Monday, 15 February 2016

In response to Mark English - EU Rep to the UK (in some capacity or other)...

What's the EU ever done for us? This lot…

At last we may get a debate on Britain's relationship with Europe (Leader, 11 January). What did the EEC/EU ever do for us? Not much, apart from:providing 57% of our trade
Don't need to be in the EU to trade with it, trade has declined since joining!
; structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline;
Our own money back
clean beaches and rivers; cleaner air; lead free petrol; restrictions on landfill dumping; a recycling culture;
UK could do this if it chose
cheaper mobile charges;
Only roaming - loaded onto domestic charges instead.
cheaper air travel;
Ask Michael O'Leary (founder of Ryanair) about that -- EU opposed him every step of the way
improved consumer protection and food labelling;
'improved', I don't think so - its mainly expensive red tape - but again UK could do this with out the EU
a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives; better product safety; single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance;
The EU is destroying industry - its falling apart - especially in the UK. Paying companies to leave the UK, green taxes making energy too expensive for heavy industry etc...
break up of monopolies;
Nonsense - other EU member states have state monopolies - often buying up UK services!
Europe-wide patent and copyright protection;
Available to whole world - not only EU members. n
o paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market;
Have you seen the paperwork I have to complete as a business in the EU *whether or not I export to the continent*?
price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the eurozone; commission is just hidden in the exchange rate... its not changed for free... freedom to travel, live and work across Europe;
Brits have lived around the world and euorpe long before the EU existed
funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad;
Using our own money...
access to European health services;
in return for their access to ours - we get the short end of this deal
labour protection and enhanced social welfare; smoke-free workplaces; equal pay legislation; holiday entitlement; the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime;
Again UK could do this if it wanted - do you think Brits too stupid? Random Europeans are smarter?
strongest wildlife protection in the world; improved animal welfare in food production; EU-funded research and industrial collaboration;
Our own money, things we could do for ourselves.
EU representation in international forums; bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO; EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
You mean UK removed from direct international representation, now just *hoping* EU position agrees with what we want (and it often won't as Germany/France etc have to be satisfied too)
European arrest warrant; cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence;
Open borders creating this extra expense to counter the huge risks the EU have forced upon us.
European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa; support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond;
Nato has been the heart of western military cooperation, not the EU. EU and the Middle east? Trying to start a war with Russia? You think these are good things?
investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.
Our own money - less what the EU pockets for its own useless, stupid pet projects... EU GPS anyone? Islam in Europe anyone?
All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed.
Who would have gone to war? France? Germany? UK? What war has it stopped?
It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980.
They threw off the communism of the USSR all by themselves - only to be trapped by it again in the form of the EU.
Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neoliberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these.
EU is at the heart of imposing neoliberal economic globalisation with the pernicious TTIP treaty, which we are not even allowed to *READ*. EU are the baddies here, not the goodies.
We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multipolar global future.
The EU has given us nothing positive since we have been members - just robbed and abused us.
Simon Sweeney Lecturer in international political economy, University of York
You are not fit to lecture.

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