I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK
click on any heading for more information
I wish my country were still :
one of the greatest trading nations on the planet
the 5th largest economy
The method most used in the referendum campaign was that of comparing total GDP, where we may soon fall behind France : Wikipedia List of Countries by largest historical GDP.
Personally I think a better measure is GDP per person because this would be closer to the experience of people living in those economies. Here the UK is 13th : List of per capita nominal GDP for countries and dependencies
Another measurement of economies can consider the net indebtedness of each, the balance of what each is owed less the amount it owes. We are in 31st position in an incomplete list, below France and above Italy. Singapore, Hong Kong and Norway are the strongest : Wikipedia List of countries and Regions by net international investment position
This last could be considered an indicator of potential strength in international trade negotiations.
a full member of the EU, punching well above our weight at the top table as one of the big three along side France and Germany
The Single Market has been trumpeted as the “Thatcherisation of Europe” by several of Thatcher’s ministers : “… the Single European Act of 1986. Margaret Thatcher was herself a driving force behind the Act and some of her Ministers positively fizzed with enthusiasm about the Single Market which it spawned. She and they believed that the Act achieved the Thatcherisation of Europe through the furtherance of free trade.” – John Bercow on the Bruges Group website
getting our way in over 96% of EU votes and shaping the future of the EU
a market of over 440 million potential customers only 22 miles away
Subtract the UK population of 64 million from the current 28-member EU total of 507 million, giving 443 million, more than the combined populations of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand : Wikipedia Population and land area of the 28 member states of the European Union
a powerful nation, bridging the EU with North America
one of five members of the UN security council with a permanent veto – this is now under threat
able to service our eye-watering levels of debt while so many want to invest in Britain and trade with Britain
The Migration Observatory charts this out here
protecting our consumers with sound legislation on goods and services that we have been very happy with
More information here : The UK Food Standards Agency on European legislation
producing the culture and cool that were the envy of the world, from fish and chips to Bowie and so much more
Cultural Goliaths like Shakespeare and Dylan Thomas. We haven’t been slouches in literature, theatre, opera, fashion, architecture, art, sculpture and more.
a powerhouse of scientific research, thanks largely to a healthy share of EU research funding and to European cooperation, creating exciting new high tech businesses Updated 14/8/2016
12th August 2016Philip Hammond, Uk Chancellor of the Exchequer, announces plans to guarantee funding for science approved before the date of his forthcoming Autumn Statement, and to offer some support after that. Scientists will still lose opportunities to participate in EU collaborations if we exit, and have concerns about future funding, but at least some of their issues with current and planned projects have been addressed.
where we can drink the water and swim off many beaches and in many lakes without worrying about water quality
“We can turn on our taps with the certainty of a safe, clean and refreshing supply”
UK drinking water quality standards
We can find out where is safe to swim or bathe, though only “where the Environment Agency expects a large number of people to bathe in the water”.
Water quality information at swimming beaches and lakes
I don’t want my country to be :
a country that treats the less well off so badly, unlike other countries in the EU
For example, because I have spoken to a Brit with extensive knowledge of workers rights and entitlements there and because one of my sons works there, let’s take Austria. There if you are planning to work as a waiter you will be taught the maths you need as a waiter – adding, subtracting, multiplying, … , not set theory and algebra. You will know that you are going into a line of work that is respected and will not automatically distance yourself from your school friends with their different career paths when you leave school. Your career has possibilities of advancement, to senior or head waiter if your workplace is large enough or to restaurant manager. And you will be better paid than a British waiter. You will not struggle to feed your family.
The zero hours contract is a nasty British way to make the lives of British workers worse and does not exist in the rest of the EU. It is argued that company bosses will employ more people when they have the option of zero hours contracts, but it has also enabled many jobs to be downgraded that would still be available without these contracts.
We have a huge benefits culture for big business, the corporate subsidy. We give about £3,500 per person to big companies every year. Read a Guardian article about this here
Even if the “£350 million per week goes to the EU” claim of the Leave campaign were true that figure is dwarfed by the amount we give to big business, which is five times that amount. Read Tax Research UK’s article with pie chart breakdowns of government spending here
a far right experiment into how few rights workers “need” and how little the poor matter
We can be almost certain that leaving the EU will reduce our level of trade with the EU, because of all the extra paperwork that will become necessary, and possibly because of new tariffs. We will need to find new sources of trade by offering goods and services we haven’t been offering recently. This will mean more manufacturing and to be competitive we will either have to offer workers less benefits and pay than the Chinese and other Asian economies, or move that manufacturing abroad.
run by a government that increasingly tugs its forelock before self-interested media moguls and ignores the concerns of our citizens in their favour
Both Blair and Brown ensured that the Mail were on-side and Blair, until he dallied with Wendi Deng, had Murdoch’s ear.
so plagued by tax avoidance and evasion that only those on middle incomes and less pay tax, like Greece
so powerless that any country larger than Luxembourg will have the upper hand in trade negotiations with us because we are much more hungry for trade than they are
powerlessly sitting on the sidelines while the EU tells us what to do to keep trading with it
the next Greece in the region, unable to generate enough trade to service our debt, crashing and burning
possibly further divided as Scotland and Northern Ireland may break away
the victim of a serious brain drain of our best scientists
From the Times 30th July 2016 : http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/brain-drain-of-top-scientists-after-brexit-ckxh6nqkl
World-leading scientists have started turning down roles at UK universities after the Brexit vote, a survey of academics has found.
The poll also recorded numerous instances of British researchers being sidelined in EU collaborations, over concerns that their presence would reduce the chance of receiving funding.
During the referendum campaign British scientists were consistently found to be overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU, citing concerns about freedom of movement and access to EU grants. The organisation Scientists for EU, which campaigned for Remain, has now begun collecting reports about the impact of the vote in the community.
Among more than 300 responses were dozens claiming that foreign applicants had refused jobs citing Brexit, or that British members of research collaborations had been asked to reduce their involvement.
One academic at a Russell Group university said a researcher they had poached had now reversed his decision. “World-leading researchers are already reconsidering positions in the UK because of the Brexit vote,” he said.
“One leading mathematician was due to arrive at our university this summer to take up a professorial chair. He has now told us that he has changed his mind, citing the Brexit vote as the principal reason.”
The respondents all asked to be anonymous but The Times has verified their details.
Another contributor said that for the first time in ten years he advertised a PhD studentship and received no European applicants. “This lack of applicants from the Continent is especially surprising and cause for concern, as I had numerous informal discussions with potential students from outside the UK, including the EU, leading me to expect a good number of applicants (20 or more),” he said.
Other scientists reported that staff were planning to leave or had already left. One said: “My Italian postdoc, who is a highly capable scientist, has decided to take a position in Norway after the referendum vote. He feels that he is concerned about his options here and that he also feels very unwelcome here after receiving verbal abuse and accusations of ‘stealing British jobs’.”
At least one academic said his group had been asked to step down completely from an EU-wide partnership. Another, from a Russell Group university, said she had been involved in a consortium that had been putting together a funding application but had been asked to step back. “The consortium, I think rightly, feels that having a UK co-ordinator will reduce the chances of being funded,” she added.
Despite all the reports, most of the effects on science as yet seem to be to do with perception rather than policy. Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society, said this week that he had seen no evidence that EU funding bodies were discriminating against the UK. He said the community should accept the results of the referendum and work to build a new immigration system that attracted the best scientists.
strategically weak against the big energy producers we hate – Russia, Saudi, … – while unable to generate enough of our own energy on these wind-swept isles
run by unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall, of which there are far more per head of population than EU bureaucrats for the EU population
In contrast there are 50,000 EU civil servants serving a population of about 470 million. That is one civil servant for every 9400 people, or 0.0001 civil servants for every person in the EU. See the figures here