Plenary Speech: The Future of the EU



Plenary Speech Jan 15th

Mr. President:  It seems that Chancellor Faymann understands some of the problems that the EU is facing.  But his solution is ‘More Europe”.  This is the triumph of hope over experience, of ideological prejudice over everyday reality.

The fact is that the EU is in long-term relative decline.  In 1990, it accounted for around 30% of global GDP.  Today that figure is around 20%.  By 2050, it could be down to 10% — or less if we stick with emissions targets that would hardly sustain a primitive agrarian economy.

The reasons for this decline are not hard to find.

First of all, the EU is a Customs Union.  But Customs Unions are an old-fashioned, sub-optimal, 19th-Century trade model, which is why virtually no one else in the world has one.

Secondly, the EU’s Customs Union is overlaid by the deadweight of hugely expensive and onerous regulation, which is squeezing the lifeblood out of industry.  European regulation is credibly estimated to cost £100 billion a year — and that’s just in the UK!

Thirdly, we have an energy policy which is giving Europe the most expensive energy in the world, and is undermining competitiveness.  It is driving energy-intensive businesses off-shore, along with their jobs and investment.  It is forcing households and pensioners into fuel poverty.  Yet it is failing to cut emissions.

You are squandering money on wind farms (which by the way Chancellor are wholly unsustainable).  You are mortgaging our grandchildren, yet achieving nothing at all.

Then fourthly, we have disaster of the Single Currency, described by former British Chancellor Lord Lawson as “the most irresponsible political adventure of the post-war era”.

Mr. Barroso says that the worst of the €uro crisis is over.  Don’t you believe it!  Nothing you have done will address the massive imbalance of competitiveness between the North and South.  It will take more that a few ad-hoc bail-outs to solve the problem.  You’d need massive, permanent fiscal transfers from North to South.

But German tax-payers won’t tolerate that, and Southern voters won’t tolerate the grinding poverty and austerity and unemploy­ment you’re seeking to impose on them.  The €uro is unsustainable in its present form.

The EU itself may break up.  You already have a divisive policy for fiscal and banking consolidation in the €urozone, which is driving a wedge between the €urozone and the rest.

In my country, the UK, there is increasing opposition to EU membership.  The Prime Minister seeks to appease this opposition by demanding repatriation of powers.  But his demands will not be welcome in Brussels, and will not satisfy the people either.

The voters have understood that EU membership is making us poorer and less democratic and less free.  The people want freedom, and independence, and democracy.  They have concluded, rightly, that we shall be Better Off Out.

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9 Responses to Plenary Speech: The Future of the EU

  1. Phil J says:

    Bloody well said sire!

  2. Ray Warman says:

    Brilliant summary, but are the bigoted fools listening or rearranging deckchairs?

  3. Avellana says:

    I agree with all you have said Roger. Succint, honest and representative. A rare thing in political speeches these days. Many in the EU must be privately agreeing but perhaps it has to get a lot worse for these ‘demented glove puppets’.

  4. mikestallard says:

    As usual this is straight to the point.

    I do not think you convinced Mr Verhofstadt on the face of it.
    I do not think the chamber was full.
    I do not think that anyone really took what you said to heart either.

    So where does that leave us?
    Well, all those who want to repatriate powers or who want to negotiate have got another think coming. They assume (makes an ass out of you and me) that the European and British parliaments are the same: full of nice people who want to discuss and do the best for their country. A sort of golf club.

    Cassandra was not much listened to either. Nor was Cato (Carthago delenda est) Nor was Winston Churchill in the 1930s…….

    • Thanks Mike. Verhofstadt made a fool of himself. Someone said he was “well lunched”. I was substituting for Nigel Farage, and there were probably no more than 70 or 80 MEPs spread around the chanber. Typical — although they do have other work to do.

      • mikestallard says:

        I think I was able to catch the speech on Dan Hannan’s blog. I am very privileged to follow both of you regularly.
        If we are talking about the same speech, I fully agree!

        PS I have written a summary of the current developments for the Times Educational Website which, I really do hope, is fair. 31 views in two days and 18 downloads. That means that 18 schools are showing the presentation.

  5. maureen gannon says:

    Roger I can only reiterate the other posts, great speech but noone listens , anymore than our traitorous parliament listen to the people. ..

  6. Martin Wigginton says:

    Yes, of course, an extremely good speech, as we have come to expect from RH. Would that all (ill-informed) commentators and journalists take the message on board. There is no chance the BBC will acknowledge or broadcast any part of RH’s speech, however.

  7. mikestallard says:

    Last night (Thursday), at our English class for immigrants, we got our first Greeks from Cyprus. We also had a Portuguese Secondary School Teacher who has come over to find work – in a local factory.

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