3 thoughts on “Why Europhiles and Eurosceptics don’t understand each other”

  1. Posted 26/11/2012 at 14:24 | Permalink

    It should be pointed out that Britain’s exports to (and imports from) the EU were markedly increased by joining it – at the expense of countries outside the EU, most markedly New Zealand, but not limited to the Commonwealth – and membership means trading with the EU is more likely. This is because the EU functions as a protectionist trading bloc, encouraging trade within the EU but discouraging trade outside of it, especially for a pro-free trade country like the UK. It seems to me that membership of the EU is a cost-benefit analysis: benefits are freer trade with Europe at the cost of i) lots of bureaucracy and ii) higher trade barriers with the rest of the world. Clearly, as the European economies are suffering it lowers the benefits of the EU relative to rest of world trade, especially as bureaucracy keeps growing and seems likely to increase.
    The great tragedy of course is that we have to assume a world of high trade barriers (in part erected by the EU itself).

  2. Posted 26/11/2012 at 16:00 | Permalink

    And for many Eurosceptics, I suggest that the supposed economic costs of withdrawal from the European Union are similarly almost an afterthought. It is political ‘independence’ which they value even if it costs something (which they may dispute).

  3. Posted 01/12/2012 at 19:13 | Permalink

    Much of this debate revolves around regulations, and who controls them. I am a Europhile, that is because I have lived through the transition from outside to inside the EU. I still remember as a young engineer having to design multiple different versions of the same device, one for each export nation – so there wold be a British model, a French model , a German model as so on. Now all I have to do is to design a British Model, and thanks to harmonization (i.e. regulations) I can sell my product with hinderence to 27 other countries.

    That is why Switzerland has to abide by EU regulations, but as it is not a member of the EU has no say in these rules.

    From a crude business point of view we would be bonkers to to leave the EU

    But when you add the additional benefits of decades of peace, freedom to live and work in anywhere in the EU, cultural and societal benefits, and last but most important the EU science & technology programme – it is no brainer.

    We are in to stay

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