EU flag flying

Ironically, the surprise Conservative victory delivered in this year’s general election has left David Cameron with no choice but to confront his biggest fear – a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Until now, the prime minister has been able to wriggle out of his “cast iron guarantee”, due to being in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. However, now with a majority, no longer can he simply pay lip-service to his Eurosceptic backbenchers, or even certain members of his own cabinet.

It is already clear that under no circumstances will Cameron campaign for an EU exit, despite the huff and puff he has previously blathered in an attempt to appease those tempted by UKIP. His desire to achieve so little reform in his apparent renegotiations is more than proof of that.

But why are the Eurosceptics correct and the integrationists wrong? Here are six reasons why the EU sucks ass.

1. The European CommissionHeadquarters of the European Commission

 

You would assume that the most powerful politicians in all of Europe are democratically elected, but no. The European Commission – the face of the EU and sole proposer of legislation – is entirely appointed. That alone makes the face somewhat faceless and, unsurprisingly, it has led to the creation of a bureaucratic behemoth.

In quite farcical scenes last year, new Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was “elected” via a secret ballot by the European Parliament – a total non-shock considering he was the only candidate. Then there is Jose Manuel Barroso, who served in the post for a decade – he was a Maoist during his student days. Isn’t that charming?

The UK’s two most recent representatives on the Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton and Lord Jonathan Hill (currently a commissioner in a finance portfolio) are remarkably unrecognisable, yet apparently worthy of obscene salaries. Lady Ashton was one of the highest paid female politicians in the world during her time as High Representative for Foreign Affairs, and she is still receiving an EU pay cheque despite no longer being in the role.

Considering all of that, this bunch shouldn’t have the power to make laws for most of a continent. But since we don’t elect them, we can’t exactly vote them out.

2. The euro

The euro was supposed to be the currency to bring stability and prosperity to nations across Europe. With the project now nearly 15 years it’s safe to say it hasn’t done either – not that anything different could have been expected given it was doomed from the start.

The Euro convergence criteria was set up to determine which countries were economically suitable for joining the single currency. Upon only three member states meeting that criteria, the conditions were twisted until more could make it in. Inevitably, those who had to be shoehorned in are ultimately paying the price. Case in point: Greece.

The Mediterranean country is drowning in their own debt, yet having relinquished fiscal sovereignty, there is little they can do to help themselves. Ideally they would return to the drachma and devalue, in effort to kick-start their economy. However, economic chaos across Europe would be the likely consequence of a Greek exit, hence pushing the default button is far easier said then done, leaving Greece in the lurch.

Economies are different, therefore trying to set a common fiscal policy is madness. At least Britain managed to steer well clear of this omnishambles.

Trade and lost sovereignty coming up…

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Malcolm is a hotshot copywriter and journalist with a flair for the written word. If he isn't writing fabulously entertaining articles for The Bloke Diary, he's working as a copywriter and blogger. If you like what you read, you can hire Malcolm for extremely competitive prices.