EU Basics – Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Membership, by Richard A Werner

This may seem like it’s a little late, what with the British vote on the EU already underway. However, it does a nice job of skewering the EU, always a worthy endeavor, and gives a good history of the EU, from its roots as essentially an American project. From Richard A. Werner at professorwerner.wordpress.com:

The British people should be clear about just what they will be voting on at the EU referendum this Thursday. What does it actually mean to stay in the EU? What does it mean to exit?

Concerning the second question, the dominant issue in the debate has been the question whether there will be a significant negative economic impact on the UK from exiting the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron, together with the heads of the IMF, the OECD and various EU agencies have given dire warnings that economic growth will drop, the fiscal position will deteriorate, the currency will weaken and UK exports will decline precipitously. George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer has threatened to cut pensions if pensioners dare to vote for exit. But what are the facts?

I have been trained in international and monetary economics at the London School of Economics and have a doctorate from the University of Oxford in economics. I have studied such issues for several decades. I have also recently tested, using advanced quantitative techniques, the question of the size of impact on GDP from entry to or exit from the EU or the eurozone. The conclusion is that this makes no difference to economic growth, and everyone who claims the opposite is not guided by the facts. The reason is that economic growth and national income are almost entirely determined by a factor that is decided at home, namely the amount of bank credit created for productive purposes. This has sadly been very small in the UK in recent decades, thus much greater economic growth is possible as soon as steps are taken to boost bank credit for productive purposes – irrespective of whether the UK stays in the EU or not (although Brexit will make it much easier to take such policy steps). We should also remember that a much smaller economy like Norway – thought more dependent on international trade – fared extremely well after its people rejected EU membership in a referendum in 1995 (which happened against the dire warnings and threats from its cross-party elites, most of its media and the united chorus of the heads of international organisations). Besides, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China never needed EU membership to move from developing economy status to top industrialised nations within about half a century. The argument of dire economic consequences of Brexit is bogus.

As for the first question, namely what it means to stay inside the EU, we should consult the EU itself. Happily, the EU released a major official report about its key policies and what it plans to achieve in the near future in October 2015. This report was issued in the names of the „Five Presidents“ of the EU. In case you had not been aware that there was even a single, let alone five presidents of the EU, these are: The unelected president of the European Central Bank, Goldman Sachs alumnus Mario Draghi, the unelected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected Brussels Commissar and „president of the Eurogroup“, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the „president of the Euro Summit“, Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. What is the message of this not negligible number of EU presidents concerning the question of where the EU is going? The title of their joint report is a give-away: „The Five President’s (sic) Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union“. https://ec.europa.eu/priorities/publications/five-presidents-report-completing-europes-economic-and-monetary-union_en

To continue reading: EU Basics – Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Membership

 

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