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February 01, 2018

Comments

Dipper

@ Blissex

«the shortfall is 0.05% (half of one percent) of EU GDP»

Oops, 1/20th of one percent... As half of one percent would be half the EU budget, and the UK contribution is roughly 1/10th of it.

If its a small amount for us, Then its a small amount for them and they can easily let us off it.

The amount we are having to cough up to leave is suggested to be about £50 billion, which is about 5 months budget for the NHS. Doesn't seem like a small amount to me.

Noah Carl

I really can't understand how anybody could be critical of the EU.

Take the Eurozone. It's been a roaring success. Yes, yes, Greek unemployment reached 25%. And I suppose Italy hasn't grown in GDP per capita terms since the late 1990s. But the German economy is humming along nicely! (Don't you bring up that pesky quote from Milton Friedman predicting that all this would happen advance.)

Likewise, the EU handled the Catalonian crisis with graceful finesse. Basically, some seditious old ladies had the nerve to vote in a referendum, so the Spanish government responded appropriately by sending in baton-wielding riot police. A few people were dragged out of poling stations, and there was the odd face covered in blood, but those details aren't important. What matters is that the EU gave the right response, namely a very muted one. (We wouldn't want the project to fail, so if the occasional old lady gets a bloody nose, it's not a big deal.)

The EU has of course had many other successes: a strong sense of legitimacy, as reflected in very high turnout rates in European elections; a progressive common external tariff, which is doing wonders for development in places like Africa and Latin America; a record of listening to people's concerns and never asking countries to vote again because they gave the wrong result; and a truly beautiful giant egg building in the centre of Brussels (I'm not exactly sure what it's for, but it was very expensive, so it must be money well spent).

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