The futility of my dad’s reply always reminds me of the strange souls who, against all common sense and logic, still support our British membership of the European Union. They always repeat the mantra that we have to be in the European Union for the benefits it brings us, but we all increasingly have to ask – what benefits? As far as this blogger can see there is not one single benefit to being in the EU but thousands of reasons why we should quit ASAP and, in hindsight, never have joined in the first place.
One alleged benefit of being a member of the EU is for the grants it gives us. I always love this one when I am asked from time to time to give a talk to various clubs and groups about the EU. My way of answering it is with a proposition, I offer anyone in the room to fund a project in their home in exactly the same way we claim EU funds. Usually someone will say I could do with an extension to my property or we need a new carpet, then I hit them with the fact I am not giving out funds for those projects which they need the most, but for things that may be nice but of little use such as re-landscaping their garden, or removing the wallpaper and painting the walls – so what’s it to be?
Once they make their choice I then inform them that in order for me to fund this project they are going to have to put a plaque on the wall of their home, with my name and logo on it, to let everyone know that the project has been ‘PART FUNDED’ by me. The part funded bit is important as this is when they discover I am not going to give them all the money, just half of it, they are going to have to stump up the other fifty per cent themselves.
So, if a project is costing £1000 they are contributing £500, and I the other £500 – or so they think. Now we get into the details of the project, what sort of garden landscaping, etc, would they like? Once they tell me I inform them that they can forget that as I am the one making all the decisions and decide colours, materials and everything else regarding the project, they have to be ready with the their share of the money. Now we come to the crunch, in order to get this ‘Part funding’ from me they have to be a member of my club which is going to cost them £1000. It soon dawns on them that a project worth £1000, which they did not really need, had no say in at all and is of little real use to them has actually cost them £1500 and I have run off with £500 of their money yet my plaque on the wall of their home is giving the impression that I am the generous one who has kindly given this money thanks to the benefit of being in my club. As Elmer Simpson would say: “Doh”!
Yesterday was one of those “Doh” days, reported in the news was just how much EU membership is costing each and everyone of us in the UK, which is £128 a year for the benefit of such things as the EU-wide arrest warrant, thousands of unwanted and unnecessary laws – thousands of them, a blight on businesses and the complete undermining of our democracy, Parliament and sovereignty – it just aint worth it.
We as a nation, according to the news item, are giving the EU the equivalent of £440 a year and receiving £312 back in so-called ‘direct benefits’. Many other countries such as Poland and other ex-Communist countries are gaining from the money we contribute, in many instances EU funding to these poorer countries is very much to the detriment of Britain and its citizens. A case in point is what happened to the car workers at the Royton Peugeot car plant. This company, based on British soil, employing British workers whose taxes were being used to fund the EU, asked the British Government for a grant – the unelected EU Competition Minister said no, it’s unfair completion to our elected Government. So, what happened next, Royton was closed and Peugeot re-located to Slovakia with, guess what, a whopping great hand-out of our money from the EU.
There is still more to this, as it is not just the cost of the money we are endlessly handing over to the EU, but the cost of EU regulations which are imposed on our British based companies making them uncompetitive on global markets. The item on Cadbury’s chocolate under this posting is a prime example. If new EU rules on our financial markets are implemented the fiscal cost to the bond trading in the City of London and our banking and insurance industries, which are vitally important wealth creators for the UK, the cost and loss to the nation could be devastating. The EU may cost us individually £128 a year, but the underlying costs and damage done due to EU membership is incalculable. There are no benefits from EU membership.