Oh, I wish! I am still embarrassed that I voted in favour of joining the EEC back in the 1970’s. But we were lied to. I can’t believe we’d ever have joined if people had known that we were heading for political union.
The real question is what do we get for our membership? It might be easier to first look at what membership could bring. Benefits could reasonably expect to fall into three broad categories: Economic, Political and Military(Security).
I know the following arguments have been simplified but if I’ve got it grossly wrong I’d love to know!
Do we get any real economic benefits from membership? We’re a significant economic contributor to the region so it doesn’t look like it. The Spanish will reasonably have a different view.
Would countries/companies/individuals stop buying our goods if we weren’t members? Don’t be daft. People in the EU happily buy Japanese and Chinese goods. Never mind cuckoo clocks from Switzerland. Can we buy stuff cheaper from the EU because we are members – I don’t think so. So, no real economic benefits then.
What about Military? Do you feel any safer knowing that the French are on our side? And the Germans? They are supposedly helping in Afghanistan but won’t fight! And who are our enemies, anyway? The Russians are no longer a major threat – and if they were, we’d still need help from the Americans!
The most likely threat to us as a country probably comes from Argentina - especially as we’ve barely got a fishing fleet now– never mind a navy! Can you see the EU helping us if the Argentinians decide to have another go at the Falklands? Yeah, right!
So that leaves political benefits. I’m not sure I can even be bothered to argue this one. Is there anything remotely good about letting a group other than our own government set the laws by which we live – even if our current lot are particularly bad at it!
And does anyone else round the world care if Europe speaks with one voice? The Americans – the Chinese? I shouldn’t think they give a monkeys about what we are up to.
So did I vote for a Pro EU party – well what do you think!