THE EU has won the Nobel Peace Prize for warmongering. It may well win the Economics Prize soon given its disastrous economic record. Over the year to August eurozone unemployment rose by 2.14 million to a record 18.2 million. That’s 11.4 percent of the whole workforce; the youth rate is over 22 percent.
THE HISTORY of the EU shows decline as economic and monetary union increases. The original six EEC members grew on average by over 5 per cent a year. Growth declined once they linked their currencies in 1969, rising again briefly after 1976 when the first currency link fell apart. The Exchange Rate Mechanism, imposed in 1979, saw a return to lower growth.
FROM THE launch of the euro in 2000 up to the 2007 crisis, eurozone growth rates averaged just 2.2 per cent a year. That’s about half the level needed to reduce unemployment.
IN 2008, there was nil growth in the EU. In 2009 the EU’s GDPs fell by 4 per cent, far worse than any other region of the world; by 2011 GDP growth was still just 1.5 per cent.
WITHIN THE EU, countries in the eurozone consistently do worse than other EU members both for GDP and employment rates. Eurozone members still have fewer jobs in total than in 2007. They still have higher current account deficits than in 2000, and their public and private debts are still growing.
DAVID CAMERON wrote to MPs about a referendum on the EU, “...making a legal commitment now to hold a referendum in the next Parliament without setting the exact referendum question would not be a workable, nor a sustainable, position.” In effect, no referendum until at least 2020.
CAMERON IS to tell EU leaders that he will be able to delay or avoid a vote on Britain’s EU membership as long as Treaty changes, including British concessions, are put off until the summer of 2014 – after European elections but before the 2015 general election.
SENIOR LABOUR party figures are reported to be “unsure” whether to commit to a referendum on renegotiated EU membership terms. ■