Should we stay or should we go?

June 21, 2016 at 10:16 am Leave a comment


Please vote to remain.

I admit that neither side of the Brexit campaign has showered themselves in glory. Farage, meanwhile, has been consistently abominable and is the tip of very dark, divisive and dangerous and dangerous minority. The future is by its very nature difficult to predict. The number of “facts” about the impact of staying or going is indeed small, disputable and debatable.

But, why would we take the risk of leaving?

We are doing pretty well as we are. We already punch above our weight on the global stage at least diplomatically, militarily, if not in the world of football (well done Wales!). And, our economy is doing better than most.

We are still British and Northern Irish while being European. Our pork pies and Stilton cheeses are protected. As is Sterling. And English remains the dominant language around the world, at least in terms of business. And, he Union Flag still flies proud over Westminster, Holyrood, the Synedd, and Stormont.

What is so great about a fictitious world outside of Europe that is worth the infamous “leap into the dark” or killing an MP for? Why would the UK be so much better run by a government headed by a self-serving Boris or his sidekick, Gove?

Who would you trust the most, those backing the Remain campaign including former British Prime Ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major, the Labour Party, the Lib Dems, and the SNP? While you might not like their politics, you have to admit that it is an impressive body of support from our political leaders, past and present, and a fairly broad political church.


Organisations who exist to fight for jobs, workers rights, and a better society want us to remain, including the TUC, our six largest trades unions, and the National Farmers Union. Workers unite. Farmers unite.


The vast majority of “serious” economists and independent financial institutions such as the Bank of England and multiple international businesses including Ford Motor Company, Toyota UK, GKN, Diagio and Rolls Royce. Nissan is actually suing the Vote Leave campaign who, incorrectly, claimed the company favoured Brexit.


The people who live and breathe the much beleaguered NHS also want us to stay, such as the Chief Executive of NHS England, and the Royal College of Midwives.


Most of the “credible” world leaders also want the UK to be part of the EU, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Angela Merkel.

Against this persuasive body of opinion are rallied such “great” leaders as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove (remember what he did to the Education system in this country?), Neil Hamilton and Nigel Farage, all being egged on by the BNP, UKIP, and the Sun newspaper! Oh, and Donald Trump…..Oh and, James Dyson, who moved his vacuum cleaner factory to Malaysia….

Given the overwhelming body of political, and economical support for remaining in Europe, why on Earth is anyone considering that the world would be better if we left? Please don’t be fooled by the rhetoric and lies of those spouting leave…..

I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. That we should decide our own laws and how we spend our own money. But, according to the House of Commons Library Report, only 7% of our laws were generated in Brussels. They don’t govern us, or set our laws. The UK does manage its own budget and sets its own taxes and determines how it spends the revenue it raises, including how much to invest in health, education, policing, the military, and border control, etc…

And it is a two-way street. The UK has been able to influence many European laws that have brought great advantage to our fellow European citizens living in other countries. And laws that might protect us from pollution, global warming and terrorism, etc. are certainly less impactful if they only ever get implemented in one tiny island off the north west of the Continent.

Yes, we are a net contributor to the EU. We do pay in more than what we get back. But so what? It’s a good thing to help countries that are poorer than ours, isn’t it? Some would argue that one of the reasons why Europe has enjoyed such a long period of relative peace since WW2 is because of the raising of standards, economic stability, and the spread of democracy across Europe, driven in part by the EU.

And you also need to look closely at the numbers that are being banded around. Yes, we do pay £350 million a week to the EU. But, after our rebate and money spent in the UK by the EU, this reduces to a net UK contribution of just £100 million per week, which is just 0.3% (yes, note the decimal point) of UK GDP, or, about 36 British pence per person per day. I’d like to continue to pay that to avoid another European war and secure UK jobs, especially as spending that same 36 pence to improve UK public services would, frankly, amount to pissing in the wind! Put that on the side of your battle bus Boris…

Leavers claim we will continue to be able to access the single market in Europe if we leave, but, Germany’s finance minister has made it quite clear this won’t be the case. We may well face tariffs on our exports to the EU.

And then there are the migrants. Turks and terrorists of the wrong religious persuasion wading ashore at Dover and living their lives contrary to our Great British culture, changing life in Little England and the colour of this green and sceptred isle forever.


I am more afraid of the people who are afraid of immigrants than the immigrants themselves. More afraid of people who can stand in front of a poster of desperate refugees fleeing a civil war in Syria with the banner “Breaking Point”.

Forget the broad history of beneficial immigration to this country over the centuries, even since joining the EU the vast majority of immigration to the UK has been from outside of the EU. Now it is true that this balance has swung somewhat the other way in recent years but even in 2015, some 270,000 EU citizens immigrated to the UK, and 85,000 returned to the EU, giving a net contribution of 185,000 people. In a country of 64.6 million souls. Their addition is hardly going to see us slide into the sea even if they all jump up and down at the same time in the same corner of Kent!

And, most importantly, (I say again most importantly) these migrants to the UK pay more in taxes than the cost of the public services they use, to the tune of a positive contribution of £20 billion a year (versus the £5.2 billion a year net contribution that the UK pays to the EU!). Most are of working age and most work, bringing in important tax revenues at a time when our native population is becoming more and more elderly with the obvious additional strain on pensions and the health service. These immigrants, economic or otherwise, help to pay for our schools, our hospitals, and they build them and work in them. If there are not enough school places or you have to wait too long for a doctor’s appointment then blame Westminster not Brussels, and certainly not the migrants!  Incidentally, that is exactly why Australia has a points based immigration system – to attract a younger, working population who can make a positive contribution to help fund services to an ageing population.

And, remember there are 2 million Brits living in Spain, France and other parts of Europe. We call them ex-pats but, in reality they are the EU’s immigrants from the UK. Most are retired and many have holiday homes – drawing on the public services. And, there are 30,000 British nationals claiming unemployment and other welfare benefits in other EU countries. It’s a two-way street…

For sure, if we Brexit, our economy will suffer, at least in the short term. The pound will devalue – indeed it already has as the polls begin to show that the threat (and I chose that word deliberately) of Brexit is a possibility has had a negative impact on the Pond and the Stock Market. “Great” some may say as the basic laws of economics mean that a devalued Pound means the goods that we manufacture will be cheaper and we will be able to export more.


What do we make here any more? Thatcher killed off all of most of our manufacturing decades ago and Osborne seems intent on finishing the job. We are largely a service industry and a financial services industry. We make skinny lattes and burgers. Those things we still do still manufacture and export such as oil and foreign brand cars for foreign-owned companies, are reliant upon integrated European-wide manufacturing process and distribution systems and are likely to be hit by tariffs of a scale that will offset any exchange rate benefit. And your holidays in the Euro zone will become more expensive. And a falling currency normally leads to inflation, which the Bank of England usually guards against by raising interest rates – so, your mortgage rates will go up! We will all be worse off…

The question is are you willing to risk all or any of the above happening?

Nicholas Soames MP, grandson of Winston Churchill is a prominent Remainer. He has been criticised for not backing Brexit, with many claiming that Churchill would be turning in his grave.

Would he?

Churchill, addressing the Congress of Europe in 1948 said: “A high and a solemn responsibility rests upon us here … If we allow ourselves to be rent and disordered by pettiness and small disputes, if we fail in clarity of view or courage in action, a priceless occasion may be cast away for ever. But if we all pull together and pool the luck and the comradeship – and we shall need all the comradeship and not a little luck … then all the little children who are now growing up in this tormented world may find themselves not the victors nor the vanquished in the fleeting triumphs of one country over another in the bloody turmoil of … war, but the heirs of all the treasures of the past and the masters of all the science, the abundance and the glories of the future.”

That’s the spirit of Churchill. That’s the spirit of Great Britain. That’s the spirit of Europe.

You can keep my 36 pence a day. It’s a price very much worth paying.

Please vote to remain.


Entry filed under: middleman. Tags: , , , , , .

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