Forty years ago the nation voted to remain in the Common Market
Rather curious it is to note that European bureaucrats and politicians alike have this last week or so rather invidiously ditched the Single Market term in favour of the former – a common market which is long since an entity of yesteryear.
There is so much I could write about, but it has mostly been said by others – and more besides – save for a few morsels now.
In 1980, the bloc accounted for over 30% of global GDP. Now, with many more member states, the tally amounts to little more than 15%.
In contrast to five years ago, the UK currently exports 42% of its goods and services to the EU, sharply down from 55% – and in ten years’ time it is unlikely to be more than 35%, and could be even less if the Eurozone continues to decline rapidly in relative terms.
Maintaining the status quo that we currently endure – which is that the UK, second in GDP size only to Germany, has only a small share of the votes in Brussels and is frequently easily outvoted – is long past its sell-by date.
In the scheme of things Europe simply isn’t economically important enough for us to succumb to an over-bloated, deeply undemocratic jobs-for-the-boys syndicate in order to trade with it. And no matter what anyone has postulated, the UK is significantly more significant to the EU for them to drag their feet over finding an interim solution if the UK elected to leave the EU. So they’ll trade with us anyway, as our £60bn trade deficit with the bloc will galvanise Germany’s automotive, mechanical engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, together with French wineries and Italian furniture-makers into making sure of it.
Germany has very little to gain and an awful lot to lose
Only last week the Ifo Institute forecast that a jobs boom and migrant-related state spending should help Germany’s economy grow faster than expected this year and next – but the extra momentum might well be lost if Britain, Germany’s third largest trading partner, votes to leave the EU.
The consequences for trade and competitiveness of a European Union minus Britain could, under a worst-case scenario, shave up to 3% off Germany’s long-term expansion. Overall, Germany exports goods and services worth about £95bn to the UK, or about 8% of its exports.
Also last week an analysis by the German Institute for Economic Research reported that Brexit would reduce GDP growth by as much as 0.5% in 2017, losing 0.1% this year.
I only mention the economy, because that appears to be the biggest stick that those of us who wish to be relieved of the shackles of dictatorship are beaten with.
In short – the value of sovereignty cannot be measured by any economist’s formula.
Whatever you decide, don’t forget to bring your own pencil.
Lastly – a header quote from the Prime Minister in Sunday’s Telegraph:
“An abject, self-imposed humiliation awaits if this proud, important country walks away.”
Awaits whom, Dave? You?