Is the EU Failing?

I appreciate my more recent blogs have concerned the EU Referendum but that is really down to it being the hot political topic of the moment and also the fact that I continue to remain undecided on how I will vote. Some days I am leaning more in the leave direction and some days a reluctant remain. The politicians are not helping at all to be honest and the media coverage is very poor most of the time. This is actually the hardest vote I think I have ever had to make because it is just not clear cut.

Anyway, after a comment by Lanark on a previous blog, I was thinking about how successful the EU actually is after reading the comment and listening to some of the doom and gloom leave campaign and the world will end if we leave remain campaign and, like many of us, learned very little or that it is very easy to get confused on this very important issue. But is the EU successful or is it failing?

Unemployment:

Currently stands at 21.2 (10.2%) million people unemployed. Youth unemployment (18.8%).
In the UK unemployment currently stands at 1.7 (5.1%) million people unemployed.
In the USA unemployment currently stands at 7.4 (4.7%) million people unemployed.

Growth:

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the European Union is currently 1.70% in the first quarter of 2016.
The UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 0.4% yearly estimate 2.1%.
The USA Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 3.24%.

Debt:

EU debt in Euro-zone countries currently sits at 92% of GDP 12.7 Trillion Euros.
UK debt currently sits at 89.4% of GDP 1.6 TRILLION Pounds.
USA debt currently sits at 104% of GDP 20 Trillion Dollars.

So is the EU failing? Certainly many people think the EU has been in crisis since the recession of 2008. Compared to our closest comparison, the USA, we are worse off in growth, unemployment, but not debt, however that is marginal at best. Socially, the EU is troubled by current trends, demographic decline, ageing populations, high unemployment, low growth and the presence of concentrated populations of unassimilated and disaffected refugees fleeing the Middle East.

It’s hard to see the current EU as being a successful and prosperous project; can the decline of the EU be reversed by the current political make up? Can we trust the Governments who helped get us into this mess to get us out of it? Is it better the devil you know or do we trust a UK Government to secure our future? Do we trust the current Conservative Government? (the answer to that will be an easy one for many) to get us out of the mess we are in!

It can be argued that the EU has achieved a more peaceful and secure Europe following the two World Wars. The single market is the largest market in the world making up 500 million people. The EU could have a bigger role in world affairs but is still an important player in world affairs; it’s the individual decisions of Governments who account for the failure here.

But is it enough?

Currently on growth, unemployment, debt, and the refuges crisis I feel that the EU is failing. Freedom of movement, while a good ideal, might be failing as more and more people move around looking for work and safety, putting more and more strain on France, Germany and the UK to a lesser extent.

But is this enough to convince me to vote leave! Certainly I don’t feel the Conservatives can be trusted in any shape or form. They have pretty much trashed the UK, but is the EU any different? Are we seeing the gradual decline and breakup of the EU regardless of the result in this months EU Referendum. We could be as pressures builds within the EU discontent will build, and with that an increase in other countries having leave movements and drifts to the far right in response to their own Governments failures, our own included.

I’m starting to think that it’s time to leave.

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8 comments

  1. Jim Morris

    How can a country like ours “drift to the far right” when we are there already, and likely to stay there for the next ten or twenty years. Between standing orders, the House of Lords and the Privy Council the EU is our democratic check and balance system.

    • Anonymous

      Jim

      I think England, therefor Westminster, has shifted to the right but it could go much further if people continue to get so much more disenfranchised with the current system, which as you have stated by mentioning the HoL, is very unfair and undemocratic. I’m not sure that the EU is our checks and balances if the other EU countries go down the road of privatisation ,zero hour contracts, fewer employment rights as we are seeing in France right now. All we will get is more of the same or worse of what we have been on the receiving end of for the last 8 years.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. Helena Brown

    Without Europe and their ideals, where would we be. The Government of this benighted country could not even get plugs put on electric gadgets. I was not happy with the lack of support given to Scotland during the Referendum, not delighted with the treatment of Greece,but recognise that the only protection comes from there, heaven help us all if we have Boris and co leading the way. You will need to be rich, far richer than any of us are. £2,000 a pop for a cataract opp, one eye. No pensions, nada. Don’t think this is scaremongering, all the Tories want this even those pretending they don’t like Cameron.

    • Anonymous

      Helena

      I am not so convinced. The EU is in a mess and France are really chasing the Tory view of workers rights and they are supposed to be socialist. I think it’s actually starting to fall apart and irrespective of the result I am not so sure there will be an EU in 10 years time the way things are going. The EU is on the brink of recession, unemployment remains very high, esp with young people and the refugee crisis is very close to tipping it over the edge opening the door to the far right in many of the smear EU countries. What a total shambles.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. lanark

    A very interesting article and replies also. As supporters of Scottish independence, this really is a grim campaign. Many of us hope for the vote to go a certain way so as to trigger a second referendum. I do not believe that Westminster would permit another referendum and if it did, it would attach various caveats such as the 40% rule that was put into the 1979 devolution vote (a 60% rule for example). My personal view is that I cannot bring myself to vote for the status quo and perhaps save Cameron’s wretched career. I can’t abide the thought of Boris as PM either.

    As for the EU, I am just not convinced of the direction it is taking. I fully agree that it has kept peace in Europe (northern at least). But for that peace to endure, it must now include Russia. But the USA would never allow this and that shows that instead of the EU being a counterweight to a hawkish US, it is becoming a vassal.
    Yes Putin isn’t nice, but neither is Erdogan and he is being courted by the EU.

    The EU stance on Ukraine has shades of Friedrich Naumann’s Mitteleuropa about it as did the treatment of Greece.

    I urge anyone to vote the way their conscience tells them.

    • Anonymous

      Lanark

      Now that I have spent a few weeks looking at this I am pretty much convinced that we can’t win either way. Stay and it’s more of the same at the EU level, a club for the same boys and girls who have brought it to its knees, leave and we risk being left at the mercy of the Tories but the EU hasn’t stopped them doing what they have done anyway.

      Cameron is a liar, Johnson is a liar….they all are. I don’t believe the scare stories on both sides, will the EU suddenly stop trading with it’s biggest market in the sense that it exports here more than anywhere else, no I don’t believe for one minute that it will. Will the car companies up and leave at huge cost, maybe maybe not. Will the EU decide to become a closed shop if the UK leaves, well if it does the project was always about protectionism and the few. The EU should be an economic area, not what is in all sense and purpose, a political project that again serves the few.

      Even during the independence campaign I always favored the Norway model more than anything else. I really would prefer an independent Scotland not a member of any union and I agree a leave vote will not mean another referendum and if it does YES need to be careful because I just don’t sense that many in the 55% have shifted their opinion, a rush to indy 2 could result in another defeat and kill it stone dead for more than a generation.

      I am 65% sure how I will vote and I am leaning more towards leave than remain to be honest but you right, people need to vote the way their conscience tells them.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. tris

    I wish I had a clue.

    I don’t, probably for the first time in my electoral life.

    Cameron is, according to his ex employee, an instinctive leaver. Boris, according to his history, is an instinctive remainer.

    This is not a referendum on Europe. It’s the Tory party leadership referendum.

    Apart from the Scottish government, no one is putting single idea up that is good. Everyone else is threatening dire consequences of “leave” or “remain”.

    For me the best outcome would be that England, or England and Wales, vote to leave and Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to stay. I suspect that NI will feel the pinch very badly from a leave that they didn’t vote for (the latest poll put them voting 70% to stay) not only because they will lose the income from the EU, which London won’t replace, and the cross border trade will cease.

    I’m not sure how that will pan out, but I can see the distinct possibility of there being a movement for Ireland to become one country. If that happens, and the UK starts to fall apart, Scotland can only be a winner(in my view).

    • Anonymous

      Tris

      I’m the same to be honest. I am still undecided and feel that we can’t win either way. I still don’t think a leave vote and a Scottish remain vote brings about another referendum, the opposite is more likely. Scottish votes keep England in the EU and all hell breaks loose and I must admit It would be very funny and I would sit back and enjoy that one, karma.

      This is a Tory fight and I really hope that they tear themselves apart on this I really do, they are self serving scum bags. I suppose it will go down to the wire for me, it is a very hard decision though.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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