As everyone and his dog prattles on about the politics of the Conservatives and the EU, Wat Tyler (link above) keeps his head and posts this graph (click for the full misery);
UK withdrawal would hurt them a lot more than it would hurt usGiven the graph he posted the other day, by what logic is Britain such a huge net contributor? Why is Poland, doing better in the crisis than most other EU countries, taking so much from the Germans, Brits and Dutch? I lived there 11 years and love the place dearly, but do they think we have some moral obligation to compensate for their years of suffering under Communism? Though they like to blame it on the Russians now, let's not forget the KGB was founded by a Pole. As for the Greeks, really guys! A few millennia is long enough for anyone to rest on their laurels, however magnificent. It might be time to roll up your sleeves and do a bit again.
Britain's glory has long since faded and it's time to face the truth. We are a poor country with a lower standard of life than the other net contributors to the EU budget. Don't blather, please, about our relative GDP. It's what our money can buy us that matters for this purpose. My friends and colleagues in Stuttgart, Paris or Berlin earning less than half what my partners in London earn can live far better on it. Their direct taxes are roughly the same; they have fewer stealth taxes; their public services are actually usable and for what it will cost me to buy my daughters a studio flat in London, I could buy them five in Berlin.
Whatever the (massively undemocratic) politics of the EU may be and regardless of its murky accounting to conceal its shameful corruption, it is an enormous rip-off for the British. The crowing EU-philes* enjoying David Cameron's (well-deserved) embarrassment should instead be doing something about that. Whoever is the next Prime Minister, I suggest Margaret Thatcher sends him her biggest, heaviest handbag and he takes it to Brussels with a house brick in it.
If you want us to love this bastard child of yours, at least get its hands out of our pockets!
* I really object to them stealing the word "europhile." I am a europhile. I holiday in France in my Italian car while wearing my Swiss (or sometimes my German) watch. I drink only French wine and would prefer only ever to eat French food. I speak French and Polish and understand German and Russian. I am no Little Englander, yet I completely detest the EU. I see it as a threat to all European freedoms, not just those of Britain.