Three million UK jobs directly rely upon our membership of the EU. That’s the statement, made as fact by pro-EU politicians. Read the words; understand them, individually and as a whole.
You will often hear Nick Clegg and other senior LibDems, plus their friends in the Labour Party and the ‘wet end’ of the Conservatives, spout this “fact”.
It is part of their arsenal, a quick, easy, glib sound bite, designed to put all of those nasty Euro-sceptic arguments to bed, once and for all.
All that matters is that as soon as we leave the EU 3 million of your fellow citizens will be out of work, there will be a social disaster and it will all be the fault of you selfish Euro sceptics who put narrow self interest and your loathing of the EU ahead of your country, its citizens and the national interest.”
These are the arguments underlining “the statement”. There is however, only one slight problem. It is complete and utter nonsense. I would go one small step further and say it is complete and utter, AAA-rated, weapons-grade, gold-plated, diamond-encrusted nonsense of the first magnitude and the highest order. Not only that but the politicians who spout such nonsense either know it is nonsense or do not care that it is and that is a disgrace.
What is worse, in many ways, is the fact that our press allows them to get away with it every single time. Well, not exactly every single time. In all the years I have been following such things, one journalist, Jeff Randall, questioned Nick Clegg’s use of “the statement”, when he spouted it a few weeks back. He said to his guest, and I paraphrase, “I have been looking all day and I cannot find a single shred of evidence to support this claim.” Well, “the statement” does go back a bit, to 2000 to be precise and it has amassed a bit of form over the years. The claim initially referred to a bit of research commissioned by a very pro-EU group of politicians, many of whom also campaigned for us to join the Euro, yes…quite!
Professor Ian Begg, one of the men who actually carried out the research, suggests that while he stands by his figures, he refutes the conclusions drawn from them, by some. You would have thought little details like that would matter to the Europhiles but apparently not.
Yet again our lazy, spineless, supine and worryingly incurious fourth estate, by and large, gives these nonsense-mongerers and rubbish-peddlers a free pass
In order for “the statement” to be even remotely true one, would need to buy into the contention that the day after the United Kingdom left the EU, all trade with it would come to a grinding halt and stop. Dead. End of. This is about as stupid a suggestion as it is possible to make and exposes nothing more than the desperate lengths the Europhiles, and their friends in the press, will go to in order to scaremonger the British people into accepting our continuing supplication to the God of ever closer union.
So I would ask you to think about the suggestion that 3 million jobs are directly reliant upon our membership of the EU; that in the event of our leaving, the EU would immediately cease all trading activities with us; that all companies large and small immediately pack their bags and relocate to Belgium, Spain or Greece with all the multi-billion euro expense that would entail.
The UK is a net importer of EU goods; we are a major market for them. Is Nick Clegg really saying that the day after we leave the EU there will be no more French cheese, Italian wine, Louis Vuitton handbags, Ferraris, Porsches and BMWs for sale in the UK or that they will be prohibitively expensive amounting to much the same thing? Well, logic would suggest that this is precisely what Mr Clegg and his fellow travellers are saying regardless of how utterly ridiculous and fact free it may be. This also, circuitously brings me back to Professor Begg, who suggested, “If Mr Cameron said to the EU: ‘I’m taking my ball home, I’m not playing with you any more’, there would be some kind of revenge. That is what we would do if it were the other way round.”
Err, no Professor we would not and there isn’t a single scrap of evidence to suggest that we would. In fact, looking at the colonial history of these Islands you will find many examples where countries have extricated themselves from us politically and administratively but with whom we have remained firm friends and retained solid trading relationships over the intervening decades. So no, I doubt very much that we would, particularly as we are historically a trading nation and have traded with the entire world over the last 2000 years. That is not to say however, that the French or the Brussels bureaucrats wouldn’t try to pull some kind of spiteful stunt.
A trade war however, would damage them an awful lot more than it would damage us.
At a time when EU trade is diminishing, the larger exporting nations are looking increasingly outwards and there is absolutely no sign of any significant end to the crises affecting the Eurozone.
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