Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Lord Owen Says Out! Bonkers.

Europhile Lord Owen appears to have switched sides in the referendum debate, siting defence and the Bosnia crisis in which Europe failed to be effective amongst other things. He's right in that, but it's not a reason to walk out of Europe.

My reasons for staying in europe are: 

70 years of peace in Western Europe. Bosnia was a disaster but it wasn't the Western Front, the EU has made a huge contribution to the peace, trade not take. It's the longest period of peace since fifty or so years during the Roman Empire and that wasn't peace as we know it. 

Leaving the EU will push us closer to our 'special relationship' with the US. The one where America says 'jump' and we say 'how high?'. Given the madness of Trump and the extremes of Cruz our friendship could become an embarrassment if the Democrats don't win big.

SME's who trade in Europe will suffer if we leave; big multi nationals know about dealing with the bureaucracy of international cross border trade, but small firms will struggle. 

International problems like the migrant crisis were prompted largely by the arrogance of Bush and Blair, the USA and UK in alliance again manufactured the chaos, not France, Germany et al. Those problems require greater international co-operation not more division. Isolationism was an American idea we once scorned.

Many of my friends on mainland Europe love the EU, even Greeks! The others will not want it to unravel and so if we leave they will have to punish us, even if it hurts them too in the short term, and given the IMF report on world trade prospects that's not good. 

The EU has done much for our human and legal rights, sometimes it seems to go too far, but it'll be worse if we take powers back and British politicians push the pendulum too far the other way. Do we want to be controlled by our politicians even more than we are now? Is anyone actually a fan of UK politicians? Brexit would mean a lot more power for them. 

The pound would certainly devalue, which many say would help our exports, except that imported raw materials would cost far more, consumer goods and travel would cost far more and any benefit in more competitive export prices would be lost to tariffs and barriers. It's bonkers.

You cannot turn the clock back, certainly not quickly, the Commonwealth countries have new trading partners now, the world is different. 

Parts of the UK, get money back from the EU, vote leave and the whole constitutional problem with Scotland will come to the fore again, they won't wont to leave and it will be never ending, after them it will be the Welsh and the Northern Irish, years of turmoil and division brought about by Conservative Party indecision and incompetence. 

Not that Labour are competent to govern either, but right now you have all those European countries you can flee to when you retire, or to work in when British bureaucracy becomes too unbearable, you have the RIGHT to live abroad in all those lovely places, for now, and that alone is worth keeping.

Malcolm Snook 

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