Whilst we await the next chapter in the farce cum tragedy in the Eurozone story from Spain, I was musing on how totally lacking in judgement and untrustworthy our political class is on the subject of EU membership.
These thoughts were triggered by two things. The first was David Cameron’s bizarrely stupid statement that he would go to Brussels to negotiate a better deal for the UK with the EU but that he would ‘never campaign to take us out of the EU’. Oh well, that will leave him with a strong negotiating position then won’t it? What is he going to use instead of the threat of leaving I wonder? Maybe harsh language?
The second was that we continue to hear from the Euro apologists that it would be a disaster if Britain left the EU. This is arrant nonsense. But the total lack of any evidence for their position was bought home to me by a former colleague and fund manager who was telling me about a visit to Turkey which had produced glowing reports about the condition of its economy. What’s interesting about this is that Turkey has tried to join the EU and failed, having opened accession talks in 2005. Turkey has strong economic growth with no significant budget deficit and low public debt. Just to recap its performance for the past decade:
* Inflation has fallen from 55% in 2000 to 6.5% in 2011
* Real GDP has increased by +58% since 2002, versus +12% in the EuroZone
* Real per capita GDP has risen by +41% since 2002
* Public debt has fallen from 71% of GDP in 2002 to 33% today.
EuroZone debt, by contrast, has risen from 53% to 68% over the same period (and the ratios for individual countries are far worse of course).
Compare and contrast that with Turkey’s neighbour Greece which “succeeded” in joining not only the EU but also the Eurozone.
If ever there was a case of the man left on the quayside as the Titanic sailed it is Turkey. Our politicians should stop scaremongering about life outside the EU. And those who campaigned for us to join should take a vow of silence on the subject.