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The United Kingdom and the EU - The Drawbacks

Updated on May 4, 2016

June 23rd is a pretty important date for us in the UK, as it's the day that we decide, as a nation, whether or not to stay a part of the EU. The last two articles which I've written on the matter look at both the history between the EU and the UK (which can be found here), and the benefits the UK gains from its involvement with the EU (which can be found here). In order to give you a balanced, unbiased base on which to make your decision on the matter, this article will give you a few ideas on the drawbacks of the EU, and the issues which arise from our relationship with it. Before you make your decision on the 23rd, please make sure you're prepared by reading all three articles.

Below you'll find 3 of the main reasons you might want to be part of the Brexit movement, and why opting out might be a good idea.

Democracy comes from the Greek "demos" and "kratos", which respectively mean "people" and "rule". The literal translation of democracy is the rule of the people. In many countries, this is achieved by electing a group of people who hold beliefs representative of the population, and establishing a decision and legislative process such as that which takes place in the UK Parliament. On a national level this works pretty well as everybody elected is working towards the same goal, the betterment of their nation.

It could be argued, however, that on an international level (such as the EU), this doesn't work out quite so well. When representatives from different countries come together, they all have their own interests at heart, and just because something works for one country, it doesn't mean it will work just as well for everybody else. An international legislature like the EU Parliament also means we have less influence on the laws which are created, the Leave EU campaign has argued that we currently hold less than 13% of the votes in the EU Parliament, where international laws are passed. Some people believe that as the UK becomes closer and more integrated with the EU, this issue is becoming more prevalent, and will only get worse with time.

A Stronger Economy
Although many people have insisted that the EU's free trade policies have become an integral part of the UK's economy, through the eradication of tariffs on imports and exports between member states, there are those who think that we don't need to be a member of the EU to reap these benefits. The argument is that small and medium sized businesses, who make up a large part of the UK economy, but don't trade directly with the EU themselves, see little to no benefit when it comes to free trade agreements, although they are still restricted and bound by EU regulations. For larger businesses and organsiations who rely heavily on importing and exporting goods, the answer may be for the UK to negotiate a deal with the EU, in which they are not bound by EU law, but still benefit from free trade with EU member states. With no extra cost or regulations, this would surely be advantageous for the UK, however it is not guaranteed that this could be arranged prior to our EU exit.

The Relevance of the UK on the World Stage
A common argument used by those who believe the UK should remain a part of the EU is due to the fact that we would be rendered powerless and irrelevant without out it, this however just isn't true. Although the EU does have its Common Foreign and Security Policy, it doesn't have any armies or military powers at its disposal, and mostly relies on trade/financial sanctions to enforce it's will. The UK, on the other hand, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and is a powerful player in the World Bank. Many people argue that the EU gains it's political power and authority from member states such as Germany and the UK, and that without members such as these, would be seen as a feeble institution offering little more than a glorified free trade agreement and unnecessary red tape.

These three main drawbacks are given as examples which show how the UK would potentially be stronger without the EU. The increased sovereignty and legislative power which the UK would gain, coupled with a reduction in EU red tape, and the potential to keep our free trade agreements and presence on the world stage, shows that leaving the EU would indeed have it's advantages, and could in fact be seen as a necessary next step in the further development and growth of the UK.

As always, it's important to mention that this article was written to highlight the drawbacks which EU membership has on the UK, and does not consider its benefits. To make sure you get a well rounded view of the relationship between the UK and the EU, and to see the benefits we enjoy, please read my other articles on the matter, which you can find linked in the first paragraph of this article.

Thanks everyone, don't forget to share, comment and answer the poll below!

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    • CHRIS57 profile image


      2 years ago from Northern Germany

      Read through your articles on the UK - EU relationship, a fairly unbiased story of the status quo. May i add a little comment:

      Last week i attended a meeting of apartment owners (excuse me, British: flat owners). Together we own a housing compound of some 50 plus apartments. Some live in the compound, some like me are simply landlords. What is always interesting is how roles are mixed among owners - some owners never participate in decision making meetings, some just sit there and have beer but certainly use their vote to influence decisions and some do actively prepare decisions, discuss chances and challenges and push decisions.

      From the very beginning of the UK membership i never really noticed that the UK took an active role. The UK behaves like apartment owners who never show up at meetings, but always complain to their kin how bad it was to buy property in that particular compound. I think by now you understand why i put my little story up front.

      There are countries much smaller than the UK in the EU. They know how to play the active piano, the Netherlands for example, or Ireland.

      Coming back to my little apartment building example: It is not really important if the UK sells their lot of appartments or keeps them. The decision making on the colour of the balconies was made and will be made by the active ones and not by the never attending complainers. Excuse me for being frank.


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