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The trouble with europe


A fine new book by Roger Bootle is a welcome addition to ever increasing debate over the future of the EU and the UK’s role (or not) within the big “project”

And it is timely too. With the elections tomorrow and the likely level of success for UKIP. 

UKIP will not be getting my vote but their impact will be clear. However what may well be overlooked is that anti eu parties right across europe will be picking very similar levels of support. This is no longer a “uk problem”

My feeling on europe is straightforward. Briefly summarised as follows

1. The euro has been a disaster and will fail again unless fiscal conformity is entrenched across the varying economies. That is not going to be easy to achieve

2. It is not so much the concept of the euro that was the issue. The most disturbing aspect was the absolute failure of the eurocrats to identify the clear and obvious on going failures in various economies.

3. How can you trust the same people with further “integration”. The feeling across the continent is that they are highly paid, lazy and simply “don’t know what they are doing”

4. Further political integration is not welcome for a whole range of reasons, not least the lack of political accountability. 

I do not subscribe to the obsessions regarding immigration or a particularly emotional viewpoint and i believe EU membership has certain benefits

Personally I believe the reach of the EU should be scaled back. Certainly the expensive administration should be tackled strongly and their should only be one seat of parliament, but more importantly the grouping should concentrate on trade and the areas where they have succeeded They should forget trying to forge a “political union”

The problem is that “scaling back” is not appealing to the egos and power-bases of the eurocrats, but pushing ahead with “integration” under the misnomer of “progress” seriously risks a major backlash from voters right across the continent

In fact it is happening now

Roger Bootle’s fine book is certainly sceptical but rationally so and on taken from a largely economic outlook. 

His view is similar to Nigel Lawson’s whereby withdrawal from europe is a virtual necessity unless certain aspects are “rolled back” and further integration is suspended. 

A view I agree with and frankly I can see only one outcome



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