Monday, 13 May 2013


I don't think many will disagree with the observation that the EU is flawed, I would go so far as to say fatally so.

Over the weekend I was listening to a phone-in program where callers were giving their opinions on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU. The oft-repeated mantra from the pro lobby was that the EU is our largest trading bloc and to leave would do irreparable harm to trade. What not one of the pro-EU lobby was able to do was to say specifically what trade would be lost or name the harming mechanism.

Trade is dictated by supply and demand. The mantra is meaningless unless backed up by facts - you can just say; "It goes without saying....". Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Lichtenstein - they all manage to survive on the fringes of the EU, and I doubt they have more trade with non-EU than EU countries. Non-membership of the EU is not the death-knell of trade.

Forget not that we have the benefit of the Commonwealth and can create our own trading bloc, having less overlap in goods and services than the EU could ever enjoy, and thus we wouldn't be competing to trade in goods that most member states have in abundance already.

The only casualty from a departure from the EU would be the hundreds of Euro MPs and their gravy train.


  1. totally agree: was never one for it in the first place !

  2. I'm pro European integration but trade wouldn't be top of my list of benefits; absence of catastrophic wars every generation would be top of my list.

  3. Good God, I've not read stuff like this since the stuff put out by the League of Empire Loyalists in the 1950s and 1960s! "Forget not that we have the benefits of the commonwealth!!!" - you are having us on surely. And like Steve, I am another that disagrees with your first sentence and that, I guess, puts us in a majority.

    1. Alan - I'm still waiting for the reason trade with the EU would be decimated?

    2. I never said that it would be - the plain truth is that nobody knows if it would decline or by how much. But in order to continue to trade with the EU we would have to still meet all the EU standards (like, for example, Norway has to do) thus many of the laws that the EU forces onto us would have to remain in place but we would have no say in them. The whole point about the EU is political, always has been, always will be - that's why it is the European Union and not the Common Market. I do think that there is a powerful economic rationale (and comments on comments are not ideal for expressing it) but fundamentally it is a political undertaking, and a political undertaking I support.

    3. As we have to abide by American laws on goods we ship to the USA – no change there. But without the huge amount of money we have to pump into the vastly bloated system that keeps its bureaucracy afloat.

      If the organisation could sign off its accounts, that would be a plus!