave the EU.


The first big problem with the organisation is... er, where the hell is it? It's not like Westminster, where you can stroll up to Parliament and say "this is the British parliament". There are over 90 EU buildings in Brussels alone, as well as a lot more in Strasbourg and Luxembourg. So, straight off the bat, it's not transparent enough to be held accountable. 

Now, we all know how British elections work in a constituency. Once every five years, you put a cross on a paper, they're all counted up, and we declare a new Prime Minister. Straightforward. Now, if you try to explain how the EU works without researching it beforehand, then I'll give you £5. There are several main institutions, and, again, £5 to anyone who can tell me the difference without researching it.

What is the difference between the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Commission, and the European Parliament?

There are four Presidents of the EU, for crying out loud. And again, £5 if you can tell me the difference between them without research. This is getting expensive. In fact, Labour MP Kate Hoey says that "I wouldn't profess to understand the detail of how it all works".

Now, who's in charge of the EU?


Well, name the British Prime Minister. Yep, that's him: David Cameron. Now, name the four Presidents of the EU. Er... um... ah... no... er... no, I'm stuck.

And so that leads us to just how unaccountable the EU really is. I can name two of my MEPs in London, and I don't even know how many represent me. In fact, I'm not sure anyone aside from me knows who their MEPs are. Some friends of mine have even said "what is an MEP?" And that's because MEPs are completely useless - not as people, but in terms of power (the one MEP I know personally is a nice man). The European Parliament cannot propose legislation, initiate legislation, or repeal legislation. It has a strong claim to being the most useless parliament in the world. Only the European Commission can do these things.

Once something is European law, there is NOTHING that can be done to change it.

The European Commission debate laws in secret and we cannot access their deliberations. Jonathan Hill is the Brit on this panel - no, not the ex-Fulham football coach - and no one's ever heard of him in this country. What's more, no one ever voted for him. 

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the European Union is not undemocratic, but anti-democratic.

As a result, because they're not accountable, let's have a look at the Brussels gravy train (courtesy of investigations by "Brexit: The Movie"). The following are all inside the EU and open to EU people only: a shopping centre; a hair salon; a sports centre; a sauna; and a massage parlour. In fact, 10,000 Eurocrats are paid more than David Cameron - 1 in 5 of everyone who works for the EU. Yep, they employ a staggering 50,000 people.

But here's yet another list of allowed expenses for EU officials: relocation allowance; household allowance; family allowance; entertainment allowance; private healthcare allowance; private education (for your children) allowance; viagra. MEPs get, on top of this: £250 per day for turning up; £41,000 per year for phone and computer bills; £225,000 per year to cover staffing costs; a lower rate of tax. This is what led to Nigel Farage's expenses scandal.

People also talk a lot about the UK's 'influence' within the EU. Well, the UK has voted against the European Council 72 times, and has been defeated on every single occasion. In addition, only 3.6% of European Commission officials actually come from the UK. So no, we don't have any "influence", and we cannot hold it accountable.

The anti-EU scenes we see in Athens and so on are markedly similar to what we saw in the 1970s in the UK. Strikes, strikes, and more strikes. What we see is the people saying one thing and the Eurocrats saying another, and since the European Parliament is powerless, it is no more than a flowery gesture. Europeans voted in a bunch of far-right parties into it in 2014 to indicate a protest. You could make the argument UKIP counts here too, seeing as it was the first time anyone other than the Conservatives or Labour won a national election since 1910.

The EU could propose the slaughtering of the first born and probably get it through. That's just how undemocratic and anti-democratic the EU really is.


Now, not only does the EU give lots of our money to the Arts in the UK (which is why they're all in favour of a remain vote, the BBC included), they've also destroyed industries altogether. The European Union's quotas system has meant that the UK's fishing waters have been divided up with other nation states, and the British government was powerless to stop this happening. This means that the fisheries in particularly the North East of England are losing out - The Netherlands have rights to an area approximately 3 miles off the coast of the River Tyne. When the non-EU countries, such as Norway, are selling their fish to us, we know we're in trouble. In fact, the EU has even tried to pay off British fishermen to destroy their boats! They foresaw the negative impacts on the UK economy that were to be caused, which makes such a policy even more ridiculous.

Now, a bit of background. Germany and Britain, at different stages, embraced free market policies and saw huge booms in their economies, albeit with a slight time lag. Germany's post-war recovery, free of government intervention, was dubbed an "economic miracle". By contrast, the post-war UK economy consisted of a paternalistic and failing government. There was even a governmental advice video saying that one should leave 18 inches between chairs and furniture. It took nearly 10 years for rationing to go. The economy grew a little, but it had such a low base after the war it was virtually impossible for it to reduce further. What's better to look at was inflation, rationing, and beaurocratism. In the 1970s, we were called the 'sick man of Europe'. When the UK finally adopted the free market in the 1980s, we haven't returned to how it was beforehand, so this is clearly the way forward.

We should have seen what was coming when we signed up to the EEC. Firstly, the architect wasn't German, he was French, and had spent much of the war advising the British government to implement a lot of the regulations that led to the 1970s disaster. Secondly, Ted Heath signed a document so big it required two strong men to carry it. Nowadays, there is so much regulation that (aside from the environmental effects of having so much paper) if one tried to codify it, the regulations would be as high as Nelson's Column. Even the EU themselves won't say how many laws there are.

Only 6% of British businesses export to the continent, so let's have a look at some of the rulings and laws that affect daily life and that domestic firms must abide to even though there's no reason to seeing as they do not export to the continent:

If you can't play the video above, there's a total of over 20,000 laws experienced between the time you wake up and the time you get in your car. [Caution: you may be about to see something Left wing on this blog...] Big businesses don't particularly mind regulation. After all, it keeps the small people out and has the power to lobby for bigger regulations and corrupt the EU at its very cores - note the plural.

In fact, there have been some ridiculous regulations imposed by the EU:

- Bananas must be a certain weight and bendiness
- Children cannot blow up balloons
- Cucumbers must be a certain shape
- You can't eat your pet horse, but you can eat someone else's

Yes, the 6% of firms will need to abide by EU regulations, but similarly, anyone who exports to the US needs to abide by US regulations, anyone who exports to China needs to abide by Chinese regulations... yadda yadda etc etc.


Small failing firms cannot compete with their rivals in developing nations. The answer? To stop the UK and other EU nations from trading with such nations, the EU has imposed tariffs, quotas, and regulations. This means that the developing world cannot improve, nor can we import cheaper. This is why the Remain side cry "but we trade with the EU a lot". Because there are no alternatives.

In 1990 Thatcher predicted that "a totally protectionist policy [...] would lead to retaliation against us, reduce the capability of our export industries and therefore our standard of living, and make our industries inefficient and therefore cost the housewife a great deal more. I note also that [people complain] about goods entering Britain from Third world countries where wages are far lower. I have heard [them] say several times [...] that Third world countries need help. They need trade as much as they need aid."

She was right.

Protectionism is only necessary to protect failed industries. The EU is effectively a locked-off country, not willing to trade with anyone else. Cheaper goods give us, consumers, more money - and if we're not willing to trade with anyone outside of the little "band" that is the EU, then that's what happens. Prices have gone up. The consumer has lost out. Living standards have been squeezed. The poor have got poorer.

If we are going to help the Third World, then we need to start trading with them. Think of African producers who can't even sell their goods to us so get no money at all. The third world needs trade as much as it needs aid. And if we think that we can't get foodstuff from Africa, then what are we? And it wouldn't eradicate the UK's economy. Some people in this country (well, my mother did, anyway), always like to "buy British" when possible. So the UK economy would not be eradicated as the Remain side are scaremongering people into telling us.

In fact, the EU is so protectionist that it engaged in a one-way buffer stock scheme, where the government artificially controls supply so that the price is what they want. The EU bought so much produce off the market and allowed it to rot, creating an artificial shortage and higher prices. This led to the infamous "wine lakes" and "butter mountains":

EU protectionism adds between 10% and 20% to the cost of food.

But if you're protecting something so key, such as steel, then this has a knock-on effect to other industries. So not only is the steel industry affected, then so is, basically, the entire manufacturing industry. Tate & Lyle, a sugar company, also suffer for the same reason in the sugar industry. This has cost thousands of jobs and a downsize of 50% in the last six years. In fact, such policies cost the company about £80m per year. 

So not only are consumers and producers losing out, but in the long term the protected firm will lose out too. Protecting a firm does not make it more competitive. It is nothing more than a bit of a giveaway. The firm needs reform and throwing money at them won't help. The problem gets worse... and worse. Tariffs on foodstuffs are approximately 12% and manufactured goods 4%. If we leave, is that really such a big price to pay for the 6% of British firms that do export to the EU? No.

The EU is now an economic basket case. Every continent in the world (Antarctica aside) is now outgrowing Europe. The Chinese are leading the way, smashing down the shackles of communism to open up their borders to trade and we've seen the results. Other ex-communist nations are doing the same thing - Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Armenia, Montenegro, Serbia, etc... The EU is the only declining trade bloc in the world. We have shackled ourselves to it.

And now the big question....


One word: Switzerland.

1 - Zurich is the wealthiest city in the world and has the highest quality of life in the world. 
2 - Switzerland has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with many countries in the world.
3 - Swiss exports per head are five times higher than ours.
4 - Swiss unemployment is 4.5%; the EU is 10.2%.
5 - Many leading firms are based there - and it's not in the EU!
6 - GDP per capita is approximately twice as high as the UK.
7 - Average wages are higher than the UK.
8 - It is a more equal country, and high taxes are not existent here. Taxing the rich does not automatically make the poor richer, it drags everyone down to a poor level.

And people say that becoming another Switzerland is a bad thing.

Indeed, Swiss economists say that non-membership of the EU is the sole reason as to why they're doing so well. It's more democratic than the UK (let alone the EU), is one of the least regulated in the world, and even the EU admit Switzerland is ridiculously innovative.

"Ah", I hear you shout, "but won't we need a trade deal?" Er... no. Go to your local shop and note where all the goods are from. Even the import tariffs won't stop people importing from non-EU countries at the moment. But we have no trade deals with some of these countries... and that's the thing. YOU DON'T NEED TRADE DEALS TO TRADE. 

But fear not, Remainers, for the EU will want trade deals with us anyway. The EU is desperate to keep the goods flowing into the UK. How many Audis, Volkswagens, BMWs are there on our streets? We are the biggest market for the rest of the EU. We need self-belief and self-confidence. They need us more than we need them. And because we don't need trade deals to trade, we hold all the negotiating cards.

But trade deals are still useful. However, the EU are rubbish at them. The GDP of the countries with which the EU has trade deals with combines to £5trn. But Switzerland's are nearly six times that at £29trn, Singapore seven times the EU at £35trn, and South Korea nine times at £45trn. Tiny Chile has trade deals with countries whose GDP sums to £50trn! Even if you add to the EU the value of its own internal market, you're still only on £18trn.

Leaving the EU would mean we could race through some of these deals. Even Obama's "back of the queue" comment is meaningless considering we'd be only second in line. There's so much potential in the UK economy shackled by the EU. And we're already seeing new firms, new businesses in the UK. Over 400,000 new businesses in the last five years. And leaving the EU and such shackles could cause rapid expansion and the end to the oligopolistic firms in energy, transport, and so on. We can do it.


OK, there are some benefits to the EU. Cheaper phone rates, fags, holidays, and booze abroad. But that's really not worth all of the cons.

Do we want to be governed by an anti-democratic organisation that can impose laws, rules, and regulations on us? A vote for the European project? For greater political integration? For an economic basket case?

There will be no second referendum, despite what Farage may say. This is an unbelievable opportunity. And we need to grasp it by both hands to create the better Britain everybody wants.

Let's vote against anti-democratism.
Let's vote against overregulation.
Let's vote for a better Britain.
Let's vote leave.

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