Time to Say NO

Civitas has produced absolutely the best and clearest case for British withdrawal from the EU that I have ever seen.  It is astonishingly credible and concise.  You can read the main body of it in a quarter of an hour, though the appendices would take longer.  The appendices themselves, packed with statistics, are a vital resource for all involved in the great EU debate.  The paper is written by Ian Milne, who has a distinguished track record as a commentator on EU affairs.

Milne presents trade statistics that clearly show the declining relevance of the EU to Britain’s position in the world.  He points out that the EU’s share of global GDP and world trade is set to halve by 2050 — while the rest of the world will grow.  Much of that growth, fortuitously, will come in the Commonwealth, which we have shamefully ignored since our accession to Europe.

Some say that the costs of EU membership are worth it for access to the Single Market.  Milne retorts that credible estimates of the cost of membership (including regulatory costs) actually exceed the value of our UK exports to the EU 26 (EU minus the UK).  He notes that the EU structure (a Customs Union with a Single Market bolted on) has not been emulated anywhere else in the world.  In fact Customs Unions are an idea whose time has come and gone.  Milne says that the costs of collecting duties under the Common External Tariff exceed the amount of duty collected.  It is a pointless exercise.

The paper summarises the likely impact on key economic sectors of leaving the EU, and concludes that most would benefit and none would be significantly harmed.  He points out that just about all credible Cost/Benefit analyses of EU membership show that costs outweigh benefits — as did the Swiss government study in their case.  Our government refuses a formal Cost/Benefit analysis, presumably because it knows what the answer would be. The paper goes on to analyse the post-EU options, which loosely speaking are European Economic Area (EEA); EFTA (like Norway and Switzerland); or leaving altogether.

I have always argued that on leaving the EU, the UK would certainly be able to negotiate a free trade deal with the rump-EU.  It turns out that we don’t even need to do that.  As signatories of the EEA Treaty, we would remain at least to start with in the EEA, and therefore in a free trade deal with the EU, automatically.  We may decide not to remain permanently in the EEA — Milne makes a strong case that leaving altogether is the best option — but at least on leaving the EU we should have a free trade deal in place pro tem, without having to negotiate it.

Milne’s last section “The Road to Self-Government” is a sheer delight.  It consists of a draft letter to be sent jointly by the British Prime Minister and the Leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, to EU heads of state and others, in the aftermath of a NO vote in an EU Referendum, informing them of the nation’s decision and setting out the steps we propose to take to facilitate the transfer to full independence.  He refers to the effective date when the transition is completed as “I-Day”.

If I could suggest just one slight improvement, I’d go the whole hog and call it what it will be: “Independence Day”.  If you care about the prosperity of our country and the survival of British democracy, please read this paper.

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10 Responses to Time to Say NO

  1. I have been asking this simple question for some weeks; “What would happen if we actually left the EU?”
    I have been looking for a paper like this therefore.
    Thank you – I can’t stop – off to read it!

  2. scottspeig says:

    Erm, don’t suppose you could put a link to the report in there somewhere could you? I’m gonna have to search for it now! Grrr

  3. Mike Spilligan says:

    About 8 years ago I was still, marginally, in favour of EU membership, but slowly at first, and then increasingly quickly I realised how I (along with many others) had been fooled.
    As a nation, and perhaps as individuals where we can, we ought to say “no” to everything where the EU is behind it. Part of the problem is that we don’t always know when that is. Taking HS42 as an example, when it was first proposed it seemed that it emanated from the SoS for Transport – but we now know that it’s part of a European “grande projet” – and we have to like it, whether we can afford the extra debt or not.
    I shall read the Civitas paper asap.

  4. Roger WHy have you not crossed the floor to UKIP ,it is the only logical thing to do.And if you read and watch TV as much as I do,and comment on blogs,I am 66 and retired.You can cross reference the anti EU logic from lots of sources [EVEN the Bolshevik BC] Monday night CH 4 “GREEK FOR A WEEK”
    RT “Especially”,Chines official saying LAZY AND INDOLENT EU WORKERS,Brazilian economist and east expert saying the BRICS are decoupling themselves from the EU and USA as they are ‘FINISHED’.How Merkozy would like to stealth bomb
    RT except they would then have to deal with PUTIN or Al Jazeera and that would be another LIBYA maybe and upset the whole GULF.

  5. Hugh Eveleigh says:

    Thank you for this. I have now joined Civitas (I have to admit I nearly did so last year). What are we going to do without you Roger? eh?

  6. L G says:

    Link to article please

  7. Sean O'Hare says:

    Judging by some of the comments from our antipodean cousins I have read on various EU related blogs recently I don’t think we can be too sure on much on them taking up the slack if/when we do manage to extract ourselves from this EU nightmare. They are still very very sore at being abandoned by Britain when we joined the UK. I’ve tried arguing that we still buy a significant amount of goods from Australia and New Zealand despite EU imposed tariffs, but the resentment remains solid.

  8. Pingback: EU Politics - Hamsterwheel - Page 43 - PPRuNe Forums

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