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What Has Europe Done For Us? 17 June 2006

Posted by David in Europe.
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Browsing the internet yesterday I came across this truly Sortie EUawful collection of lies and mistruth. Funded by the European Movement – which is no doubt funded by taxpayers somewhere – it is an animation of total and utter tosh.

Initially making anyone who questions 'the union' as some insular, jumped up, xenophobic nimby (the usual charges), it continues to list the things the EU claims to have done as fact – all of which are greatly questionable or downright lies.

Cheaper flights
Probably more Freddie Laker's work (not forgetting Stelios) than the EU, which as I understand doesn't run an airline of any form. Increased competition helps, but see single market.

Environmental protection
Like catastrophic over fishing, hedge grubbing, over farming and too much pesticide use?

Single market and single voice in World trade
Free trade pre-dates tariffs and quotas, which were very much a later invention (remember the Corn Laws). The EU certainly didn't invent free trade – which is the natural system anyway – and continues to be obstructive at the WTO to reduce competition, keep prices falsely inflated etc.

Consumer protection
Some countries just get on and do it themselves – quicker, easier and faster.

Student exchange
Like possible between other non-EU countries anyway.

Protection of intellectual property
Like the patent agreements between most countries – nothing to do with the EU.

No more borders within Europe
Great for illegal immigrants, criminals etc. The website starts bleating on about the single market again. It is also possible for countries to co-operate on borders without the EU.

Cheaper energy and telecom
Margaret Thatcher liberalised it, not the EU. Most of the EU is being very awkward over market liberalisation – and a recent intervention would have raised costs.

Safer food
We all dropped dead by eating dodgy vegetables before the EU arrived. Other countries seem to cope.

Peace
The biggest myth of all. I think NATO, the UN, greater understanding (due mostly to TV) and a lack of insane megalomaniacs in government has contributed far more to peace than the EU – which has only existed in its current form since the 1990s. Even the Treaty of Rome was only 1957. Free trade does a lot for peace, but that existed before and can exist without supranational governments. Most countries manage to get on – without wars – without merging themselves into one. Political unions have a far worse track record of peace – see Yugoslavia, Iraq etc.

Regional aid
They give back some of the money they have taken, give the rest to competitors, waste a bit, and fund some huge Keynsian inspired building project. Anyone that moans is called a jealous or racist nimby, Little Englander etc.

When will this kind of "EU did this" nonsense stop. And, if this is the best they can claim for the billions they cost, it's hardly efficient is it. I am sick of anyone being anti-EU getting portrayed as a Little Englander. It is the EU that is insular with its trade barriers, quotas and desire to be like America. The level to which they style themselves on the USA – Founding Fathers et al – is sickening. And of course, the EU is very thoroughly dislikeable to developing nations.

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