Helena Morrissey: “Let’s leave the EU”


I was hugely encouraged by the Sunday Telegraph article by Helena Morrisey,  Chief Executive Officer of Newton Investment and founder of the 30% Club,  which aims to increase the representation of women on corporate boards.

Time was when it was an article of faith amongst captains of industry that EU membership was a Good Thing, and inevitable, and an advantage for British Industry — and anyone who disagreed was simply out of touch with reality.  But in recent years, more and more folk in the City have started to realise that EU membership is the problem, not the solution.  Although Helena Morrissey is committed to promoting women in business, she absolutely rejects the Proposals of Commissioner Viviane Reding to make quotas mandatory.  “I wouldn’t want to be part of a board because I’m filling a quota”, she says.

She urges decision-making closer to the coal-face — not in the remote and unaccountable committee rooms of the BerlaymontBuilding.  The EU’s “subsidiarity” concept is supposed to address this concern, but in practice fails to do so.  It’s there to talk about, not to influence decisions.  Indeed (speaking as an old cynic) I’d say it’s there to create a spurious impression of devolved decision-making, where none in fact exists.

I was particularly struck by one line from Ms. Morrissey’s piece: “Personal experience of (women’s quotas proposals and) other policy issues leaves me concerned that the authorities’ desire to be proven right may outweigh their motivation to do the right thing”.  She mentions this particularly with regard to the €uro project, which “they are determined to defend at whatever social cost in Greece, Portugal and Spain”.  She is of course, absolutely right.  The €uro is currently being maintained by little more that the politicians’ fear of losing face.  It’s a new twist on the Concorde fallacy.  “We’ve invested so much political capital in the €uro that we can’t change course now”.  They know they’re wrong, but they can’t find a face-saving escape route.

Our own government is little better.  Cameron has seen the numbers.  He knows that Brussels’ “Green” Policies, plus the 2008 Climate Change Act, are a disaster for Britain and the EU, driving industry and jobs and investment out of Europe while doing nothing for the environment.  But he can’t admit he was wrong.  He knows that the economic case for HS2 is falling apart almost as fast as the cost estimates are going up — but he can’t back down.

If only a few of our politicians had the courage to say, just once in a while, “I’m afraid I got this wrong”.

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7 Responses to Helena Morrissey: “Let’s leave the EU”

  1. David says:

    Helena is right, and so are you Roger.
    Nuff said

  2. Charles Wardrop says:

    The only excuse for Cameron is that the Liberal non-democrats and Sir Humpfrey types would find changes of policy re EU and Climate Change Acts so unpalatable they might threaten to break the wretched Coalition, though they and Cameron are doing that already!

  3. Chris says:

    The City is realising that the EU is not its friend. They’ve gone after banker bonuses, which is the realm of the bank’s board and shareholders and not the EU. They are going to introduce the Tobin tax, which will indirectly affect London even though the UK will not impose it.

    And the latest government figures show that the UK’s gross contribution to the EU is now £20 billion per year or £54.8 million a day.

  4. ps3person says:

    I believe I shared exactly these sentiments in commenting on your recent letter on education!

  5. Mike Spilligan says:

    On quotas: Only if all jobs and appointments have quotas. In my locality we’ve had unusually high activity in “road work” (underneath and on top) in recent months, and I didn’t note one woman being involved among the scores of men. That can’t be right. Why isn’t Harriet H vocal on this?
    On the CCA and HS2: Someone at sometime is going to have to “pull the plug” and Cameron, plus his inner circle, want to make sure they are far enough away to avoid the results of the reaction. How can anyone make sure that the guilty men and women don’t “get away with it” and are highlighted as “guilty for life”?

  6. B Hough says:

    We should never have `stabbed` the commonwealth in the back by aligning ourselves with the EU.
    The EU in my opinion is, and always was, a stepping stone to a German Empire.
    The time will come when the Brussels HQ becomes the Berlin HQ, Greece can see it, why do our politicians not? Because their priority is lining their pockets from lucrative long term positions within the EU when their political life in this country is over, as we have seen with Tony Blair and others. At least Angela Merkel is a patriot and looking after German interests, they are already the strongest country within the EU. What manufacturing base do we now have? Why do we not make our own wind turbines ( if we need them at all ) why not make our own wheelie bins, we are told we have to have many things and then they sell them to us! How things have changed! If Hitler had had a fifth column in this country like our politicians provide he would have walked it! What we could do with all the money we pay to the EU in more ways than simply our annual payment.

  7. George Morley says:

    I cannot fully understand how our present situation was allowed to happen without a vote by the people and the traitor Heath who set us up under the guise of a common market. Just a market would have been fine. Now nearly 55 million per day is unbelievable and the government say that they cannot afford to pay me an uprated pension along wiith the other half a million pensioners who are frozen without justification just because we live in a country not favoured by the government. The cost to do it would be 12 days EU payments ! And the countries affected are nearly all of the Commonwealth, go figure ?

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