The European experiment needs to come to an end. Of course we want the strongest possible trading links with Europe, as we do the whole world. We can survive and indeed flourish as an independent trading country just like Norway and Switzerland.
The logic of being ruled by Europe is a nonsense. No one has voted for the enlargement of the political organisation.
We need to repatriate our sovereignty and trust in our own accountable parliament. EU law repeatedly gets in the way of us doing the right thing for our own citizens, often to prop up another country in Europe. Frankly we need to do what is right for Britain and if that means exiting from the EU then so be it.
We must all urge Mr Cameron to listen to Michael Gove who seems to be leading the eurosceptic movement.
Half of Britain’s exports go to the EU (and for my own company exports to Europe have risen steadily since 2008 reaching now 83% of total revenues versus only 17% in the UK). The cost to Britain of EU membership is trivial (about £15 per person per year, against £1,500-£3,500 in benefits from the single market), the European Commission’s 33,000 staff is tiny by comparison to any national bureaucracy (e.g. the DfT employs 18,000 staff and our roads and railways are a mess, the Ministry of Defence employs 80,000 civilian staff). EU rules are not “Brussels diktats” but proposed, and agreed, by the member states and only one-sixteenth of UK primary legislation stems from EU decisions. Please note that the EU is a hugely important force in keeping markets open and competitive.
Leaving the EU would be costly and painful. Many European states would hold a grudge against a country which, in their view, had selfishly left the EU. While the UK is an important market for the rest of the EU, accounting for about 11% of the rest of the EU’s trade, the UK’s trade with the EU is 50% of the UK’s total trade. Much of the foreign investment in Britain’s manufacturing would withdraw if the UK’s EU membership came under a serious thread. No prizes for guessing who would have the upper hand in such a negotiation. Countries like Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain et al would be happy to help them relocate factories like Toyota’s Sunderland plant et al. Any free trade agreement would have a price. In exchange for the privilege of access to the Single Market, Norway and Switzerland make major contributions to the EU’s cohesion funds. They also have to adopt EU standards – without having any say in how they are written. At the moment, Norway’s net contribution to the EU budget is actually higher, per capita, than Britain’s.
So think hard: the EU is a market of 500 million people who enjoy the highest average standard of living in the world. According to the IMF and the World Bank, Europe’s GDP is about 2.5 times than that of China and nine times that of India. Do you want to lose your privileged access to that market?
I’m curious as to where your statistics come from. Other sources cite significantly higher costs for EU participation – on the order of about £1000/person (www.democracymovementsurrey.co.uk/dyk_eucosts.html – source cited was Office for National Statistics “Pink Book”; other estimates are higher than that, when factoring in regulatory costs, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/6198708/EU-costs-Britain-118bn-a-year.html ).
It appears that you have taken only direct (net) costs into account (which seem to run at about £12-13 bn/year – which is still at least 10 times more than you have cited here at £15/person).
So, curious as to where the stats came from, and how they compare to what others are citing.
Even were ‘half our exports’ going to EU countries, that would not stop if we left. They need our trade much more than we need their’s.
Re costs of membership: a recent study by Prof. Tim Congdon calculated it costs the average household £5000 pa.
for a copy of the study email@example.com
“The logic of being ruled by Europe is a nonsense. ”
It is better to co-operate with neighbours in Europe than to live in a Europe where two world wars are started resulting in millions of deaths and vast cruelty.