The EU: To Be or Not To Be, in or out - by Malcolm Rasala

Not to be:

1) We do not want to be part of a United States of Europe

2) We do not like foreigners much. We want less immigration.

3) The EU is profoundly undemocratic. We do not want to obey rules from Brussels.

4) The EU Commission is unelected. It stifles business and innovation with red tape

5) The EU is an economic failure; we need to trade more with the rest of the world

6) In the EU we are a nobody. Alone we will be a somebody. We will have more influence.

7) The EU costs us a lot of money.

8) Not in our national interest; Better to be like an independent Malaysia.

9) The 50 million+ deaths in two world wars will never happen again so no need for an EU

10) Imagine our prosperity and growth in jobs in 2020 if we are outside the EU;

To Be:

1) Our national interest is to be in the worlds largest/richest market of 500 million consumers

2) Everyone is a foreigner to his neighbour. Anti-immigration is simply Alf Garnet racism.

3) Lets do as other member states; simply ignore regulations we do not like.

4) Our prosperity and jobs and 40% of our exports come from EU trading/investment partners?

5) EU boosts our trade with the world. Free movement of people/goods inspires innovation

6) We will have a voice, a say, an influence in a world of power blocs: China, Asia, USA, EU.

7) Total lie; cost is £14bn a yr from a UK budget of £600bn. And bn’s come back to UK farmers etc

8) Inward investment eg USA / Japanese car factories will leave the UK; we will lose many jobs

9) We are a European power. We should be the leader of Europe; our policy for 300+ years

10) Even anti-EU Margaret Thatcher said in her Bruges speech “Britain does not dream ofsome cosy isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe as part of the Community”.

What do you think? Personally, I have not heard convincing arguments why we should leave the EU. All the anti-EU brigade ever say is life will be better outside. But how do they know? They say outside we can trade with the rest of the world. But we can, and do, this anyway. There is no EU regulation that stops us. It seems rather silly to walk away from the world’s richest most important market that is on our doorstep.

We simply ignore those regulations we do not agree with. Much is made of the working time directive but we have opt-outs already. Ignore the regulations we don’t like. What are they going to invade us if we do not make our junior doctors work to EU time schedules. Pleeeease!

On the free movement of people argument one and a half million Brits live and work outside Britain. Don’t we want to have our young study and work in the best places they want to? Don’t we want to get the best, most talented, most brilliant innovators to work here in Britain? Closing our the door will massively undermine our economic and business interests?

So, on balance the arguments to stay in win hands down. Instead of being a bunch of grumpies on the side- lines we should go in there and take charge. We should mould it to our concept of a dynamic Europe. This was our foreign policy since Marlborough beat Louis XIV at the battle of Blenheim in 1704.

We did it then. We did it after we creamed Napoleon (with the help of the Prussians) at Waterloo in 1815. We can do it again. Chickening out and pretending life as a small isolated island on the edge of Europe will be bliss is silly unintelligent nonsense. Grumpiness is not a foreign policy.

It is not an economic policy. It is simply uneducated mean spiritedness. “We are” said Lord Salisbury 125 years ago “part of the community of Europe and we must do our duty as such”. Are you an Alf Garnett grumpy or dynamic about Britain’s future?

Malcolm Rasala