Amidst all the arguments about the EU in the UK there is rarely much attention to what the EU really does and what people like or dilike about it. All we hear is from people who like trade who wrongly claim our trade is dependent on EU membership, when we can see many non EU members trading very successfully with the EU. So I am offering people for and against to tell us what they like and dislike about the EU.
I will start this debate by explaining the things I most dislike about the EU.
1. Its unqualified support for the Ukrainian government, which has been busy killing some of its citizens as its response to losing control of the east of its country. The rebals have resorted to violence, but the government kills too many with some of its indiscriminate violence.
2. The mass unemployment, particularly of young people, which EU policies have created in several countries. I think the disinterest in the consequences of the Euro for young people in Spain, Greece and elsewhere is a moral outrage. 50% youth unemployment is not a price worth paying for their integrationist dream
3. Dear energy. The EU’s crazy energy policies have driven more people into fuel poverty, as Labour calls it, and have driven many industrial businesses with their jobs out of the EU altogether.
4. The lack of democracy. There is no effective opposition to new proposals and laws in the EU – they proceed by cosy consensus, with the unelected Commission initiating and drafting the laws. The laws should be initiated by the elected Parliament, and vigorously opposed by parties and individuals there.
5. The lack of democracy in my country that flows from the way EU rules and laws accepted by one government cannot be repealed by a new government after an election. The EU has gravely damaged our democracy, especially because one Parliament does now bind future Parliaments if it accepts EU laws.
6.The overweening arrogance of the EU, poking its nose into all too many features and facets of our lives for no good reason.
7. The high cost of government in the EU, with too large a financial contribution placed on the UK.
8. The lack of control over our borders.