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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This article suggests that the EU costs us directly £40 billion a year - £20 billion from EU regulatory costs, £15 billion for the Common Agricultural Policy & £5 billion our net cash payment. This is roughly 4% of GNP or £660 per head. Worth thinking about even though these figures come from a clearly committed source. The fact that the government refuses to give any contrary figures is indicative.

So should we stay.

Firstly the EU is often held up as having prevented war in Europe. I disagree. The reason FranGermanyrmany didn't go to war during the Cold war is that the USSR was the big player & anything else was irrelevant. To that extent the EU wbuttresstress to NATO rather than an opponent of conflict. Indeed the only war there has been in Europe is directly the EU's fault. The Yugoslav wars came about because Germany told the leaders of Slovenia, Croatia & Bosnia/Hercegovina that they would veto Yugoslav membership of the EU but support separatist states joining. There is however a serious military problem in Europe. The technological nature of war is now such that the relatively advanced nations of Europe could all produce & deliver their own WMDs. Since distances are so small this could give any one of about 30 countries a first strike capability against all the others. It may be inconceivable that anybody would ever do so but in war the inceivable happens. Thus we definitely need some restriction on our sovereignty.

Secondly, in my view, the thing that brought Europe to pre-eminence is its divisions. When Cheng Ho the Chinese explorer returned to China in the 1430s & found the Emperor's opinion had changed there was nobody else to supChinesehines exploration. When Christopher Columbus, 60 years later, found the king of Portugal would not support him he tried the king of France & then England & finally Spain because these options were open to him. A single dominating Eurogovernmentement able to control such things as GM & nuclear power destroys our greatest strength.

Thirdly the facts speak for themselves. The world's economy is growing at nearly 5%. Europe's at 2% per annum. We would be better to be tied to a rising rather than a falling region.
To go rather further on the question of how to bring this about I think it is worth saying that so long as we have our present electoral system whereby power lies, almost entirely, in whichever of 2 parties happens to have the larger vote, & within that among the party organisers it is (A) unlikely that the population will have the enthusiasm for British "democratic" institutions which would make them seriously more popular than Brussels & (B) people will have a serious chance to vote on these lines - currently anti-EU opinion sees their best chance as capturing the Tory party & using it as a vehicle for pulling out. I would suggest that they should, at least equally devote themselves to bringing about a proportional electroal system.This would producesome strange bedfellows (ie the Lib Dems & SNP0 but that is how majorities are built.


I agree wholeheartedly with your opposition to the argument that he EU helped to keep the European peace.

It's a Big Lie. The 20 American divisions in Germany were rather more effective peacekeepers.
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