Wednesday, 9 March 2016

What will happen if we leave the EU? What happens if we stay in? Facts and Lies

These two questions are inextricably linked but it helps my thinking to look at both these scenarios but first lay to rest the proles bleating cry we need more facts. Sorry, but as Mae West might have said  good facts are hard to find. Facts depend on context or crudely the lying politician who spouts them. Statistical 'facts' are usualy masssaged for their desired political purpose by not describing their full context. One of the favourite tricks is to choose the period that suits your purpose which is also a favourite of marketing men like Cameron Not only will we not get facts but they will be presented in a biased manner that makes them valueless and worse can be counter productive to our cause.

On Sunday, Carswell got caught out badly by Andrew Neil trying to maintain our gross contribution to the EU was £18 bn.  He should have deducted the vestigeal Thatcher rebate of £5 bn which we do not pay to the EU so the correct figure was £14 bn. Carswell should have conceded the point immediately and moved on. He made an ass of himself and damaged our cause by not admitting his error.

Economic statistics are a quagmire best avoided by politicians but they are like a mud pool to a hippopotamus, irresistible!

Jesse Norman. Tory MP, gets it pretty accurate on his web site

where points out the farm subsidies from the EU of £4.4 bilion have also to be deducted. More contentious is Norman deducts £1.4 bn of research grants and £0.8bn other payments but these are at the EU; discreton and are used to promote EU aims in the UK. I know from personal experience that to get an EU research grant you need at leat two partners from different EU contries the aim being to make us al Europeans.

The bottom line is that Norman reckons we would save £6.6 bn a year if we left the EU a figure I would agree with. As Norman points out that comes to £2 per UK citizen per week so I doubt if there is much political mileage in flogging that horse.

About nine times bigger is our trade deficit with the EU of £59bn. Click below for official government house of commons library figures
You click on the pdf links in this report to see the data. About half of this £59 bn deficit is with Germany. These figures mean little to ordinary people  and BBC QT useful foos so it is better to try and translate this deficit into the number of jobs we export to the EU. The EU philes have been forced to recant their claims to around 3.2 million jobs are with EU countries. The leap from that to saying these jobs depend on our membership of the EU is political weasel words, they do not!

Total UK EU trade in goods and services is £520bn pa. If we take the EU phile figure that this equates to 3.5bn jobs then we end op with a very rough estimate that around 12% (60/520) of these are jobs we have exported to the EU ie 400,000 jobs. Worse is that theywill be overwhelmingly high value jobs.

We have to express these figures in terms of lost jobs to get our message through to Joe Public

Then there is the effect of EU regulations unnecessary to the UK. The same HoC report estimates the cost of this at £30 to £60bn per year. On the same reasoning as above that comes to amother 400,000 jobs lost in the UK.

Dan Hannan explains beautifully who wins from the EU gravy train of your the video link below.

Its not the ordinary man in the street who gains from the EU its the big corporations, the bureaucrats and the slime ball politicians like Kinnock. The Major can say what he likes about Alec Salmond but I know one thing, you will never see Alec in the House of Lords unlike the hyopcritcal  Welsh windbag who vowed many years ago to abolish it but now along with his wife sits on the red leather.
In case anyone thinks I am anti Welsh I must record my undying admiration for George Thomas, a great Speaker of the HoC and a man who lived simply all his life. A truely great Labour politician and defender of our parliament. I quote from Wikepedia

He also gave his very high-profile endorsement of Sir James Goldsmith's Referendum Party, believing that the European Union was compromising the sovereignty of Parliament. He also wrote the Foreword to Adrian Hilton's book on this issue, The Principality and Power of Europe.[7] Lord Tonypandy was later Chairman of the Bank of Wales between 1985 and 1991.[8]

The EU can bend Kinnock to its will but could never bend George Thomas

Tomorrow why the EU puts us in mortal danger


Stephen Harness said...

A cost/benefit study would of our EU membership would also be a better quote. Sadly there are not too many of those around.

Eric Edmond said...

Agreed Stephen but HMG has always refused even back in 1972 before we went in.

Stephen Harness said...

How much easier the 'leave' campaign would be if the 'leave' campaign adopted a cost/benefit study. Tim Congdon put a lot of time and effort into producing a yearly calculation. This was ignored by UKIP. What an open goal it would be, if as you say, the HMG have not produced their own figures. We are looking for a way to counter FUD and a negative benefit to the UK of EU membership would have the 'remain' campaign in knots. I despair. Are we serious about the 'leave' campaign. I think not.

Eric Edmond said...

Good point Stephen,

I know Tim Congdon pretty well and I am familiar with the huge amount of work he did. I did warn Tim what Farage was like. He is now setting up some monetary economics course at Buckingham.