A deep divide is growing between Britain and the EU as the latter piles on regulations in the name of the Single Market. Jean-Claude Juncker’s “election” as President of the European Commission is just the latest manifestation of this. With an increasing number of people questioning our remaining in the EU, it is important Eurosceptics present viable alternatives to EU membership, something they are often criticised for failing to do.
One of the most interesting alternatives – closer ties with the Commonwealth countries – has strong economic arguments behind it. The Heritage Foundation has published an Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) ranking countries on measures such as property rights and freedom to trade and do business.
It reveals stark differences between the EU and the Commonwealth nations – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore – which dominate the top ten in the list. In contrast Germany, the powerhouse of the EU, is slightly behind Britain the 18th in the IEF, while France languishes in 70th place. Britain beats all the other EU countries and is in 14th place.
The results speak for themselves: the Anglosphere is leading the globe in economic freedom which is the bedrock of prosperity. We share the same common law, language, institutions, and traditions while the EU belongs to a different legal tradition entirely. We must not be dragged down by the EU and watch the freedoms preserved by our constitution get dissolved.
A false assumption underpins our EU membership: close neighbours are natural trading partners. Since the invention of the transport container in 1956, geography is no obstacle to trade. It seems ridiculous that we should be forced to trade with economically backwards states in Europe, such as Greece and Italy. Instead we should be trading with our historic and philosophical allies like Australia, now that shipping costs are no longer determined by geography.
There is a social sentiment Britain cannot survive outside the comfort-blanket of political union with Europe. Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel admits “[Europe] is already viewed as a continent in decline.” While Britain’s economic growth has humbled the IMF, with Christine Lagarde essentially admitting they got it wrong with their criticisms of George Osborne’s policies. Geographic proximity no longer matters for fostering trade between countries.
The Commonwealth is a family of nations which are natural allies to Britain. We must look to the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere to ensure a prosperous future for Britain. It is essential to Get Britain Out‘s vision for a bright future which is not chained to the idea we must remain vassals to Brussels.
Alan Murad is Acting Campaign Manager of Get Britain Out