Spookily, a couple of day after I claimed on this blog that it would be economically foolish to leave the EU, George Soros claims the same, citing pretty much the same reasons to my own, in the same order.
- UK currency could fall in value, making it poorer
- huge current account deficit means UK is in weak position
- manufacturing sector is unable to prosper following Brexit
On the other hand, some economists and economic commentators whose opinions I generally like and trust all suggest to vote for Leave.
Yesterday Professor Richard Werner stated his reasons, pointing out Norway and South Korea can prosper, and that the EU is a part of the USA’s sphere of influence which is likes to control and also covertly finance. The EU’s have recently, under the influence of the USA, led to economically counter-productive sanctions on Russia. And the EU has not learned from the Eurocrisis which it was barely able to resolve. The EU thinks future integration is the answer. The five Presidents’ report makes that clear – the wrong recipe, thinks Werner.
Professor Steve Keen also states his reasons for leave, citing the problematic Euro currency area and undemocratic nature of the EU, and the Eurozone’s insistence on budget surpluses , which cannot work.
Larry Elliot in the Guardian sees the treatment of Greece and the unflexible Eurozone elite as problems, and does not believe a democratisation, as envisaged by Varoufakis would work.
And finally, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, from the Daily Telegraph, who, albeit only reluctantly voting for Leave, cites a democratic deficit, and a abrogation of national law to the European system and European Court of Justice as his reasons.
So all of these commentators list valid and thoughtful reasons why the EU is not working well. It is irredeemable, and people should vote for Leave. I disagree, although the deficits of the EU are blatantly obvious.
As I said before, for me the inability to tackle unemployment is the over-whelming indicator of the EU’s failure. (The critics above also see that as a big problem). The ECB currently prints money, Euro 80 billion a month. Instead of using it fight unemployment, it buys bonds from governments and corporates.
The EU Juncker fund, a Euro 315 billion investment fund launched in November 2014, to spend that money to fight unemployment seems to have been singularly ineffective. The money was to be spent by the end of 2017. Where is it? Unemployment rates of 20% in the South of Europe, with youth unemployment at up to 50% remain a symbol for the failure of economic policy within the EU.
If you think that this will always stay that way, and there is little to no chance of redemption, as the critics of the EU above might think, vote for Leave.
If you believe, as I do that, eventually, the right policies will be taken to tackle unemployment (more balanced trade and less balanced budgets and employment programs) vote Remain.
Voting Remain will not endorse the draw-backs highlighted by the critics above. It will give us a chance to influence the EU (by influencing our government which influences others) and change them.