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The EU conundrum

This morning in the Daily Telegraph – and on this subject (pardon me for this) I do not know the paper’s official editorial stance – there is a feature article claiming that a significant group of Tory donors, business leaders and senior politicians are now backing the campaign to leave the EU.

It’s all relative, I guess.

The subject of our membership of the EU has always come across to me as one of those vexed issues upon which there is no clear and rational final conclusive answer.

I certainly don’t have one myself.

Firstly, the fact is that there are plainly impressive cohorts of highly-intelligent and respected politicians, commentators and business leaders on both sides of the argument.

They cannot both be right.

Secondly, it seems to me that differences between them upon the key issue (i.e. in or out?) could just be ‘squared’, and here you may need to allow me to stretch logic to the Nth degree, thus.

Nobody is denying that the EU is less than perfect. I don’t see many people arguing against the impression many of us have gained that its most powerful unelected leaders and bureaucrats

(1) have been (and remain) committed to creating an ‘United States of Europe’;

(2) habitually spend untold amounts of unaudited money upon feather-bedding themselves and/or apparently imposing ridiculous policies, projects, rules and regulations upon all nations and citizens of the EU;

(3) ignore any manifestations of what they regard as inconvenience of democracy by selectively taking account of (or not) the results of all EU nations’ elections and/or referenda where EU citizens’ approval is notionally required before its preferred pet schemes can be implemented.

Despite all of the above being broadly accepted by both camps, it seems to me that those in favour of us remaining in the UK are maintaining that, in the modern global economic and diplomatic world, there is nevertheless still greater future strength and influence in the world to be had from being a member of an United States of Europe than there is from the UK ‘going it alone’ and then making whatever alliances and commercial deals it could, including with the EU it had just left.

At the end of the day, of course, it is all down to subjective opinion because the only way of proving which of the two polar opposite camps is ‘right’ would be for someone to create the impossible, i.e. two parallel universes, in one of which the UK leaves the EU and in the other of which it doesn’t … we then let the world go forward and unfold however it might … and finally (at some future point in history) we would be able to determine which of the propositions’ predicted outcomes was the more accurate – and/or alternatively perhaps, which of them had produced the best outcome all round for the UK.

[I say that although, as night follows day and eggs are eggs, there’d almost certainly be academic disputes between followers of the two different camps as to what the results had been.]

thumbs upAs I mentioned above – much as I have tried – I remain completely undecided as to which of the opposing camps intellectually has the better of the arguments.

That said, I am still 100% in favour of leaving the EU, simply because of the SNP’s threat that, if the UK ever voted to do so, Scotland would definitely vote for independence from the UK. It’s a slightly cack-handed way of we English getting rid of the moaning Jocks but, then again, needs must and all’s well that ends well …




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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts