I’m going to let you into a little secret. I am a Eurosceptic. There, I said it.
I have my own concerns about the EU because I see and hear so much negative stuff about the EU, and it’s hardly any wonder so many people feel a little EUphobic at times. UKIP have, of course, done well to capitalise on this through their use of their favourite papers, the Daily Mail (whose stance on immigration is well known) and the Daily Express, (for whom leaving the EU is a ‘crusade’).
But at what cost, UKIP?
The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) lays out some facts here. It explains how the benefits of membership outweigh the costs, and about the costs of EU membership, which UKIP and their favourite chosen-for-sources daily newspapers will tell you is ‘£55 million a day’, which in comparative reality is only 0.4% of the GDP.
This works out as £34 per year to the average tax paying UK national! Not a lot.
Which gets you these rather good benefits, as the Mirror describes:
1. Unlimited travel
You can travel anywhere in the EU.
2. It’s the cheapest visa you’ll ever get
A visa to Russia costs £125; a visa to Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Sweden or any other EU member state is free.
3. Don’t panic if you break your leg in Latvia
The European Health Insurance Card will get you healthcare while on holiday in the EU.
4. And further afield, the EU offers sanctuary
When you’re outside the EU (say in Gabon, west Africa) and have an emergency, you don’t need to visit the British embassy for help. Rather, you can visit the embassy of any of the EU member states, and they will help you.
5. You can call home – for 20p a minute
This is thanks to cheap data roaming charges across the EU.
Not only the above, but being a member of the EU also ensures you are protected by the laws of the European Commission.
and so on.
For a party that claims to protect us and protect our rights, it seems that in fact UKIP want to take them away. They even voted AGAINST reforming the very gravy train they gobble from every day; that’s OUR money, paid for from OUR taxes.
But of course, for UKIP, it’s all just about the EU and immigration – seemingly much to their advantage. It would appear that the party that claims to have the interests of the UK at its heart are the very same party with their snouts firmly in the trough of the EU trough that they claim to oppose. UKIP also put our nation’s financial interests in very serious jeopardy by diminishing our voice, through their poor attendance and disrespect to other members of the EU. This kind of childish behaviour does not get us the respect we deserve as a nation, and is quite frankly embarrassing!
To play a part in Europe, you need a voice, just as within the UK. If you want to change things you need to get involved.
The UK car industry agrees, and states that:
Access to the Single Market is fundamental to UK vehicle manufacturing, supporting sales and facilitating supply chain growth.
Which begs the following questions: have UKIP really thought this through? What preparations have UKIP made for the projected damage to UK industry by withdrawing from the EU? How will it impact on our trade and economical status in the world, as well as our own relationship with the EU, if we were to leave and lose our voice?
Furthermore, what if we did vote to leave the EU and we then had to re-negotiate our trade terms? Europe may not be so willing to cut a trade deal with the UK after a withdrawal. It looks much more like this is just a huge gamble for the risk-takers UKIP, and their hedge fund backers, who appear to have little concern for those who will ultimately lose out if we were ever to leave.