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Why the EU Is Like a Terrible Night Club

16/06/2016 16:59

What is the EU really like? And why should we leave it? I recently read a fun analogy (from an Iain Black) describing Brexit. It was about someone who is in a dive of a night club and his friend says "let's go somewhere else". Trouble is they leave the club, but the friend doesn't have an idea where to go, the club won't let them back in and they end up in the kebab shop. The fear is that will happen if we leave.

It's a good analogy to help explain what the EU is really like. Because the EU is like a Private Members Club. The people who run the club almost behave as if they are not accountable to anyone. They are the EU's five unelected Presidents. They sit exclusively in the VIP section of the club where access is only open to their friends from big business who arrive at the club in big flashy cars to have their secret chats with the management.

It is a club notorious for discrimination. This is highlighted by the fact that the EU is a customs union: anti-consumer and protectionist. Aimed at protecting two sectors: agriculture because of France and industry because of Germany.

The result is that 39% of the EU spending goes on agriculture and food prices paid are about 17% higher than they would otherwise be. Over the years there have been countless stories of African farmers and Caribbean sugar producers keen to sell their cheaper produce into the EU but they are penalised from doing so by the EU's tariffs.

But the biggest trouble about not leaving this night club now is that this is our only chance to take the exit. And if we vote to remain in the EU, the exit door is shut for good. You are then left in a night club with a nasty feel to it and it's pretty unsafe for those on the main club floor: really high rates of youth unemployment, depression in Greece, and financial problems ahead for many in the euro zone. The EU club has so many uncertainties and such a bad atmosphere you really should head out of the exit when you have the chance.

Many young people fear that they will not be able to travel freely if we leave the EU. That is nonsense. People can travel freely across the globe now and indeed were able to before we joined the Common Market in 1973. But I agree with this desire to break down the borders and that is what we can do in economic and trading terms outside the EU.

But if you do vote to Leave there is no need to fear you will end up lonely in the kebab shop. Once upon a time this Private Members Club was the only one in town. Now, because of globalisation and the Internet it turns out that there are far more clubs than we ever realised. And the vast bulk are far more open than you can imagine. Indeed in economic terms you don't need a trade deal to buy or sell goods and services from them. There is the China Club, the India Club, even the American Club. Not only that but many of these other clubs have far younger populations and they are all investing in state of the art technology. And they all look set to get bigger. Why would you not want to leave that Private Members Club after all?

Dr Gerard Lyons is a member of Economists for Brexit. His ebook "The UK Referendum: An Easy Guide to Leaving the EU" can be downloaded from Amazon for £1.99

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