Europe will be the bigger loser in any UK exit from the EU

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 January, 2016, 3:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 January, 2016, 3:44pm

No evidence is offered to support David Brown’s apocalyptic assertion that a “Brexit” would cast Britain into “economic wilderness” (“Britain heading into a sterling crisis if it crashes out of European Union”, December 27). This is a view always offered by those advocating EU membership but is pure conjecture.

Britain imports far more from Europeans than Europeans import from us. Unless there is a trade deal, a financially stressed EU might not survive a UK departure. English is the language the political and business elite of the 28 members of the EU share. Companies and banks prefer the UK to the higher taxes, social costs and law they find in old Europe. Great Swiss multinationals prospered by Switzerland staying out of the union.

“Without a doubt, the structural risks of Brexit are extremely high,” Brown said. But I suspect he has this the wrong way around. Risks fall far more on the EU than the UK. The possible employment crisis, the possible banking crisis, the possible loss of output, the possible currency crisis, and the loss of the UK’s largest contribution is unsustainable for much of the EU without a trade deal. The euro is a common currency without a political union. Neither will survive long without the other but the peoples do not want political union.

On the British union, the Scottish National Party does not represent the Scottish people under a referendum on unfair terms. An “out” majority exists only around Glasgow and Dundee in Scotland. Scots abroad had no vote, but 16-year-olds and others from anywhere living in Scotland did. This was a farce. The Scottish people have been an integrated part of Great Britain for centuries and on any fair vote will probably stay so.

Think of the Commonwealth and the Asia-Pacific, not sclerotic old Europe. Think of the USA, the natural partner for an insecure UK, if that is what we really are, rather than the EU, with its unrepresentative administrative and political structures, its costs and its borderless and self-created migrant crisis.

Christopher J. Howe, Mid-Levels