‘AM in Brussels’ left a comment on a post I wrote a couple of days ago.
“What is your gripe against the EU? Really?”
That’s a fair question, but not one I could answer in a comment.
Back in ‘72 we were asked to vote on joining a group called the European Economic Community. The EEC made a lot of sense. The concept was that the countries of Europe should cooperate rather than compete in the world of trade. Tariffs would be removed between trading countries and we would all work as a giant co-op.
There are a couple of things worth noting here. When we were asked about joining the EEC, there was no mention of anything other than economic cooperation. There was no mention of ‘harmonising’ legislation. There was no mention of any European Parliament. There was no mention of any European Court. This was an economic thing, and nothing else.
I liked the idea, and I voted for joining.
After joining, there were two major changes. The first was that the name was changed from ‘the European Economic Community’ to ‘the European Union’. Suddenly Europe was talking about harmonising laws, and introducing a parliament and a constitution. There was talk of a European Army and a European Police. What the fuck was this about? Then there was the idea of a single currency.
A single currency is a fine idea, and on the face of it it makes sense. In practice, however, it is a disaster. In order for it to work, there has to be regulation and harmonisation of the financial markets across Europe, and this just cannot work. There is no way that a country the size of Ireland can work under the same financial regime as the likes of France of Germany.
OK, you say, Ireland has done very well out of Europe. But has it?
Initially, money poured into the country. On the face of it, this was a good thing, but a lot of that money was artificial. Farmers were paid not to produce crops, and prices were guaranteed on produce, even though there was no longer any demand. The simple laws of supply and demand became fucked up, and farmers merrily went on producing things even though there was already a surplus on the market.
I would make a very strong argument that the appalling mess we are in at the moment is as a direct result of being a member of the EU. When the world economy improved, Ireland rose with the tide. Things went very well here, but that’s when the problem started. Out economy became overheated, but there was no natural way to cool it down. We were not able to increase interest rates which is the natural breaking mechanism, and so the economy ran at full throttle without any restrictions. We were an express train heading towards the buffers, and the driver had no breaks, so he kept his hand firmly on the throttle.
When the collapse happened, Ireland found itself in a position where it was uncompetitive. Our prices and our costs were too high. If we had our own currency, a devaluation would have gone a long way to sorting that, but because we are tied to the Euro, we can’t do that. As a result, we have had massive pay cuts imposed, but prices, in the main, remain high. The result is a wave of poverty and mass emigration. Unemployment is rampant and there is no prospect of improvement.
Furthermore, because of the single currency, we are being forced to bail out Greece to the tune of a billion or more that we just don’t have. Like ourselves, Greece is in a mess because they have been existing in an artificial bubble, dictated by Brussels and not by natural trade balances.
There has been a lot of talk recently that because of the Greek problems, that Europe will have to impose tighter financial controls on members in the future. What does this mean? Is Europe going to dictate tax levels? Is Europe going to do our budgeting? Are the European tentacles going to slither even further into our daily lives?
I have grown to resent and fear the EU.
It is a massive expensive bureaucracy that is interfering in virtually every aspect of our country. It is imposing laws. It is crippling our independence. It is dictating our finances. It is undemocratic in the extreme. It is a gravy train for the elite.
We have created a monster, and the sooner it dies, the better.