What are the real benefits of the European Union?

25th October 2011

But is it possible to get any objective opinion on ‘the European issue'? Is it possible to quantify the real and tangible benefits of the European Union away from all the bluster and political posturing?

There is certainly plenty of political posturing. Among the most vocal Eurosceptics has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wokingham, and Leader of the Conservative Policy Group on Economic Competitiveness, John Redwood. He is clear that membership of the EU is a costly distraction from free market economics: "We should add in the many inconveniences and costs heaped upon the UK by the EU: The absurd VAT system, the lack of fee trade in many goods, the farming market distortions and controls, the legal complexities, the energy nonsense, the recycling and landfill regulations, the absurd fishing controls and all the rest. Also the damage caused by the absurd Euro structures to the Euro and World economies.

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