The referendum on the potential exit of Britain from the European Union is a highly complex one and requires deep levels of understanding and analysis. So the Independent decided to skip all that hard stuff and come up with this utterly pathetic list of drivel instead.
I totally understand why it is that the print edition died now.
So lets have a look at their “What has the European Union ever done for us” and lets just enjoy the moment.
Reason 1: It gives you freedom to live, work and retire anywhere in Europe
Anybody remember what life was like BEFORE the European Union came to power? I guess you have to be quite old to remember and I myself had to ask older family members what the score was. Well, just to let you know… the EU made absolutely ZERO difference. Certain countries in Europe did require a specific and nominally charged work VISA. But on the whole… Nope.
The same can be said about living in and even retiring to Europe. So, lets just be honest about this and say for the record that the European Union did NOT bring these rights in.
Reason 2: It sustains millions of jobs
To start with the article says
“The chart above shows just how inter-dependent the EU and UK is on each other in terms of trade.”
There is no chart.
What this reason states is that 3.1 million jobs in the UK are linked to exports to Europe. What they don’t say is that given the likelihood of us entering the European Economic Zone (Like Norway for example) would mean that these 3.1 million jobs would STILL be linked to exports to Europe. Somehow I don’t think the likes of BMW would suddenly stop selling cars to the UK one of it’s largest European markets.
Reason 3: Your holiday is much easier – and safer
Now I could hardly stop myself laughing at this one. I’m not entirely sure what they mean by “safer” but the very fact that continental Europe is both closer and therefore cheaper to travel to is actually the responsibility of the Europe Union. It’s not as though the EU moved Europe close to us in order for us to holiday there easier.
Frankly, this is the most stupid statement in the whole piece… nearly.
Reason 4: It means you’re less likely to get ripped off
“Consumer protection is a key benefit of the EU’s single market, and ensures members of the British public receive equal consumer rights when shopping anywhere in Europe.”
Except, no. Because as much as the European legislation likes to sound all high and mighty about it’s two year warranty, it’s actually knocked into a hat by the far superior and more powerful UK Sales of goods act.
Reason 5: It offers greater protection from terrorists, paedophiles, people traffickers and cyber-crime
“Another example of a lesser-known advantage of EU membership is the benefit of cross-country coordination and cooperation in the fight against crime.”
The mechanism in place to share such intelligence is INTERPOL. The article is careful not mention this. Partly because INTERPOL isn’t part of the European Union but mainly because it dates back to 1923 and predates the EU by 70 years.
Reason 6: Our businesses depend on it
And this is the point where my jaw dropped. The article shares a lovely simple bit of graphic that in one easy swoop shows exactly what our problem with Europe is.
The EU is in Red
Non-EU is Black
We export LESS to the EU than we do to non-EU countries and import far more from EU then non-EU.
In other words, we are running a trade DEFICIT with Europe.
In order to sustain our own capital we need to export more goods to our trading partners than we import. Otherwise we are merely sending money overseas and the Independent thought this diagram was a good thing.
Reason 7: We have greater influence
More than being in NATO?
More than being in the UN security council?
More than being the 5th largest economy?