Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A few of the benefits of staying in the EU

Through the post today, I received a leaflet from UKIP, which I actually read. I'm going to go through, point by point, why I disagree with what I disagree with.

  1. Spend the £30m a day that we pay the EU out of our taxes - on new hospitals
    and schools and higher pensions.
  2. Thousands of jobs would be regained when we regain our fishing waters, and
    fish would be cheaper.
  3. Remove the threat of the EU Lisbon Treaty and keep full control of our
    courts and our army.
  4. Without Brussels red tape, British business would boom and create more
  5. We could stop unlimited EU immigration and make it easier to deport

That was the front page. My response:

1. Open Europe, a Eurosceptic think tank estimates that over the period 2007-13, the UK will make a net contribution of €57bn. This amounts to €26m a day, or about £24m. Perhaps UKIP has some other data, but they don't cite it. I'm citing a Eurosceptic organistation that debunks a UKIP lie. That £24m a day is £8.6bn a year, which is not nothing, but amounts to less than 5% of our DEFICIT, let alone our budget. Small fry, in other words.

2. The EU's common fisheries policy has lead to OVERFISHING in all EU waters. Allowing the UK to set its own target will only reduce the surviving fish (tragedy of the commons) and the UK's fleet would also be excluded from EU waters. If we got cheaper fish, it would only be for 3-4 years before they started becoming scarce.

3. I don't perceive the Lisbon Treaty as a threat. The European Court of Human Rights is a superb institution, which we would have to be crazy to leave. The additional European courts complement, rather than supplant our own. Also, since the Falklands, when did Britain last enter war without allies, and why would we want to?

4. A more fashionable view is that too little regulation led us to where we find ourselves, namely in the midst of a massive recession. I wonder where they think the finance would come from, to fund this boom. China, perhaps?

5. True, but undesirable. The free movement of people is the EU's single greatest sucess, in my view (it is one of the things that makes war unthinkable).

Later pages will be analysed in future posts

**UPDATE (16/05/2009): In their Party Political Broadcast for the upcoming local elections, Nigel Farage (UKIP) claimed that the Eu is taking £40m per day from Britain. Obviously, being a Party Political Broadcast, there is no sourcing of this information, but it further extends the difference between truth and claim.**

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