€100,000 for Brexit

Fancy making some easy money? Just go in for the ‘Blueprint for Britain’ competition that is being staged by The Institute for Economic Affairs which is asking participants to provide a 2, 000-word piece on how the UK would be able to leave the EU and get around problems such as fitting into the geopolitical landscape and still surviving but going it alone. I say ‘the competition being staged’ since it really is on a par with David Cameron’s stunt at making the people of Britain and the rest of the world believe that there will be a referendum by 2017. If it’s that important Mr. Cameron, then you would be doing it by 2014 or at the latest 2015 and not in 4 years!

Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Nick Clegg called it a “complete stunt”. But, David Cameron knows two things about 2017 and that referendum. Firstly, the economy will more than likely have rebounded by then and flush with money, the people across the Channel will no longer be cut off from Britain by the fog. People in the UK will be less likely, therefore to go against staying in the EU. Secondly, neither the opposition nor those within the Conservative party will allow the law to go through. David Cameron has insufficient power in a coalition government to dictate to parliament, even though sometimes he might think that he is actually running the show.

What is also surprising is that the prize for the competition will be in actual fact awarded in euros. That’s rather rich! Blueprint to leave the EU. Blueprint to survive and go it alone. But, pay in Euros? Judges are Nigel Lawson, ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK, and Tim Frost of the London School of Economics.

According to some slamming the door on the EU would mean losing 37 trade agreements. In the light of present US-EU trade negotiations (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)), it seems highly unlikely that the stunt will come off successfully. Cameron will simply end up with Eggs Benedict on his face and a couple of bratwurst sausages slapped around his cheeks just for good measure. They are hardly (realistically) going to turn down the economic growth that might be estimated at over $100 billion, are they?

Brexit, UKip

Brexit, UKip

The UKip supporters and the anti-Europeans will be gunning for a debate, but quite honestly it will seem more like a waste of money and time as well as effort.

  • Britain pays in roughly £9 billion a year into the EU.
  • That’s nothing in comparison with the total spending of the UK which is over £700 billion.

Let’s hope that some of the 2, 000-word pieces that will be submitted actually take into consideration the possible downside of withdrawing, meaning that UK exports will be taxed when going to the EU. It will also need to be shown that certain companies might end up relocating from the City to the EU. Yes, the EU is the UK’s main trading partner. 52% of the UK’s goods go to the EU today and that’s about £400 billion. Yes, the UK would be in a position to establish free-trade agreements with countries such as China and Brazil or Russia, but that’s not going to happen overnight. Britain out of the EU, without the power of the EU28, would find itself certainly far more isolated than it is today, and that would mean with Washington. It never ceases to amaze the presumption of the UK that they would be able to go it alone and rule the world. The days of the sun never setting on the British Empire are long gone and today to believe that you would be able to go it alone are tantamount to madness.

Britain might believe that by leaving the EU they would be able to maintain their own borders and suddenly stop a flow of immigrants into the country; but, it might be a good idea to post immigration officers every two meters along the coastline throughout the UK, as that would be the only radial way to make that happen. A deal would certainly also be needed on what would happen to the thousands of Brits that are currently living in other countries in the EU. Would they have the right to work there and would they need to comply with visa requirements. Over 750, 000 British people are currently living in another member state today. What would happen to certain industries that are largely owned by foreign investors in the UK? For instance, the long-gone British automobile industry is now owned by others. Would they continue to stay in the UK, even if they had increased taxation and tariffs when exporting to the EU? Hardly! Is Britain suddenly going to sprout wheels and start seeing cars rolling off the production lines that are GB-plated and produced?

Most of what I have said will certainly fall on deaf ears and will be slated as ridiculous. Only 34% of the British would actually vote to stay in the EU at the present time. 51% would vote to withdraw.  So, 15% must be largely undecided at the moment. Then there are some that want to renegotiate the role of the UK in the EU. But, isn’t that a bit like wanting to have your cake and eat it all at the same time? Pic n’ mix was never a forte of some countries in the EU and Germany and France just to name a few would not allow for the benefits of the EU to be chosen at will.

UK and EU

UK and EU

It seems that the stunt that is being pulled is just a cover for the people to keep the barking dogs at bay for a while. But, one thing is for certain, the referendum talk is dangerous whether it becomes law or not. It is giving certain people podiums to voice opinions that are extreme. The other political parties in the UK are quietly ignoring the dangers of UKip, while they slowly gain a following. What is even more dangerous is that the other political parties are actually following them too.  Maybe the Institute for Economic Affairs shouldn’t have waved the €100,000-for-Brixit carrot in front of the nose of the people that are entering the competition. If they believe what they are doing, they should do it for nothing. Convictions?

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