I wrote this after I had just watched the Vote Leave Campaign broadcast. It made me so angry, I had to put fingers to keyboard. And now that we are hurtling towards a No Deal Brexit cliff edge with a lot of the car manufacturing and banking already moving back to Europe, it seems more relevant than ever. Maybe we'll get another referendum so we can stop the Turkeys who voted for Christmas :(
The Vote Leave Campaign only came up with 3, frankly, shaky reasons to leave. Immigration, £350m/week and the NHS - although the £350m/NHS are only one issue they just made it seem like it was 2 issues. Then they repeated the last one twice so maybe there are 4 issues.
A bit of Cameron bashing to start with. He is supporting Turkey's entry into the EU which is true. We are showing willing to get cooperation from Turkey in order to get them to help us deal with the ongoing refugee crisis. Do you think having Turkey working towards what we want, is better than them working towards what they want? They are currently holding about 3 million refugees, do you think they would keep hold of them if the EU said there is no chance of you getting in?
The fact of the matter is that Turkey is so unlikely to get into the EU that it is a moot point. The timescale for their entry is decades long. They applied in 1987 and we are only just talking about it now, 29 years later. The EU has said that it's record on human rights, not admitting genocide, etc all has to change before they will even be considered. That is not going to happen anytime soon so so-what if Cameron supports them to get other things done.
"They'll all rush over here when they are accepted", the campaign goes on. What all of them? Their country is full of young engineers and skilled workers so that would be nice! And because there is a highly skilled workforce in Turkey, their country is 3 times richer than Switzerland or twice as rich as the Netherland or the same level of richness as Spain. Given that, what do they have to gain by entry? They are certainly not going to flock over here to use our buses and libraries as they have all that stuff where they are. Maybe they want to join because of trade links and access to the european free market. Ironically exactly what we will be giving up by leaving.
Our £350m to the EU each week is "wasted". No other explanation about what it is wasted on! Maybe you can ask someone who lives in Glasgow, Liverpool and Hull. Each won the bid to be European City of Culture and like the Olympics they received an enormous cash injection from the EU (Liverpool got £2 billion). Do you think Hull is going to get its money if we decide to leave? Do you think that the UK is going to continue this enterprise? We never did it before so it'll probably just stop. Millions of pounds were, and are continuing to be, made from these cities in tourism and their related industries. With tourism comes commerce and industry. The Liverpool I knew when I was a boy is unrecognisable to the Liverpool I see today. Crime was also significantly reduced in these cities mainly because the regeneration tackled the poorest areas.
"That's enough to build a new hospital each week". Really, do you think they will do that - no! The money will be added to the coffers and just be absorbed into the rest of it. You will literally see no difference! If £18bn extra a year could fix the NHS, they'd have done it already. If the government can magic up £375bn for quantitative easing they can certainly find £18bn just by putting their hand down the back of the sofa. This is a specious argument.
Now the Leave campaign mixes immigration and the NHS for a double whammy of scare tactics.
"The EU is broken" I'm not sure it is! It looks ok for where I stand.
"The NHS is in danger"
Imagine what will happen to public services when Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia join the EU. Then we get to see an idlic re-enactment of live inside the EU verses life outside the EU. On one side we have an old dear looking sad in a hospital waiting area and on the other hand she is whisked through and home in time for tea.
I remember before all the immigration, you still had to wait
"Now is your chance to take back control and spend our money on our priorities, like the NHS?". Ok, so not the NHS, then. Things like the NHS! So the money will go into a pool; like a kind of coffer.
Then, for some reason they repeated the whole section on the NHS again. It was as though they couldn't think of another reason so they repeated the last one again. They didn't repeat the stuff about Turkey again, maybe that's less important.
The whole thing was full of red rock-like arrows leaping off the map from Turkey, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and all landing on the UK. It was like watching WarGames's "Global Thermonuclear War Game" which was just as made up.
The level of scaremongering mixed with wishy-washy facts surprised me. I guess they did the filming before they had that row last week about everyone telling porkie pies.
So the main argument of Leave is we can be 350m quid a week better off. We pay £865m per week in interest alone on our national debt and we literally get nothing for that! £350m a week for all the stuff we get from the EU is an absolute bargain! Free (not as in free beer) travel across Europe - ex-Pat's only now - hands up who wants to come back to England or become Spanish. More maternity leave, thank-you EU for paternity leave, lots more rights for consumers, more intelligence through Europe, it's easier to buy property in Europe, cleaner beaches, more holiday, cheaper phone calls, next year there won't be roaming charges (if we stay), better CO2 laws, don't forget cheap flights, more people speak English and making the French eat our beef!
The list goes on. There are a few nice "What has the EU ever done for us?" articles here:
The CBI estimates the net benefit of being a member is £60bn to £80bn per year, not bad for only shelling out £18bn.