A few months ago I started a petition on the 10 Downing Street website calling on the British government to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of our membership of Federal Europe.
This Government strongly believes that the benefits of EU Membership clearly outweigh the costs. UK membership of the EU is central to the pursuit of stability, growth and employment, and firmly in our national interest, both economically and in a wider political and strategic context. Our membership of the EU has brought real benefits in jobs, peace and security. Through it, we belong to the world’s biggest trading bloc with a Single Market of over 490 million people. Half the UK’s trade is now within the EU, with an estimated 3.5 million British jobs linked to it, directly and indirectly. 57% of total British trade in goods is with the EU. 62% of our total exports go to the EU. In 2005, British investments in the EU totalled over £17bn.
The benefits are not limited to the rights of British companies to buy and sell across the Single Market. Our EU membership also allows our citizens to live, work, study and travel across Europe and to receive free medical care if we fall sick on holiday. Improved maternity pay, the right to paid holidays and now the reduction in the cost of mobile phone calls when abroad, are just some of the practical benefits the EU has helped deliver.
A number of studies related to the costs and benefits of various aspects of the EU are available in the UK. The Government takes account of such studies as part of its ongoing approach to EU policy issues.
The Government does not therefore see the need to commission an independent cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU.
This really isn’t good enough, is it? What they’re basically saying is “other people have done it so we’re not going to bother”. What they fail to mention is that most studies – other than those commissioned by Federal Europe or their quislings – disagree with their own analysis and estimate the net cost of membership at billions of pounds every year.
And that old chestnut on peace – give me a break! Out of the 27 current member states, 15 of them have been involved in a war of some description since Federal Europe was created. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia all had spats with the USSR and/or revolutions in the last 50 years. The UK and the Republic of Ireland experienced what was effectively a civil war with the IRA and other terrorist groups based in Northern Ireland and Eire. Slovenia was involved in the civil war in Yugsolavia, Spain has seen revolution and civil war in the last 50 years with Basque seperatists waging a civil war still today and Greece has had two revolutions in the last 50 years whilst Northern Cyprus is still under occupation by Turkey. Pretty much every other European country that isn’t a member state of Federal Europe has been involved in war in the last 50 years, including the candidate countries of Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey and the potential candidate countries of Albania, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro. Let’s be very clear about this, Federal Europe has not prevented war in Europe. The only war it has stopped is another war started by the Germans who have no need to invade their neighbours because they’re already running most of the continent with their new best buddies, the French.
What about stability? That one doesn’t get an airing as often as the “preventing war” bollocks. Let’s see – Belgium is falling apart, the UK is falling apart, Spain is falling apart, Czechoslovakia already fell apart and so did Yugoslavia. The UN still patrols a buffer zone between Greek and Turkish Cyprus and Georgia is still being occupied by Russia. Poland has lost so much of its healthy male population to economic migration that they’re handing out passports like sweets and Turkey seems to be permanently on the brink of an Islamic coup. Stable, my arse.
And the last big lie – the economic benefits. Federal Europe costs us a bloody fortune. We give far more to the EU budget than we get out of it and the trade that we do with Federal Europe doesn’t require membership costing billions of pounds – Greenland, Norway and Switzerland have prospered outside of Federal Europe by negotiating free trade agreements without handing over the running of their country to a bunch of foreigners.
I’ve just put the following FOI into the Foreign & Commonwealth Office:
In the British government’s response to the petition calling for a cost-benefit analysis of membership of the EU, it says that it has taken into account different studies considering the UK’s membership and does not need to carry out its own analysis. I would like to know:
1. Which studies have been considered
2. Who considered those studies and what were their qualifications to make a judgement on the conclusions of the studies considered
3. Which studies were not considered
Furthermore, the British government’s response to the petition repeated the assertion that the EU has resulted in peace in Europe. I would like to know:
4. How many of the current member states have been involved in armed conflict on their own soil, including conflict with seperatist movements, revolutions and coup d’états, in the last 50 years
5. The same question as #4 but for current candidate countries
6. The same question as #4 but for potential candidate countries
7. The same question as #4 but for other European countries that aren’t included in the previous 3 questions
Let’s see them worm their way out of this one.