I recently received a copy of a regional newsletter from Lib-Dem MEP Bill Newton Dunn – not something I read regularly, but my office thought I should take a look.
And sure enough he’s recycling the same old myths. Don’t you dare to vote for UKIP – or even to think about Britain leaving the EU – because businesses will take fright, and withdraw jobs and investment from the UK. He seems oblivious of the fact the major industries are already withdrawing investment and jobs from the EU as a whole because of the price of energy, driven by Brussels’ obsession with renewables, and reluctance to commit to proven, low-cost energy sources. I shall be writing about the plight of the aluminium industry in the EU in my December newsletter.
Here (if you can stand it) is the relevant BND quote: The Lib Dems seem to be the only party whole-heartedly saying that the UK must remain members of the EU to protect jobs in the UK. Businesses strongly support our position. If UKIP were to score a triumph in the European election next May, it would make the work of defending British jobs much more difficult as businesses see the writing on the wall and withdraw investment from the UK.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: when we leave the EU (and increasingly I believe it’s a “when”, not an “if”), we’ll have a free trade deal with the rump-EU. Why? Because we’re their biggest export customer. Because they have a very strong balance-of-payments surplus with us. Because they need our business.
And also because the Lisbon Treaty requires the EU to offer favourable trade terms to a member-state which leaves. And because WTO rules would prevent Brussels from taking punitive trade measures against the UK – even if they wanted to, which they won’t.
So Mr. Carlos Ghosn of Nissan can sleep easy in his bed, knowing that he will continue to export cars to the Continent on favourable terms, just as we shall continue to import BMWs and Audis.
Outside the EU, we will be free of the EU’s vast and onerous burden of excessive regulation, so we’ll have more flexible labour markets, and we’ll have lower operating costs. As we save our direct EU budget contributions, and wind down the regulatory costs, we’ll have better fiscal figures and will be able to move progressively to a lower tax régime. And free of Brussels’ climate obsession, we’ll have cheaper energy.
Lower taxes, cheaper energy, less regulation, more flexible labour markets? Bill doesn’t need to worry about foreign businesses withdrawing their investments. They’ll be queuing up to come to Britain. We shall save ourselves by our exertions and save Europe by our example.