The reasons for my opposition to the EU

My opposition to the EU is essentially down to the fact that it works badly. Everything that the UK government does not do well at, the EU does even worse. Let me list some prominent examples…

Single currency (Eurozone):
Normally, an ailing economy’s currency depreciates, which encourages inward investment and domestic spending. The aggregate nature of the Eurozone means that it is difficult to appreciate or depreciate in value.
This makes it harder for ailing economies to recover from recessions.
It also prevents the citizens of more successful economies from enjoying the fruits of their prosperity by having a strong currency to spend on imports.

Common Fisheries Policy (CFP):
Supposed to encourage sustainable fishing, but fails badly: fishermen discarded catch that exceeded their quota. Then they banned discards, worsening the problem – fish that exceed quotas have to be landed and turned into fertiliser/landfill.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP):
Supposed to centralise farm subsidies to ensure food security, but the different output of different countries meant that it is unfairly distributed – productive economies with low proportion of agrarian land like the UK gets short-changed._49009301_cap_alloc_464[1]

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR):
Intended to protect individuals’ data, it is not only contradictory – individuals have a right to have their data removed, but businesses need to retain individuals’ data for compliance with regulatory authorities such as the FCA.
GDPR is not even enforceable – the EU does not have authority to compel compliance on businesses outside the EU. Furthermore, it has grown into such a cumbersome beast that you now require (very) expensive certified consultants to ensure you properly meet their criteria.

Copyright Directive:
Meant to protect the intellectual property of creators, but it is impractical and unenforceable. Technology does not exist for online platforms to monitor all copyright breaches, so enforcement has to be an expensive manual process, prone to error/abuse.
Furthermore, such strict controls impede freedom of speech and expression, one of the internet’s greatest strengths. It means that screenshots or video clips of copyrighted material cannot be reproduced, whether to promote or criticise its content.

Common external tariff:
High taxes are imposed on imports on imports from outside the EU in order to protect domestic industry. But the outcome is that consumers face higher costs of imports and developing countries with weak economies suffer lower demand from the EU.

VAT:
It is bad enough that the UK taxes its citizens for consumption – the EU forces ALL its member states to apply VAT – a tax for simply buying and selling. This kind of tax hits the poor the hardest, those who have to spend more of their income than they invest.

Approach to legislation:
The UK’s approach to legislation is reactive – laws are made only when the need arises. The EU’s approach to legislation is to make laws on everything that is not already legislated over – even if there is not a need; even if it creates cost without bringing about any benefit.

Democratic deficit:
In the EU, most laws are instigated and drafted by the Commission, who is appointed, not elected. In the EU, the only elected body is the European Parliament, whose legislative power amounts to little more than rubber-stamping.

The fundamental problem:
These problems fundamentally stem from the nature of the EU as a political project of uniting Europe into a single political entity, necessarily centralising power into the hands of the few.

The European super-state project is doomed to failure because:
1) Europeans do not have a cohesive demographic – it doesn’t even share the same language;
2) centralised governments are very poor at management.

In contrast to the EU, the USA only manages to be successful because of its 1) high level of governmental devolvement, 2) great emphasis on liberty, 3) shared history of European emancipation and abolishment of slavery, 4) shared language.

The EU shares none of these qualities. It has ambitions of rivalling the USA but its approach emulates the USSR and other failed political super-state projects.

Author: Hoong-Wai

I am a sinner. I care about people, and truth, and justice. I have an interest in dancing, economics, engineering, philosophy, and science.

7 thoughts on “The reasons for my opposition to the EU”

  1. A thorough assessment – but a lot of these don’t make sense from the UKs standpoint
    1) single currency – we’re not part of the euro so this is completely irrelevant to us
    2)cfp – this is largely based on ICES data on the level of sustainable fishing before stocks collapse. Do you suggest we just do away with quotas?
    3)cap – you’re complaining that an AGRARIAN policy doesn’t contribute funds to economies that aren’t largely AGRARIAN. Spot the common word here
    4)GDPR – I just love that one of your comments was that this EU policy doesn’t affect businesses outside the EU. Who needs privacy anyway, right?
    5) external tariffs – this is valid, but tends to be on foodstuffs that we’d usually import from the EU anyway. And any benefit gained from the ability to set our own would be offset by the falling pound due to brexit.
    6)VAT – Good luck getting the government to do away with this. It’d hit public funds significantly.
    7) approach to legislation – this is an incredibly complex subject that we could talk on forever, but the fact remains that only a relatively small percentage of our laws come from the EU, most being laws that wouldn’t affect the average citizen.
    8) Democratic deficit – the EU largely works by representative democracy and I have little problem with the structure. It’s not undemocratic. Yes there’s a vote of no confidence procedure but my main criticism revolves around the fact that it should be easier to remove individual commissioners.

    The EU has also been the largest proponent of peace in European history, and is the only way that it’s possible to rival superstates such as China, Russia and the US. Would you suggest that we disband into galvanised small states once more? (likely losing the union in the process). I’m sure this will do wonders for our political and economic clout on the world stage.

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    1. Hello Brian,

      Your objections don’t make sense
      1) the single currency is harmful regardless of whether or not the UK partakes in it. I am not just in favour of Brexit, I oppose the EU.

      2) You’re missing the point that quotas do not work. Quotas encouraged the practice of discard. Banning discards was not only difficult to enforce, it defeated the point of quotas. Policy needs to work. It needs to be intelligently thought out. Instead of quotas, I would restrict fishing during breeding season and protect zones from fishing completely so that fish have safe areas they can breed. There are other possible solutions.

      3) The common agricultural policy means that subsidies are unfairly distributed. What part of this do you not get? Imagine putting in place an EU-wide subsidy for financial services – which would benefit the UK far more than any of the other EU member states. You think that’s a fair subsidy to have?

      4) Missing the point again. The GDPR is not only costly to EU businesses, it is UNENFORCEABLE outside the EU.

      5) You’re sorely mistaken if you think the primary imports from India, China and USA “tends to be on foodstuffs”. Regardless, food imported from outside the EU is cheaper than food in the EU. You really need to learn some economics.

      6) Gradually reducing VAT will not hit public funds “significantly”. VAT cannot be reduced whilst inside the EU.

      7) You’re again mistaken if you think that EU laws do not affect you. You are just ignorant of how they affect you. Have you noticed that electronics have become less reliable since 2000? All thanks to EU regulations.

      8) In the EU, you cannot vote for the people who create your laws. I don’t know how to explain this any clearer. Imagine a cabinet who creates laws and policies without any democratic consent, whilst the people you vote for only has the power to nod the legislation through.

      The biggest lie sold to you is that the EU is responsible for European peace. It is not. NATO is responsible for peace with Russia, whilst natural trade, which occurs without political union, is what brings people together. Yes, small states with individual currencies, and governments accountable to the electorate would be better for all current member states.

      The next biggest lie is the idea that you need to rival USA and China. Why do you need to rival them for? Do you want to wage war or something? Trade does not depend on size. Defence we already have NATO. Russia is interested in trade, not war.

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  2. 1)The single currency also offers a reduction in uncertainty over exchange, increased resilience, higher efficiency of capital allocation, and less volatility in interest rates. However you look at it, there are arguments for and against the single currency.
    2)You’re right in that quotas aren’t working all that well, but we lose any power to change this once we leave the EU. Yes, the EU could do away with them as you suggest, but enforcing the methods you propose would be very difficult, and it also has the potential to cause many stocks to completely collapse directly after implementation.
    3) the cap was necessary to give much needed help to the agricultural sector given the prices most farmers get from supermarkets. To fill a specific need. Saying that it’s unfair is frankly ridiculous, as is your simile to financial services. How many financial services firms do you know that need subsidising?
    4) the hope was that this would lead to other regions follow suit. Do you propose the EU tries to implement a law outside it’s jurisdiction?
    5)No. What I was saying is that the tarriffs are higher for foodstuffs and items that make more sense to import from the EU anyway (due to transport costs and perishability)
    6) however you do it, reduction in VAT still means reduced funds. Given austerity Britain, the failing NHS and education system do you think this is a good idea?
    7) Interesting you should mention that. Have a look at the EU right to repair. The reduction in reliability is generally due to the business sphere and planned obsolescence (see Apple). The fact remains that the EU is still the source of a minority of our laws, many of which are actually beneficial (workers rights, privacy etc)
    8)this is still representative democracy. How many laws in the UK did you personally vote on?

    You claim that natural trade facilitates peace. By facilitating free trade would you not agree that the EU has aided in this? The EU has fostered collaboration and bound Europe closer together as a community, how can that NOT contribute to the furtherment of peace. I highly recommend reading What Kind Of Europe by Loukas Tsoukalis for further info on this. Small inwardly-focused states are not going to help promote international collaboration and peace, particularly given the general hostile environment and xenophobia that brexit has caused. It’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll see the dissolution of the union, too.

    Exertion of political pressure is used for plenty of things other than war and trade. Russia regularly flexed its military and political muscles with things like, for example, the annexation of Crimea, or the poisoning of defectors. Without the backing of Europe, little England seems a lot more politically vulnerable.

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    1. 1) None of what you have listed are advantages of a single currency:
      1a) reduction in uncertainty over exchange,
      If uncertainty is a problem, Contract For Difference agreements already exist, which gives actual certainty, instead of “reduced uncertainty”.

      1b) increased resilience,
      Resilience to what? Why is resilience a good thing? If your economy crashes, the last thing you want is for your currency to stay high.

      1c) higher efficiency of capital allocation,
      This does not follow. Shared currency does not automatically result in efficiency of capital allocation, whatever you mean by that.

      1d) less volatility in interest rates
      This is a duplicate of (1a). Volatility is not undesirable.

      2) Quotas don’t work, so why do you even want the power to change it? Give it up altogether and set our own regulations which actually work. You say the enforcement “would be very difficult”, but you fail to elaborate why. In fact, the opposite is true: Enforcement is made much easier when you have full jurisdiction over your own fishing waters – shared waters does not make enforcement any easier.

      You also claim that stocks would completely collapse – without providing any reasoning why this would be the case.

      3) You don’t know what you’re talking about. The CAP was not created to help farmers. It was created to ensure stability of food supply and food prices. The CAP is inefficient and incentivises farmers to grow food that are in low demand. Let the UK manage its own subsidies.

      Financial institutions which have gone under and were bailed out by the government are receiving financial help ie subsidies. The fact that you don’t know this is further evidence that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      4) Laws are created to be enforced. Laws based on hope is nothing more than wishful thinking. The EU should not have been creating laws that fall outside its jurisdiction in the first place.

      5) Perishable foodstuffs that need to be imported from the EU will not require external tariffs. What an own goal. It is also untrue – most of the most affordable foodstuffs are either produced locally, or imported from developing economies such as South America or Africa. There are heavy punitive tariffs on foodstuffs such as bananas, that do not even grow well in Europe.

      6) Reducing VAT will increase spending power elsewhere. Doing so gradually will allow this economic rebalancing to occur without any noticable impact. Again, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      7) I did my thesis on electronics. It was directly as a result of EU regulation that reliability, which was previously on an upward trend, has dropped significantly since 2000. There are many more laws which do harm rather than good. Such as environmental regulations which do more harm to the UK environment than it protects, or the CFP which caused the price of fish in the UK to be much higher than market rate, all the while continuing to decimate fish stocks, even vacuum cleaners which are weak and expensive.

      8) You’re not paying attention. I vote for a party manifesto. If UK government does not deliver on their manifesto promises, we can vote them out of power. Not only are EU manifestos devoid of any actual policy: the EU Commission, where all the laws are made, is not even beholden to any manifesto.

      The EU does not facilitate free trade. Free trade can be achieved by simply lowering your external tariffs, and by mutual recognition of regulatory standards.

      The EU’s structure does opposite of promoting peace and cooperation: its subsidies build resentment among those who are net contributors, and its heavy-handed regulatory regimes builds resentment among those who struggle to comply, namely developing economies. It has certainly not fostered collaboration.

      I agree that inward-looking states are not going to do very well, but political union is not the way to overcome this problem. In fact, the EU is inward-looking with its protectionism attitude to industry and trade.

      I am a first generation immigrant who is an ethnic minority both in my country of birth and in the UK. I have experience ofdense urban environments and spread out urban populations. Brexit has not caused any xenophobia. But Remainers like you for sure have helped to propagate this lie, instilling fear of something which doesn’t exist. Such as the fear of dissolution of the union. Why are you so against Scottish independence anyway?

      Crimea is a complex subject – which I am pretty confident you are not qualified to discuss. The EU for sure has done nothing to prevent that, nor did it prevent political assassinations.

      NATO was created precisely to oppose Russian aggression, as well as any other aggressive action by non-member states. Political union is absolutely unnecessary for protection.

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  3. I think you have hit the nail on the head with this, I won’t argue with any of those statements.
    There are even more facts to add, but I’m sure you did not want to write a full 296-page book about it.

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