Monday, 29 February 2016

The Telegraph: How do Brexiteers justify the claim that the EU will give us a good deal when we leave?

The Telegraph: How do Brexiteers justify the claim that the EU will give us a good deal when we leave?

by Rupert Myers


"Apparently, the eurocrats are poised to work speedily in the British interest, but only if we do the one thing designed to put their noses out of joint. Stay, and we’ll remain part of the immobile super-tanker that is the European Union, bound to a system which never gives us what we want. Leave, and they’ll do precisely what we ask them to do in record time. No lost decade of growth and productivity.

If I were a eurocrat set on creating a federalist super state, which is apparently what they all are, despite the UK’s negotiated special status excluding us from an "ever closer union", then I’d use the example of Brexit to set a pretty off-putting precedent. For the version of the EU described by its loudest critics, the way to ensure ever closer union for the remaining countries is for Britain to suffer pain. Of course they wouldn’t be acting in their own economic interest, but we know that countries don't always act rationally – France’s President Charles De Gaulle was dead-set against the UK joining the common market. What does it say about Brexiters if they think the EU is dreadful with us in it, but cheerfully accommodating and efficient when we have gone?

Leave campaigners are muddled on the EU. They can make a case for an independent UK being worth the economic price of lost productivity, jobs and growth. Splendid isolation and an independent future may, for many, be worth the cost of years spent renegotiating our position with the European Union, but they can’t have it both ways. Brexiteers need to argue their case on the basis of years of painful negotiation, or accept that the EU isn't as bad as they claim."

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