26 November, 2012

Keep a'hold of nurse

Last week, Alexander 'Boris' Johnson, the Mayor of London, was arguing for a referendum on Britain's remaining in the EU. Today, he is all over the papers saying he didn't think leaving was necessarily such a good idea. The amazing thing is why anyone is interested in his opinion at all.

This blog's view, which has been consistent, is that Britain would be better off democratically and economically if it left the EU. I do not think, however that a referendum is the right method of achieving this. The most important person in  referendum is the one who frames the question and that would be the present government, led by Europhile David Cameron and Euro-loonie Nick Clegg.

And the Europhiles and Euro-loonies would campaign that we needed just a few changes, which they could achieve, and the safest thing to do would be to remain in their newly crafted EU. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

'Always keep a'hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse.'

One of the things they will say, and this is Johnson's point, is that we need the trade with Europe and that could be damaged if we left the 'single market'. On the contrary: Britain desperately needs to rebalamce its economy away from dependence on Europe. Europe is the old world, plunging into recession and unlikely to return to growth for years, if ever. The new world, in South America, Africa and the Far East, will be the engine of growth in the future.

The 'Single Market' - it's not called a free market because it isn't one - is dragging us down with its excessive regulation and protectionist policies. Several studies have shown that the regulation costs us more than the rather limited benefits.

And the likes of Johnson and Cameron like to imply - with no evidence - that we wouldn't be able to sell our goods to Europe if we left. But everyone else does: Switzerland, North Africa, everyone.

No, we don't need Europe, it is an incubus, and we don't need a referendum to get out. We need a government which with sober consideration works out that we would be better off trading with the whole world, being able to make our own free trade agreements without protectionist France and Italy stopping us, and for that government to support our exit and campaign, if referendum there must be, for a vote to leave.

There is no need to take Johnson seriously, but Cameron must be made to realise his euorphilia is condemning us to years of stagnation and unemployment.

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