Europe, Britain In or Out
Europe Debt to GDP
You can Vote Yes or No at the end of Blog
Countless debates, heated arguments and biased views will be expressed over the winter months leading up to the European Budget Talks in the New Year.
One thing we never see are any of the statistics re the cost of Britain retaining its membership nor the benefits that Britain receives so this Blog is here to do just that, and give anyone who cares, the opportunity to make any comments, and say Yes or No to the question at the end of this Blog.
First and foremost I do not consider that we should join the Euro single currency, as that would be a step to far.
However staying in or leaving the European Union are up for debate and comment.
First of all we need to consider the stability of Europe’s Financial Institutions and the debt burdens for each country as a percentage of GDP.
Country Financial Institutions’ Gross Debt as a % of GDP
Portugal 65%, Italy 99%, Ireland 664%, Greece 21%, Spain 113%, UK 735%,France 148%, Germany 95%
EU as a whole 148%
Source: IMF 2010
As can be seen from the above the UK is at least leading in this area!!
Surely a number 1 spot we do not wish to have and over the last 2 years I doubt if anything has improved for any Financial Institution in Europe and in the true sense of we are all in this together it will take long term concerted effort to grow European Economies and pay down our liabilities.
Now let us consider the Governments of Europe and their Debt to GDP, once again the latest statistics from the IMF are in the Map of Europe above.
Here the picture is not rosy either, but it is interesting to note that Spain was, at this point in time, the best of a bad bunch of figures, whereas Greece and Italy are truly in the mire.
With 6 countries being considered Sovereign Debt risk countries concerted effort is again going to be needed to solve the problems faced and this must be done by growing the economies of Europe by creating, manufacturing, working and trading our way out of the current situation.
Otherwise may I respectfully suggest we all pack up our bags and move to the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to be in the future growth areas if the European Governments and Populace cannot get that growth occurring across the EU.
There is an old adage “you only fail when you give up” and for sure no one in Europe can afford to be a quitter because when you read the figures they show we must work together, collaboration must rule across Europe to achieve this.
Being a member of the European Union has been a one-way street for Britain in pure monetary terms.
Contributions from Britain to the EU budget have outstripped the benefits received in every single year of membership.
In total since 1979, Britain has paid in about €260 billion (£228 billion).
Britain has received back in benefits just €163 billion (£143 billion).
The difference of €97 billion (£85 billion at today’s exchange rate) has been Britain’s subsidy to the European project.
My thanks to This is Money for the information relating to the contributions Britain has made from 1979 to date as at 14 August 2012.
Staying in Europe has cost Britain, in monetary terms, c£2.6billion per annum over the last 33 years.
However our trade with Europe makes up c49% of our exports and many of our companies in the UK are owned by European Multi Nationals plus we have Motor Manufacturers and others based in the UK who came here as we were a Member of the European Union and considered a safe haven and entry point to Europe.
To consider unravelling ourselves from Europe will prove extremely difficult and the collateral damage to our country will be enormous not only on our Financial Institutions but also on our trade with current European partners, who we will no longer be partners with, and those arrangements will, without a doubt, be badly hit.
Anyway I am sure all accountants and lawyers will be rubbing their hands together at the thought of how all the unravelling should take place as to how treaties, contracts and other trading arrangements should be sorted.
I look forward to comments and your YES or NO to the question: Should Britain pull out of the European Union.