A not entirely accurate map Credit - Wik

William Keegan gives us what must be one of the odder arguments against Brexit out there:

George Soros is right: Europe faces an existential crisis, not least because of an addiction to austerity that has certainly contributed to Italy’s summer of discontent. This makes it all the more urgent that the time-and resource-consuming wastefulness of Brexit be brought to an end, and the sooner the better. There are huge problems facing Europe: in addition to the domestic damage the prospect of Brexit is causing, it constitutes a huge distraction from the reforms the EU requires.

It is no use waiting several years. The damage to our economy is manifest already, and the Treasury, Bank of England and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are not employing empty threats in concluding that things are set to go from bad to worse, as the investment so vital for productivity is postponed and the public and private sectors suffer recruitment problems.

The European Union is irremediably screwed. Or at least requires near total root and branch reform. We’ve got to get the Germans, the Bundesbank, and their manias about sound money and responsible public finances out of the decision making system. Until we do that we’ll all be crushed by austerity.

Therefore Britain must remain in this system near irremediably screwed.


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  1. What is the damage to the economy, actual rather than predicted, of deciding to leave? He says i’ts manifest already. In contrast, what is the damage caused by 46 years of membership? That surely is actual. Why does he think free people of european stock can’t make a go of it? What does the EU bring us that we actually need?

    OTOH, why does he think it’s about the economy anyway?

  2. The damage to our economy seems to consist of near enough full employment, including employment for a large number of Poles, French, Romanians and sundry others plus finally rising real wages. I’ll take a lot of damage like that.
    Perhaps he’s referring to the housing shortage, caused in part by our restrictive planning laws and in part by having allowed millions of people into the country without allowing enough homes to be built.
    We’d surely have reached full employment sooner if we didn’t need to generate jobs for Europeans, and the only way of preventing European immigration as part of the EU would be to make our economy more like Romania’s- and surely would be viewed as a disaster.
    As for staying in the EU to prevent EU policies being implemented, if British governments have not managed to liberalise EU policies in 26 years of membership it is unlikely that such reform is actually achievable.
    And economics aside, why would a common law country with an independent supreme court want to be subject to a non-independent court that doesn’t understand the common law?
    Why would a country want any of its laws imposed by rulers that were not chosen nor can be removed by the people of that country? The more so when the rulers are not chosen nor can be removed by the people of any country.
    Why should any country want or accept that any part of its foreign policy be determined by foreigners.
    The absolute rule of Charles 1 looks like a better option, though I share Cromwell’s view of the man

  3. Austerity means self-deprivation, an era of living without, curtailing one’s life, and getting used to the resulting inconveniences. As far as the British government, austerity has been a chronic slogan but there has been no austerity. It has been an era of insiders forcing outsiders to live without, higher taxes to bring the budget toward balance (though they haven’t), rather than making anyone within government face austerity.

    By the way, no, George Soros is never right. What he is arguing here (as he won’t be asked to back up his assertion that Brexit is doing damage) is saying Britain should stay in his corrupt European collective, to hope to influence it. That is the argument that the US Republican Party uses to numb good minds. Pat is right that Brits would have greater influence on a king in the historic role than they do in the EU.

    The “time-and resource-consuming wastefulness of Brexit” is a particularly weak argument, offered by someone who doesn’t have a real one. A legislator who can point out nothing wrong with a bill but wants to stop his adversary from getting an accomplishment, will talk about the wastefulness of having to deliberate, or that it isn’t the very best use of our time.