Friday, 26 February 2016

In or out?

It's complicated. Opinions and facts are plentiful, but how do we judge the relevance of these, and weigh them to come to a conclusion?

Somethings are undisputable. If we leave the EU, then our laws won't be made by Brussels bureaucrats ... or will they? Even if we leave the EU, we'll still be trading with the EU countries in a big way. So if Brussels says that the Sausage has to contain at least 75% meat, then if you're a British Sausage maker who hopes to export, you'll conform to the regulation. If you're a British winemaker who makes sparling wine, then if you call it "Champagne" you'll have your trousers sued off you by a bunch of angry French.

If we leave the EU, we won't be bound by the European Convention on Human Rights ... except that this isn't a EU thing, it's something we signed up to voluntarily. And if we were to replace it with a British Convention on Human Rights, I'd think that it will look pretty much the same.

If we leave the EU, we won't have to join the Euro. But equally, we won't have to join it if we stay.

Then there's the migrants issue, which I think looms large in people's minds. If you've read my blog, you know how I feel about this, But would leaving the EU reduce immigration? Maybe it would reduce immigration from European countries, but Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, for example, aren't in the EU, yet we've seen a fair few immigrants from there. The largest contingent is from Ireland - do we really want to "keep out the Irish"? If you look at the top ten countries that provide the immigrants into the UK, none of them are EC countries - except Ireland.

And what about the Brits Abroad? If the reciprocal arrangements close down, a lot of them will come back. They're British citizens, with British passports. 3/4 million of them live in Spain alone! There's well over a million of Brits living in the EC. A lot of the people living retired in Spain are over 60; if they flood back to the UK then you'll see an overstretched NHS.

Does leaving the EU mean that we get to control our own economy? Well, we already control our money supply, our interest rate and our exchange rates are market-driven.
And do you, for one moment, suppose that VAT will be repealed and replaced by the old way of taxing?

People tell me "This country is bursting at the seams." That's twaddle. I go for long bike rides, leaving the car on the bike and getting back six hours later. During that time, I usually don't see a single person, and not many buildings. Or do they mean services, such as the NHS? I went to give a blood sample today; the lady who took my blood wore a headscarf. Without immigration, the NHS would be very short staffed. Or buildings? The Polish plumber (or brickie, or carpenter) is proverbial.

All I can give you is my analysis. As a general rule, larger economic units do better than small ones. Imagine if the USA were 50 different countries, with 50 different legal systems, 50 different currencies and 50 different tariffs and import duties. They wouldn't be the economic powerhouse that they are today.

So my inclination is "remain". I'll listen to the arguments, but I'm not expecting them to be comprehensible or objective.


  1. Curious Doc, you are a pretty intelligent man and lead a very full life, so why oh why, will you listen to the arguments knowing they will be incomprehensible and subjective and thus waste precious time?

  2. I don't know they'll be incomprehensible and subjective, I'm expecting them to be that way. I could be wrong, maybe someone wioll say something lucid.