Wednesday, 5 February 2014
The EU - Choices
It’s nearly 30 years since Margaret Thatche signed the Single European Act with the vision of a single treading market by 1992. In 2014 we do not yet have a genuine single market in the services sector.
The EU official website states:
‘Despite its achievements so far, the single market is not yet complete. Important gaps remain in some areas. Pieces of legislation are missing. And administrative obstacles and lacking enforcement leave the full potential of the Single Market unexploited.’
This enormous failure has cost the EU billions in economic growth and disproportionately affects the UK which has a huge service base.
Services account for 71% of EU GDP, but only 3.2% of this is from intra-EU trade. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has estimated that the completion of the single market in services could increase EU GDP by 14% over ten years yet little has been done by the Commission or the member states to resolve this obvious failure.
The EU introduced a Service Directive which was implemented in 2009 but this goes nowhere near resolving the imbalance.
For some time I have regarded the EU as a political institution decided to ‘ever closer union’ with member states and the gradual - but inevitable - abnegation of sovereignty to an unelected and unaccountable supranational government. It is not a ‘free trade area’ nor is it a ‘single market’, no matter what lies the British political class and the media shamelessly spread.
David Cameron likes to promote his promise of an In/Out referendum (a promise he has already reneged on once) and utters the word ‘renegotiation’ at every opportunity. That would require a treaty change and any prospective treaty change would, in turn, require universal agreement among the other 27 member states. This will not be forthcoming because there is no desire for a ‘new settlement’ anywhere outside of Britain.
Being ‘in’ means being wholly committed to ‘ever closer union’ of the member states and, eventually, the total abnegation of national sovereignty. Being out means independence, sovereignty and self-government for the people, with all of the difficulties and opportunities they imply.
Those are our choices. One or the other - not both.