Europe best served by friendly nation states, working together

editorial image
0
Have your say

I am writing to express my support for Britain leaving the EU.

There is no doubt that there are pros and cons to leaving the EU and that many statistics quoted by both sides are uncertain at best but I am personally convinced on the issues of democratic accountability and effective government spending that our overall benefit is best served outside of the EU.

I often hear people say that we should stay in the EU because of all the money they give us. This puts me in mind of a comment that a friend in work made to me last year when buying an expensive and hard to obtain Christmas present for her daughter stating that “Santa gets all the credit and mum gets no praise”. I couldn’t help but see the similarity with European spending whereby the EU gets credit for funding this, that and the other as if the nation states hadn’t bank rolled the whole thing. It may be true to say that nation states may choose to prioritise spending differently but ultimately that is an issue over

which we have complete control whenever we or any other nation state in Europe elect a government based on a manifesto. Neither the leave nor remain campaigns can say what money will be spent on. All we can debate is who should be in control of what money is spent. All items of government expenditure have an opportunity cost and governments must decide which items of expenditure help the most people. This money is not supposed to be an EU PR fund whereby the bureaucratic institutions of Europe try to indoctrinate us as to their value. If a particular item of funding is beneficial such as helping farmers the national government can chose to retain it. If other projects are less deserving even if they are good should we not have the choice to redistribute that money to elevate NHS pressures or stop a school from closing etc. if we deem that to be more useful?

One aspect of the European Union which has concerned me more than any other is the fact that its own auditors have been consistently unable to fully sign off on their accounts for nearly 20 years suggesting huge levels of waste given the multibillion size of their budget. Add to this the millions wasted every year in the monthly rotation back and forth of the Europe Parliament between Belgium and France instead of allowing it to remain in the one place.

I believe this wasteful monthly move which continues in spite of most people outside of France seeming to want to reform it is a manifestation of all that is wrong with Europe as a structure. I believe the European Union as a structure is full of waste and that its bureaucracy doesn’t allow it to change such as with the rotation of its Parliament.

Europe and its citizens would be best served by efficient nation states cooperating as friends and allies rather than being forced to remain within a European bureaucracy which simply isn’t fit for purpose.

Ryan McDowell, Belfast BT5