It’s official: the UK does not benefit from its membership of the EU, a study by Civitas has discovered this week. The report by Michael Burrage, has proved that the proportion of UK exports to EU members has actually declined since joining Europe in 1973. As if the report’s findings are not damning enough, they also showed that Britain’s exports to European countries outside the EU have more than doubled. He concludes both ‘insider advantages’ and ‘outsider disadvantages’ are imaginary at best.
This report comes on the back of the European Court’s decision to reject Britain’s appeal of the Robin Hood Tax last Friday (see our blog of the 3rd). Britain’s failure to stop the damaging tax has highlighted its inability to achieve reform in Europe. Coupled with the Civitas report, surely it is time the Great British Public are allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to remain members of this obsolete organisation?
And obsolete it definitely is. Desperation to avoid another war drove Germany and France to form a European customs union, which did not make any economic sense then and still makes no sense now. Custom unions were outdated in Britain back in 1846. Take Switzerland for example. Not only does Switzerland have free trade deals with economic superpowers China, Singapore and Japan, which the EU has still not been able to achieve, on average the Swiss conclude their trade deals quicker than the EU. For example – and just to demonstrate how slow they really are, the EU and India have been in trade talks since 2007 and nothing has yet to come of it. Were Britain to leave the EU, we would be able to form our own free trade deals with countries like China and the US within far shorter periods of time.
The Civitas report has confirmed what we’ve known about Europe since the 1970s. It’s an outdated customs union which can bring no trade benefit to the UK whatsoever. Surely the way forward is a sovereign, independent Britain, forming free trade deals with the Commonwealth, the developing world as well as the EU. It is time to Get Britain Out as soon as possible. We have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Luke Stanley, Research Assistant