The Editorial in the Daily Telegraph April 7th concludes “The Remain Camp is relying not only on the fear of the unknown but also the comfort of the Status Quo”. But we cannot repeat too often: in the EU, there is no Status Quo. The EU is not a destination but a process. To those who think of the EU as a comfortable safe haven, let’s ask some questions.
How many more Port Talbots? Just yesterday I heard EU Commission Vice-President Sefcovic proudly promising “a tsunami of new legislation” aimed to reduce emissions by increasing the cost of CO2 emissions, and therefore the cost of energy. The EU’s green policies have already caused plant closures across the EU in steel, aluminium, chemicals, fertilisers, petroleum refining, glass and ceramics, and other energy-intensive industries. Jobs lost. Investment moved overseas. Perhaps it will be your job and your community to be hit next.
How many more new EU members? David Cameron is gung-ho for Turkey to join the EU. On any reasonable estimate several million of Turkey’s 75 million population will move westwards, looking for freedom, or better security, or higher wages – or perhaps just welfare and healthcare. It’s a fair bet that a million might come to the UK. They may well bring their prejudices and their vendettas with them.
On April 6th, Holland voted against the EU/Ukraine trade deal which many feel is a precursor to Ukrainian accession. But Brussels will find a way forward. Same comments apply as Turkey – even if Ukraine has “only” 45 million people. Do we want to be in an EU that has direct borders with Russia (including the occupation of Crimea and the Donbass), plus Iran, Iraq, Syria?
What about today’s migrants? There are a million in Germany. The German Europe Minister Michael Roth warns of three million more on the way. What can Germany do about it? Simple. It can give them EU passports (or they can buy EU passports cheaply in some eastern EU countries), and they can move to a street near you.
Can we deport illegal migrants? The EU is working on new migrant sharing plans that would replace the Dublin Convention – and thus prevent us from returning migrants to the country of entry. But we won’t know the new rules until after the Referendum. And EU human rights legislation means we are unable either to expel criminals and terrorist suspects, or to monitor the adequately.
How will we face increasing pressures on social infrastructure? Doctors are complaining that they’re overwhelmed by demand. The same goes for hospitals. And schools. All the houses we can build are hardly enough to house newcomers, let alone our own population. We won’t get a grip on the immigration numbers until we leave the EU.
What about our farmers’ CAP payments, and other EU funding? As more and poorer eastern European states join the EU, funding will be diverted from Western Europe to the East. We’ll pay even more and get even less back. Our farmers would be better served by a farm support régime designed in Britain for British farmers rather than made in Brussels for French farmers. Similar comments apply to academic funding and other spending areas.
How will farms survive widespread EU bans on agricultural chemicals? British agriculture and food security is under threat from the EU’s “Precautionary Principle”, and its decision to focus on hazard rather than risk.
How long until the €uro finally collapses? There is an emerging consensus among economists that the only solution to the €uro crisis, short of permanent and massive bail-outs, is to dismantle the €uro. Yet we know that the hubris of the Brussels nomenklatura will never allow that. Meantime the eurozone will continue to underperform, and create real depression in southern Europe.
I say again: there is no Status Quo in the EU. And the risks of staying in far outweigh the risks of getting out.