Friday, 20 May 2016

The Reality of the EU Referendum

While the political and wealthy elites along with large vested interest institutions inundate us lesser mortals with their arguments for remaining in or leaving the EU the reality is neither argument holds up and, in the end, there will be very little difference for anyone whether or not we are in the EU.

From the Remain Camp we get tales of impending economic doom, with hinted threats of recession and spiralling unemployment. Yet, those European countries who are outside the EU, such as Switzerland and Norway, have better rates of economic growth than the EU as a whole and unemployment rates much lower than the EU and even the UK. So the argument for impending economic doom certainly can’t be backed up by real world evidence.

On the flip side, the Leave camp tell us we will have all this extra money in the economy because we will not be giving it to Brussels. Again a false argument. Outside of the EU Britain will need a veritable army of new civil servants to negotiate and maintain the mountain of new trade agreements needed and the British Government will need to subsidise those areas of business and research that currently receive EU subsidies in order for those businesses and institutions to remain competitive and viable. So the likely benefit of any leftover savings will, at best, be negligible.

Then there is the Remain camp’s security argument, which plummeted to the depths of absurdity when David Cameron claimed it could lead to World War Three. The referendum is about the European Union, not NATO. Within Europe the principle forum for joint defence and security agreements is NATO, an organisation which absolutely nobody has suggested we should leave. It is also nonsensical to suggest that Police and Security forces will cease to cooperate with each other just because the UK is no longer a member of the EU.

The Leave camp tell us Britain will be able to control immigration if we leave the EU. Another fallacy, just because we are not in the EU it will not deter illegal immigrants from trying to enter the UK, the camps outside Calais will remain, and people traffickers will still try to benefit from those seeking the economic benefits of living in the UK. As for legal migration, that will continue because any new trade agreement with the EU will have to include free movement of people because it is equally important the British citizens can work and live freely in the EU states.

The reality is that the whole debate on whether to Leave or Remain is just an ideological rift between those who hold power and hinges on where the power actually lies. It has nothing to do with the lives of the citizens of Britain who will be unlikely to see any real change whatever the outcome of the referendum.   

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