Should Britain leave the European Union?

Britain has always been a reluctant participant in European matters, even from the beginning to the European Union. Now, with Britain’s strained relations with Brussels, an exit seems all the more likely.

The benefits of leaving the European Union will be clear from the beginning. We will stop paying £8 billion into the EU bailout fund for the weaker European countries. Furthermore, we will not have to bind down to the seemingly limitless EU regulations. Food would become cheaper as Britain can lower its import barriers from countries outside Europe, while also gaining back its fishing rights of its coasts. Britain is very strong trade partner so leaving the EU will not necessarily mean a loss of trade. Two prime examples of countries that have succeeded outside the EU are Switzerland and Norway. Both countries enjoy a healthy trade with European countries while not being members.

Despite the benefits to Britain’s exit from the European Union, the loss of free trade rights within Europe would be a critical hit. Most banks stay in London for greater access to European markets and if that was lost, they could well leave and set up base in a European country. Moreover, Britain would need to negotiate bi-lateral agreements with European countries to continue their ongoing trade. Bear in mind, it took Switzerland a decade to sort out these trade agreements and it might take even longer for a large country such as Britain. On top of the loss of free trade, Britain would also suffer an increase in tariffs`- British diary exports will incur a tax of 55% to reach the EU market while other industries will suffer similar tariffs. Moreover, EU membership grants Britain greater say in international matters and we will be able to exert influence over global events. Leaving EU might leave us a stranded island with no influence on any matters relating to global issues.

With the reliability of EU waning, the leaders at Brussels also have reasons to keep Britain in the EU; Britain’s departure will give the disaster stricken Europe a poorer image within the global economy, while also significantly lowering the economic prowess of the EU. Furthermore, Britain’s claims are not totally unreasonable; a budget freeze for EU spending in a period where many countries are making austerity cuts is a reasonable demand, given EU’s wasteful spending measures.

David Cameron needs to take a stronger stance against the budget rises in EU, aim to curb out the unneeded regulations and spending by the EU, and negotiate a better deal for Britain. Britain has always been has always been a renegade member of the EU but the reasons for membership remain the same now as when we joined. The single market of Europe is a pearl, surrounded by the dirt of European Union bureaucracy and the weak, debt ridden countries of southern Europe. Britain needs to try to clean the dirt of the pearl of the single market – it needs to form a pact of remaining a part of the single market but staying away from the new integrated single currency based economies of the European countries – and this pearl will be instrumental in the recovery of Britain’s economy.

Contributed by Anurag Chandrasekhar

One thought on “Should Britain leave the European Union?

  1. Switzerland and Norway only get to trade with the EU because they accept EU single market regulations and contribute to the EU budget. Neither has a say over how those regulations operate so any thoughts that such models would improve the freedom of the UK to set its own trade policy seem misplaced. Also, if you want the single market to power the UK’s economic recovery then you’d better tell Cameron to stop getting in the way of solving the eurocrisis. He has already vetoed the fiscal compact and is now threatening to scupper the further fiscal integration necessary to instill confidence in the economies of the eurozone.

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