My Big Mouth: Is it time to leave the EU?


If countries like Norway and Switzerland can exist outside the EU, yet still have booming economies, then why can’t the UK?


By Jordan O’Brien

When the EU was formed its goal was to promote trade between the countries that joined. Now it’s gone from a simple economic body to a political overlord.

The EU’s origins trace back to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), an agreement that would make war impossible between the nations involved and would promote free trade.

Now that it’s little more than a war of words between nations who all want different things, can it really work?

The EU is so diverse it’s hard to please everyone, with developing nations gaining lots from being members, to developed nations being drained by it.

Countries like Norway did not want to lose their parliamentary sovereignty so decided to opt-out of the EU and instead formed an agreement to be a part of the European Economic Area.

While they still have to agree to laws regarding free market, they can completely ignore all over EU legislation, even laws relating to agriculture and fisheries.

It sounds like a great agreement – however as many in Norway would tell you, it comes at a price.

The UK currently contributes €11.3bn to the EU, of which it gets back €6.6bn.

Many countries want the EU budget to rise, whereas the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands want it to be frozen at the rate of inflation.

Countries like Poland want spending to rise above €1 trillion, and it’s easy to see why when Poland receives €14.4bn from the EU, but only puts in €3.2bn.

It’s true that the EU has some great economic advantages, given that much of the UK’s exports and imports go to the EU free market, but surely we can still reap those rewards from outside the EU?

If we left the EU and they began to draw up discriminatory trade agreements against the UK, it’s not the end of the world. There are other avenues to explore, such as NAFTA.

NAFTA allows each member to pursue its own trade agenda, provided it allows other NAFTA members free access in agreed trade areas.

The UK government is currently restricted by EU legislation which makes it hard to attract inward investment and create jobs. Wouldn’t it be great if our parliament were truly sovereign? We could legislate on our terms rather than Brussels’.

With decisions on human rights taking away the UK’s right to eject people from the country, such as Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, should we allow other countries to dictate to us?

Given the ongoing battle with the EU over prisoners votes, something the UK Government is expressly against, is the fight really worth it?

Yes, we’ll lose political clout in Europe, but do we need to control the dynamic of Europe as a whole when we have power on the world stage, in the UN and G8.

It’s clear that Germany and France run the show over at the EU, so why should we have to pretend we have a say.

David Cameron should stop wasting his breath in trying to persuade people to freeze the budget and just pull out. That’s at least €5bn less paid out every year, not including all the legal fees our Government pays to defend itself in the European Courts.

If countries like Norway and Switzerland can exist outside the EU yet still have booming economies, then why can’t an economic powerhouse like the UK?

Follow us on @SW_Londoner

Related Articles