The costs of EU membership are of two types, the ‘direct cost’ (i.e., what our country, nearly entirely our government, pays directly to the EU institutions to comply with the treaties) and the ‘indirect costs’ (i.e., the costs of lost output because of the burden of regulation, the costs in terms of lost consumption because we cannot buy and sell in the world market to our best advantage because of EU protectionism, and what I call ‘the miscellaneous insults’, such as fines from the European Court of Justice).
It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the indirect costs are larger – much larger than the direct costs. That is one messsage of my analysis of the costs of the EU, but I am far from being alone in reaching this conclusion.
However, much media discussion is concerned only with the direct cost. In the recent Nick-Nigel debates the topic came up, and Nigel Farage quite rightly repeated the claim that this was £55 million a day. Unfortunately, even the direct cost is a matter of controversy, because the EU sends some of the money back to the UK, partly in the form of the rebate, and partly as farming and regional spending. I covered the subject a few weeks back in one of these e-mails, but the attached IMAGE which has recently appeared in Standpoint magazine may also be of interest. Even the official data appeear to suffer from inconsistencies.
Opinion polls are indicating that UKIP will capture 30% – 35% of the vote on 22nd May. It is quite likely to ‘win’ the European elections in the sense of securing more votes than any other party. Its vote share in England will certainly be higher than in the UK as a whole. Indeed, the vote share in England may well be in above 35% and in some constituencies in the South-West, the East Midlands and East Anglia UKIP may even have more than 50% of the vote. (I believe the voting figures will be available by parliamentary constituency, even though the voting is of course for regions.)
That’ll frighten the horses, or at any rate the donkeys, of the Establishment.
Photo by ines saraiva