Sir Roger Carr seems to believe the UK is a wholly average nation – he would have us believe we are simply incapable and unimportant on a world stage. Our position as an unique (time-zone advantageous) island nation – seen the world over as a haven for the rule of law, flexible business regulation, and trade – seems to have been omitted by Sir Roger. That said he is only part of the Europhile collective intent on convincing us the UK simply can’t go it alone. He is in opposition to centuries of history showing us otherwise.
Far from sleepwalking out of the EU, we are in danger of sleepwalking into becoming the nation Sir Roger wants us to be: neutered, wholly average, and only existing as a ‘bridge into Europe’. He states, “banks and industry” capitalise “on the open market culture, skills, rule of law, flexible labour force, language and time zone” but acts as though these advantages would disappear were we to exit the EU.
This is not the case.
It is far from evident to suggest the UK would suffer outside the EU. Thanks to The World Trade Organisation, 75 percent of trade goods are now tariff free. Alas, the “Most Favoured Nation” principle would prohibit the EU from waging a tariff war against us – not that the continent would want such a thing, given its current trade imbalance and levels of high unemployment.
Sir Roger is scaremongering the public into believing the EU is good for us and all our business alike. Again peddling this snake oil myth. Capitalism by its very nature seeks opportunity in all circumstances – and this is what has happened within the EU. Yes, business benefits from aspects of the EU because that is what business does – you would no more be surprised at a lion catching its prey. However to say the EU helps small to medium sized business through trickle down employment off the back of corporatist leaning European trade is a dubious assumption at best. This is even more dubious when you read figures produced by the British Chamber of Commerce that estimate nearly 70 percent of all business regulation originates in the EU. Who suffers most from implementing that? Small and Medium sized businesses (1).
Furthermore, to say this capital investment would disappear upon exit is again an uneducated guess. The rise of EU regulation has directly affected small business for the worse who find it harder to comply with ‘harmonisation’ regulations and it will continue to stifle competition and only go to help serve the vested interests of some big businesses.
The UK is part of this zoo that is the EU – a large trade barrier to the wider world disguising itself as a free trade bloc. However, the façade is starting to chip away and the world beckons. Just as business has found opportunity in the constricted and contained margins of the EU, business will find greater opportunity unlimited by barriers and regulation if only we embrace the world. The UK is not average; we offer a uniquely advantageous nation that will not only be able to survive in a brave new world but flourish. Unlike Sir Roger Carr, I have confidence in the UK.
(1) British Chamber of Commerce, “The Burdens Barometer, 2010”, May 2010.
The author is Jesse Lozano, a tech. entrepreneur and small business owner.
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