The EU in itself is not an economic success at all and the fact that certain areas have been successful (parts of England) and the turn-of-the millennium Irish Celtic Tiger (in the past not as much at present) are a consequence of much needed free market reforms (Thatcherite revolution in the 80s and competitive opening up of the Irish economy) that occurred despite, rather than as a result of, the EU influence. In fact the Left largely rejected both of these drives when they were proposed.
Defenders of the EU often point to historical German (or West German) success however the economic groundwork for this country can largely be attributed to the pro-free market (less regulation intense) policies that came to define the Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle) after WWII. These were engineered by Konrad Adenauer and his economic minister Ludwig Erhard and preceded the formation of the Common Market in 1957.
The claim that that the EU is in a better economic state than the US also lacks foundation. The numbers don’t bare this out both at present and in the past. Unemployment (U3 numbers) in the US is less than the EU average and regularly sits at a lower level than its Euro rivals (only 4 out of the 28 European countries currently have a lower unemployment rate than the US). Spain for one has an unemployment rate that sits at a horrific 21.4% with youth unemployment residing in the stratosphere at the unbelievable number of 51%.
As for Scotland and Ireland both their respective unemployment rates are above the UK average. In fact at present Ireland sits at 9.6% well over double the German average.
Norway and Switzerland, both non-EU members, boast unemployment rates of 4.6 % and 3.4% each of which is ahead of the US.
In addition GDP per capita is 1.4 times higher in the US than it is in EU with only the Banker’s Republic of Luxembourg (hardly representative of the Bloc) exceeding the US. In fact 49 out of 50 US states have a higher GDP per capita than the EU Average. If the UK were an American state it would rank about somewhere around the 40 – 45 mark in state GDPs per capita. Forbes takes an even grimmer view.
Economic issues aside. The key driver for the population’s rejection of the EU mandate ie. The loss of local autonomy. For me this was the greatest concern (followed closely of course by the over regulation hysteria of the EU). I am surprised that a proud Celtic nationalist would not be more concerned? What’s the point of winning independence from the UK only to hand it over to faceless bureaucrats in Brussels? The Scots especially will be deeply impacted especially with regards to their North Sea Oil. This is one of the big reasons that Norway stayed out of the Union to begin with.
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