European superstate

With the Lisbon treaty now coming into law, does this mean we are one more step closer to a European superstate with the UK just becoming a state rather than a country??? is it time to leave the country or try and do something about it???

why so worried?? I probably like 1000's of other people do not want to be controlled from europe, of course there are plenty of good things that europe has done, but there are plenty of things I don't like. and being part of a united states of europe is one of them....
I admit it would be nice to get a vote on the issue but as far as my lifes problems rank being controlled by a prat in strasburg instead of a prat in London isn't that high up in my list.
vvaannmmaann said:
Yokel said:
We never did get that vote, did we?
Nor will we.Seems Dave says it is not up for discussion.
Well, you surely didn't expect Cameron or any other politician to " DO " what they actually promise. They're all lying dishonourable bstards anyway, whatever, we can't win.!
So question for you all? are we heading on an unstoppable course for a united states of Europe?? non of the main parties or even the media seem to have picked up on that or seem to care
Dunc0936 said:
So question for you all? are we heading on an unstoppable course for a united states of Europe?? non of the main parties or even the media seem to have picked up on that or seem to care

Yes we are and it will end in tears in my lifetime in a bloodbath as the insurmountable tensions within Europe tear it apart.
Maybe not in our lifetime's, but before we know it they'll only be One Political Party. I mean, everything has to start somewhere, and then we'll all have to wear Grey Clothes...

Democracy is a dying right, as is the ability of mankind to be able to think for themselves. 'Cashier number 3 please'.
Oil_Slick said:
Dunc0936 said:
So question for you all? are we heading on an unstoppable course for a united states of Europe?? non of the main parties or even the media seem to have picked up on that or seem to care

Yes we are and it will end in tears in my lifetime in a bloodbath as the insurmountable tensions within Europe tear it apart.
You are not the first person I have heard that from, I have also heard that from a historian and a pro europe conservative which supprised me
Please grow up, there will be no blood bath because of this treaty.

The reason that all the parties are not willing to stop the process is because chances are we would not be able to afford to not join.
The tories have lost my vote due to this issue. There are many like me.

I too do not want to be controlled by Europe. I don't want to be a part of Europe. I do not want to spend their money and I do not want anything a United Europe will offer as it will come at too great a price.

I'd rather have Britain become a state of The USA than a state of EU.

I fully intend to pop smoke and leave these shores long before this becomes a reality... As in soon.
Kyle_ni said:
Please grow up, there will be no blood bath because of this treaty.

The reason that all the parties are not willing to stop the process is because chances are we would not be able to afford to not join.

The EU is just a bigger version of that mess called Yugoslavia, were disparate peoples with different cultures and languages were forced to live together…

Worked out well did that.
Kyle_ni said:
The reason that all the parties are not willing to stop the process is because chances are we would not be able to afford to not join.

The Costs and Benefits of the European Union

Would we be better off if we left?

If the UK were to leave the EU, there would be no net loss of jobs or trade. In addition, we would be between £17 billion and £40 billion per year better off, possibly more. These are the findings of A Cost Too Far?, published by Civitas.

Prime Minister Blair often claims that 60 per cent of the UK’s trade and three million jobs ‘depend on’ our EU membership. Closer analysis reveals this to be a highly misleading claim.

Sixty Per Cent of Our Trade? The first problem with Mr Blair’s statement is that it refers to ‘goods’ and not ‘goods and services’. In 2002, 59 per cent of UK exports of ‘goods’ were exported to the other 14 EU countries. However, it is more usual to count exports of both ‘goods and services’ and, in 2002, UK exports of goods and services to the EU comprised about 52 per cent of the UK total. This figure needs to be adjusted for the Rotterdam-Antwerp distortion. These two huge ports serve as transit points for goods on their way to other parts of the world, but the official figures assume that goods sent there are going to the EU. After adjustment, 48 per cent of UK exports of goods and services go to the EU.

Sixty Per Cent of Our Economy? The second misconception is that 60 per cent of our economy depends on the EU, whereas the true figure is more like ten per cent. Exports of goods and services only account for 21 per cent of ‘final demand’. If exports of goods and services to the EU account for 48 per cent of total exports, then ten per cent of GDP is currently the result of exports of goods and services to other EU members. In other words, about 79 per cent of our economy is the result of domestic activity, involving buying from and selling to each other, and exports of goods and services to the rest of the world account for another 11 per cent.

Three Million Jobs Would Go? Mr Blair’s third mistake is to believe that the jobs currently resulting from trade with the EU would be lost if we left. However, a number of authoritative studies have found that leaving the EU would have little impact on jobs, including a report by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, and a report for the US Congress by the US International Trade Commission. In particular, if the UK left the EU, it is unlikely that UK companies would be denied access to other EU markets. The latest figures are for the period before enlargement and show that the other 14 members exported more to the UK than they imported from us. It might be said that they need the UK more than the UK needs them. Moreover, about twenty countries as diverse as Switzerland, Gambia and Mexico have free trade agreements with the EU (with another sixty holding discussions), and it would be extraordinary if the UK could not negotiate a similar deal. In trading relations, self-interest tends to prevail, but in any event the EU’s average external tariff on non-EU imports is down to about 1.5 per cent and the World Trade Organisation would prevent any ‘retaliation’, however improbable.

Would there be a cost of leaving the EU?

The author concludes that, if the UK were to leave the EU, there would be no net loss of jobs or trade. However, to draw any such conclusion involves complex calculations, and it is widely accepted that assumptions have to be made that can influence the final figure. The author provides a range of estimates from ‘rock bottom’, through ‘most likely’, to ‘high’. His rock-bottom figure draws largely on official sources and deploys the most cautious of assumptions. The net costs of EU membership are appraised in five areas: EU regulation, the common agricultural policy, net payments to EU institutions, the single market, and inward investment. In keeping with earlier cost-benefit studies the results in A Cost Too Far? are expressed as a percentage of GDP and rounded to the nearest half percentage point. In this Factsheet the estimates are in pounds. Overall, the net cost of remaining in the EU ranges from the ‘rock-bottom’ estimate of £17.6 billion to the ‘most likely’ of £40 billion.

EU Regulation: The rock-bottom estimate is £6.3 billion and the most likely, £20 billion. Based on the Government’s own regulatory impact assessments (RIAs), the total cost of regulation between 1999 and 2004 (one-off costs spread over the period plus recurring costs), according to the British Chambers of Commerce, was £7.91 billion per year. Based on information supplied by the House of Commons Library in May 2004, 83 per cent of the cost of regulations originated in EU directives. If rounded down to 80 per cent, then about £6.33 billion of the £7.91 billion total cost is due to the EU. There were no RIAs before 1999 and the estimate for the period from 1973 to 1999 has to be more tentative. An official study of the overall impact of EU regulation in the Netherlands has put the figure at two per cent of GDP. If also true of the UK, the net cost would be £20 billion.

CAP: The rock-bottom figure is £7 billion and the most likely, £15 billion. The Treasury estimated the cost at about 1.2% of GDP (currently about £12 billion). Allowing for subsidies paid to UK farmers, this produces a net figure of about £7 billion. An OECD study put the total cost to the EU in 2002 at 1.4 per cent of GDP (£14 billion), producing a net cost of £9 billion. However, allowing for costs and subsidies not included in the OECD study, and for subsidies received by UK farmers, the most likely net figure is £15 billion.

Payments to EU Institutions: This is an annual figure published by the Office for National Statistics and so no range is given. The latest Pink Book shows net payments of £4.3 billion. Over the last ten years, the UK has paid a similar net average amount each year, paying out an average of £11 billion per annum and receiving back £7 billion in ‘aid’.

Single (Internal) Market: A study by the European Commission in 1996 and an academic study published in 1998 are often quoted in support of the claim that the single market raised total EU output by between one and 1.5 per cent. More recently, the European Commission has claimed that the internal market increased EU GDP in 2002 by 1.8% compared with a year earlier.
However, a number of independent studies have found no hard evidence of net benefits. For example, the Bundesbank could find no evidence that it has helped German trade. The UK economy is unlikely to be any different. The Institute of Directors reviewed studies from the Commission, the OECD and others and noted the absence of persuasive evidence of the benefits of the single market. In 2003 an Institute of Directors’ survey of members found that trading in the EU 14 was on balance unattractive and more costly, with more paperwork than before the single market. The overall conclusion of A Cost Too Far? is that the balance of costs and benefits for the UK economy is zero, that it could be negative, and that the UK would not suffer economically by being outside the single market.

Inward Investment: The UK is one of the world’s leading overseas investors, but also a recipient of significant inward foreign direct investment (FDI). UK Trade and Investment, part of the DTI, monitors investment flows and its annual review for 2002/03 lists the main reasons why the UK attracts investment. Access to the single market is one among several other advantages, including the skilled and English-speaking labour force, the flexible labour market, good communications, the strong science and technology base in universities, low corporation tax, ease of market entry and tax allowances for start-ups. These other advantages would remain and, if the UK left the EU, the impact on inward investment is likely to be neutral.
Some studies, including one by the NIESR, claim that FDI would fall if the UK left the EU. A Cost Too Far? questions this contention by looking at the earnings on all inward investment made by the main economic sectors. The two biggest are oil and gas (39 per cent of earnings) and financial services (18 per cent). The study argues that oil and gas would continue to attract investment because they are high value products in a stable part of the world. Investments in financial services, another global industry, are mainly denominated in US dollars, and will go wherever the best return is to be found. The City has not suffered from the introduction of the euro and would be unlikely to suffer if the UK left the EU. Investment in manufacturing of ‘chemicals, plastics and fuel products’ (10 per cent by earnings) and ‘other industries’ (11 per cent) might be influenced by our EU membership, but it is a factor of declining importance.

Hitched to a ‘Falling Star’?: Is it wise to link our fortunes to a region of the world with a poor record of economic growth and whose share of both world markets and GDP is destined to fall? Even the European Commission takes a gloomy view of the EU’s prospects. In its December 2002 review it forecast a 44 per cent decline in the EU-15 share of global GDP from 18 per cent in 2000 to ten per cent in 2050. In 2050, as in 1950 and 2000, the three most populous countries in the world are likely to be India (1.6 billion), China (1.5 billion) and the USA (0.4 billion). The working-age population of the EU, even after its current enlargement to 25 members, is projected to decline by 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2050; whereas the working-age population of the USA is expected to increase by nearly one-third.

From: Ian Milne, A Cost Too Far: An analysis of the net economic costs and benefits for the UK of EU membership, published by Civitas, July 2004.
CIA gives grim warning on European prospects

"‘The EU is also set for a looming demographic crisis because of a birth rates fall’"

Published Date: 16 January 2005

THE CIA has predicted that the European Union will break-up within 15 years unless it radically reforms its ailing welfare systems.
The report by the intelligence agency, which forecasts how the world will look in 2020, warns that Europe could be dragged into economic decline by its ageing population. It also predicts the end of Nato and post-1945 military alliances.

astating indictment of EU economic prospects, the report warns: "The current EU welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalisation could lead to the splintering or, at worst, disintegration of the EU, undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role."

It adds that the EU’s economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labour laws. Reforms there - and in France and Italy to lesser extents - remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its "slow-growth pattern".

Reflecting growing fears in the US that the pain of any proper reform would be too much to bear, the report adds that the experts it consulted "are dubious that the present political leadership is prepared to make even this partial break, believing a looming budgetary crisis in the next five years would be the more likely trigger for reform".

The EU is also set for a looming demographic crisis because of a drop in birth rates and increased longevity, with devastating economic consequences.

The report says: "Either European countries adapt their workforces, reform their social welfare, education and tax systems, and accommodate growing immigrant populations [chiefly from Muslim countries] or they face a period of protracted economic stasis."

As a result of the increased immigration needed, the report predicts that Europe’s Muslim population is set to increase from around 13% today to between 22% and 37% of the population by 2025, potentially triggering tensions.

The report predicts that America’s relationships with Europe will be "dramatically altered" over the next 15 years, in a move away from post-Second World War institutions. Nato could disappear and be replaced by increased EU action.

"The EU, rather than Nato, will increasingly become the primary institution for Europe, and the role Europeans shape for themselves on the world stage is most likely to be projected through it," the report adds. "Whether the EU will develop an army is an open question."

Defence spending by individual European countries, including the UK, France, and Germany, is likely to fall further behind China and other countries over the next 15 years. Collectively these countries will outspend all others except the US and possibly China.

The expected next technological revolution will involve the convergence of nano, bio, information and materials technology and will further bolster China and India’s prospects, the study predicts. Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders. But whereas the US will retain its overall lead, the report warns "Europe risks slipping behind Asia in some of these technologies".

For Europe, an increasing preference for natural gas may reinforce regional relationships, such as those with Russia or North Africa, given the inter-dependence of pipeline delivery, the report argues. But this means the EU will have to deal with Russia, which the report also warns "faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates, poor medical care and a potentially explosive Aids situation".

Russia also borders an "unstable region" in the Caucasus and Central Asia, "the effects of which - Muslim extremism, terrorism and endemic conflict - are likely to continue spilling over into Russia".

The report also largely en dorses forecasts that by 2020 China’s gross domestic product will exceed that of individual western economic powers except for the US. India’s GDP will have overtaken or be overtaking European economies.

Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations their standard of living need not approach European and western levels to become important economic powers.

The economies of other developing countries, such as Brazil, could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020.

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