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?
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.
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%.
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.