Why Britain Should Leave the EU

by William McDonald

‘To remain in the EU is a more dangerous option for British security in its deepest sense economic, political, military and social.’

As the dust has settled on the recent EU negotiations and the date for the referendum has been set, one thing is clear: these negotiations have not fixed the great lumbering Brussels machine.

We are left with one simple option. We must vote to leave on June 23rd.

This is not to say that the EU has always been a bad thing. When Britain first applied to join the EEC in 1961, our trade with the Empire was decreasing, whilst trade with Europe was rapidly increasing. However, times have changed and the economic revolution of the 1980s has meant that Britain can still take its place on the world stage with pride.

We are strong enough to go it alone.

Britain is the second largest economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world: so other countries will continue to trade with us whether we are in or out; the EU relies on trade with Britain for its own economic security.

In 2014, the EU made up 53.2% of all imports of goods and services into the UK. It is because of this large volume of trade with the EU that we can be sure of our economic security out of the EU. Car manufactures in Germany and energy producers in France are simply not going to want to stop trading with the UK whatever the outcome.

Leaving the EU would help our economy in the future because it would mean that we would be able to make trade agreements more quickly and easily with emerging markets, instead of with a short-sighted view to Europe.

But not only are the claims about the effect of an exit vote on trade false, they also obscure another fact: leaving the EU would put money back into the pockets of the British people. In order to stop the bureaucratic mechanism of this great beast from breaking down, we must shovel in the fuel at a rate of £35m a day – around £12.9bn a year.

Where does this money go? Britain only gets back around £6bn a year and the other £6.9bn goes to prop up the chauffeur-driven Brussels elite and bail out emerging markets where the price of goats has unexpectedly dropped. This vast amount equates to around £200 per person and would be enough to reduce income tax by 3p per pound.

Less noticeable than this is the hugely dangerous loss of sovereignty which membership of the EU has caused for Britain. The EU is not just a convenient trade association but a political organism to which a large deal of sovereignty has been passed in the name of that dangerous utopia, ‘ever closer union’. Indeed, the constitutional upheaval caused by our membership of the EU can be seen as the greatest since the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

In 1988, the European Commission President, Jacques Delors, predicted that within ten years 80% of legislation would come from EU countries. Although this is undeniably not the case (although the fruitcakes and loons would have you believe otherwise), it is fair to say that anywhere between 15% and 55% of UK legislation comes from EU. Any organisation which takes power away from the British people and gives it to an unelected elite should be cause for concern.

What we do know for certain, though, is that the power which unelected EU officials hold over member states is far too great, and that these officials seem to hold the democratic choices of European countries in contempt.

Following the election of Syriza in Greece, Jean-Claude Juncker said ‘there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.’ It is this kind of contempt for the democratic choices of individuals around Europe that demonstrates why the European experiment has not only failed, but is downright dangerous.

In an effort to scare the British people into submission, many have argued that leaving the EU will endanger the UK. However, the idea that the EU is somehow the powerful protector of the West is farcical at best (particularly when you recall how it handled the Balkan crisis and its role in the mess in Ukraine). The EU has never been the force which protects the UK; that force is NATO and America. As Major General Julian Thompson recently said, ‘Delusions about what actually keeps us safe threaten us all.’

We therefore have the decision of a lifetime to make. Either we take the decision to save billions a year, bring back sovereignty to Westminster, and propel Britain into the future on a wave of growth and prosperity, or our political inertia will mean that we are dragged down with the ship, as the rest of Europe discovers that the Frankensteinian monster that they have created will undoubtedly kill us all.

The Poor Print

The Oriel College Newspaper. Run by students, with contributions from the JCR, MCR, and SCR & Staff. Current Executive Editors: Alex Waygood & Aidan Chivers.

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