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Friday, October 11, 2013

Why The EU Is An Hideous Aberation

   Pleased to say that my speech at the Glasgow University EU debate is now up at ThinkScotland. Read the whole thing and please put any comments there. This is a slightly edited version:

Professor Tim Congdon, one of Britain's leading economists and I acknowledge, a prominent member of UKIP, has calculated the EU costs as follows:

1% of GDP is what we actually pay over. Some of that is returned to spend in Britain but not spent in a way that significantly increases GDP;

3¼% to CAP and other EU protectionism

¼% lost because the open UK labour market allowed 700,000 Eastern Europeans into the UK, taking away jobs of over 100,000 UK-residents

¼% lost to waste - CFP and others, involves fish discard and effective ‘gift’ to other nations; etc

¼% to costs of ‘benefits tourism’ and such but, most importantly;

EU commissioner Gunter Verheugen in 2006 said in an interview that EU regulation costs 5.5% of GDP. That was then and regulation has considerably increased since, so 6% now.

Thus Professor Congdon concludes – 11% of our potential GDP is lost through EU membership – £170 billion.

The BBC, despite its legal charter commitment to impartiality has censored mention of Verheugen's vital admission or Congdon’s calculation ...... no significant europhile has ever even attempted an arithmetical criticism of this calculation......

But that isn't the end of it. Those in power regularly blame our recession on the "world recession" but there is no world recession. The EU is the only zone in recession   it is.... 6% for the non-EU world.
Indeed the Commonwealth is undergoing annual growth of a magnificent 7.3%. The Commonwealth precisely because it is a mixture of developed and undeveloped countries is an inherently better trading zone than the EU. When we abandoned it in 1974, it made it up 10% of world GDP, barely a third of the current EU countries but this year its total GDP is moving upwards, is passing the EU's going in the opposite direction. Far from gaining benefits we have chained ourselves to a sinking ship.
But that isn't the end of it. The growth disparity is increasing fast because the regulatory burden ratchets only one way. Nobody expects the EU to achieve serious growth in the near future or perhaps at all. If that 6% annual growth continues for 12 years the rest of the world economy will double. If it continues for 36 years (when students at the university I spoke at would be at their career peaks) the world economy will be 8 times what it is now and we will be part of the underdeveloped bit.

There are a couple of reasons why the EU doesn't and cannot ever work.

Firstly we have no demos – no common primary loyalty of the people to the EU rather than the separate nationalities. That means that the only thing that does, or can, hold us together is the bureaucracy. Which is why we end up with such expensive and destructive bureaucracy.
It may also explain why Eurocrats feel it useful to scare us and have eagerly endorsed scare stories – from the 1970s Club of Rome, who promised we would run out of resources in the 1990s, through acid rain (which is now quietly accepted as transmuting into ammonia fertiliser), to the present scare about CO2 which increases crop growth by 20%.

Secondly the EU runs contrary to our history. Europe led the world because Europe consisted of small states in competition so ideas and innovation could not be stifled by any one ruler. In 1433, Cheng Ho returned to China, his fleet having explored the entire Indian ocean but an anti-technology party had the emperor's ear and he stopped exploration dead. China withdrew on itself. Half a century later, when Columbus got a knock back from the king of Portugal he could go to the kings of France, England and finally Spain – and for 500 years Europe led the world.....

Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy and Europe in the age of exploration. Again and again progress, often magnificent progress is made; freedom maintained where there are separate, law respecting, trading states; where common culture extends beyond the state; where dissidents like Descartes could move from France to Sweden rather than be silenced. This has been the glory of Europe. Now we see China, ponderously, moving towards freedom while we are ruled by progressively stifling mandarins.

Which brings me to the one allegedly "beneficial" effect of the EU I want to end with.
In December 2007 there was an EU debate in Glasgow University Union. Robin Harper, then Green leader carefully explained to us why the "Green" movement had gone 180 degrees from "small is beautiful" to enthusiastic support of the EU superstate. It was, he explained, because they had come to realise that only the massive bureaucratic regulatory system of the EU could stop the "continuous economic expansion" we were, back then, suffering from.

It worked. It surely did.

If you believe that the prime duty of government is to enforce recession; to ensure that the future is poorer than the past; to rob future generations of their birthright; then you should recognise and endorse the idea that the EU has had that "beneficial" effect.

If like UKIP & I, you believe in human progress; that the potential for progress of free human beings has barely been scratched and that it is not merely wrong but evil of the state to try and stifle human progress then you can only conclude that the EU's impoverishment of us all has been a hideous aberration and we should rejoin the march of progress.


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