What did the EU ever do for us ...

(3 Posts)
Parietal Mon 18-Apr-16 21:07:40

Borrowed from facebook, but worth reproducing - a great letter by Simon Sweeney in the Guardian -

"What did the EU ever do for us?
Not much, apart from: providing 57% of our trade;
structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline;
clean beaches and rivers;
cleaner air;
lead free petrol;
restrictions on landfill dumping;
a recycling culture;
cheaper mobile charges;
cheaper air travel;
improved consumer protection and food labelling;
a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives;
better product safety;
single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance;
break up of monopolies;
Europe-wide patent and copyright protection;
no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market;
price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the eurozone;
freedom to travel, live and work across Europe;
funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad;
access to European health services;
labour protection and enhanced social welfare;
smoke-free workplaces;
equal pay legislation;
holiday entitlement;
the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime;
strongest wildlife protection in the world;
improved animal welfare in food production;
EU-funded research and industrial collaboration;
EU representation in international forums;
bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO;
EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
European arrest warrant;
cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence;
European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa;
support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond;
investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.

All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed.
It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980.
Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neoliberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these. We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multi-polar global future.

Simon Sweeney,

Lecturer in international political economy, University of York"

threedays Tue 19-Apr-16 00:21:05

I’ll still probably hold my nose and vote ‘in’ because they have us over a barrel and we can't afford to leave.

Still, if I were a cynic…

providing 57% of our trade;
Yes a free trade deal with the EU would be great. They won't let us have one.

•structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline;
•funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad;
• access to European health services;
•Investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.
•EU-funded research and industrial collaboration;
All paid for out of our net contribution.

•improved consumer protection and food labelling;
•a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives;
•better product safety;
•break up of monopolies;
•labour protection and enhanced social welfare;
•smoke-free workplaces;
•equal pay legislation;
•holiday entitlement;
•the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime;
•improved animal welfare in food production;
All legislation which we could have done for ourselves but have outsourced
instead.

•clean beaches and rivers;
•cleaner air;
•lead free petrol;
•restrictions on landfill dumping;
•strongest wildlife protection in the world;
But then - cheaper air travel. Do these offset each other?

a recycling culture;
Really? They don’t recycle outside of the EU?

single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance;
Ah you mean the cheap labour undermining living standards for the worst off in the UK

Europe-wide patent and copyright protection.
Just who is this ‘us’ you mentioned earlier?

Price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the eurozone;
Thankfully we’re not in the Eurozone and the morons behind the Euro should be taken out and shot by the Greeks.

•No paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market;
•freedom to travel, live and work across Europe;
And at some extra cost: on the hook for welfare payments and government services for 500,000,000 people whenever they fancy popping over.

•EU representation in international forums;
•bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO;
Might UK representation be better for us?

•EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
•European arrest warrant;
•cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence;
•European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa;
•Support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond;
Did we never collaborate with our allies before the EU?

All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed. It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980.

Nothing to do with the cold war and the fall of the iron curtain then.

Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neoliberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these. We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multi-polar global future.
OMFG.
What are the 4 freedoms about if not neoliberal economic globalisation?
Its own systemic weakness? You mean the fricking Euro? Then why not roll back? Oh yes - Germany has too much to lose.
We in the UK should reflect on changing the exit terms so that we can exit with certainty after we've negotiated our own trade deals including with the EU itself.

Still my calls are cheaper so thats all fine.

threedays Tue 19-Apr-16 00:22:45

A better thread would be ‘given that the EU have us over a barrel and we’ll all be eating our children if we vote out how the hell do we actually rollback and reform the EU from the inside?’

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