The aim of EU was to avoid another devastating war in Europe by making its countries economically interdependent. Laws are designed to allow free movement of goods, services, money and people within EU member states.
Despite the undoubted idealism of its founders and the good intentions of so many leaders, the EU has proved a failure on so many fronts. EU regulation has overridden UK’s sovereignty. The trade agreements have limited UK’s growth potential with the rest of the world. EU immigration policies have benefited non-Brinton Europeans more than Britons. Far from providing security in an uncertain world, the EU’s policies have become a source of instability and insecurity.
Only 3.6% of the European Commission members are British, and the European Commission is unelected, which has the monopoly of proposing all EU legislation which it does in secret. It also has the power to issue regulations which are automatically binding in all member states.
The British Parliament will only be able to opt out of EU laws if the British government is able to get 55% of the other EU nations’ parliaments to join it in cancelling the law. EU laws are automatically incorporated into British laws without the consent of British Parliament.
Falling EU Economy
Figure 1: EU GDP to Global GDP
The share of EU economy has been falling, and it stands at 23.7% of global GDP today, and it is projected to decline even further.(See Figure 1) Plus, UK is now exporting less to the EU than they did 10 years ago. 51.4% of UK’s current exports are to EU, while only 5% of UK’s business exports are to EU. The EU promotes the trade in goods over services – it was not built for Britain, which is a world leader in services, especially financial services. The UK’s exports to the rest of the world are growing twice as fast as the UK’s exports to the EU.(See Figure 2) Britain is the only EU state that sells more outside the union than to other members.
Growing Global Market
The decline of the portion of EU GDP to global GDP indicates more market growth opportunities outside of Europe. The UK’s three fastest growing export markets are outside the EU(Chile, China and the United Arab Emirates) (See Chart 1), and leaving EU will provide UK with the freedom to to negotiate its own free trade deals.
Chart 1: Top 10 countries ranked by UK export growth, 2013 versus 2012
|2013 value (£m)||2013 rank||% of total UK exports||2012 value (£m)||% change year-on-year|
|United Arab Emirates||6,228||10||2.0||5,364||16.1|
Although EU has been actively negotiating trade deals with major economies like Japan, India and the United Arab Emirates, but they have all either been suspended or are barely moving. For example, EU has been negotiating free trade deals with India, the biggest emerging market, for more than 8 years, but it is going nowhere, because there are so many interest groups in EU, and it is nearly impossible to reach an agreement. However, Iceland, not a member of EU, has successfully reached a free trade deal with China two years ago. Without doubt, a bigger and stronger country like UK will have no difficulty in having better deals with the rest of the world.
As the 5th largest economy in the world, UK has some power and influence so that it will not necessarily lose all of benefits from EU. Some countries, like New Zealand, have already stated interest in maintaining a trade agreement with the UK even if it leaves the EU.
Immediate Cost Saving
Leaving the EU would result in an immediate cost saving, as the country would no longer contribute to the EU budget. This money, approximately 340 million euros per week, can be used to increase the education budget and also invest in scientific research technology development. Most importantly, this money can be used to reduce the government deficit.
UK has lost its control on boarders because of EU’s immigration policy. Basically, everyone with an EU passport can enter UK, no matter you are a criminal or a terrorist. However, for non-EU residents, UK has placed a number limit on the people allowed working in the UK from outside the EU. This number is usually reached within 6 months every year. This is interpreted as an discrimination against people outside the EU. This policy is also bad for the development of UK, as talents from EU cannot work there once the cap is reached.
Although the mass media are claiming that leaving EU will do no good to both UK and EU, it is not necessarily true. After leaving EU, UK will regain the control of its policies as well as its boarders, and more importantly, UK will have the opportunity to have freer trade deals with other countries.
For EU, it is time for them to implement reforms to the bloc. The idea of making the whole Europe to function like one single country is always a utopia. With different development stages and cultural backgrounds, member countries are difficult to reach an agreement. The EU should a bloc of countries that trade together freely, other than the second United States.