Don’t listen to the advocates of “Lexit”
Only by leaving the EU will Britain be free to become a “social democratic nirvana”. So claim prominent left-wing advocates of “Lexit”, says Ben Chu. They argue that EU laws stand in the way of us reforming our economy along more Corbynist lines. But you only have to look at Europe to see this is nonsense. In France, university tuition is negligible; in Belgium, zero-hour contracts are banned; in Portugal, domestic energy consumers benefit from regulatory price caps; in Hamburg, people voted to return their power grid from private firms to municipal hands. Did the “neo-liberal jackboots of Brussels” try to block any of this? No. The Lexiters talk of a post-Brexit UK finally being able to stand up to the multinationals. “But who fined Google and Microsoft billions of dollars for anticompetitive behaviour? Who has ordered Apple to repay s13bn in avoided corporation tax?” The European Commission. The EU may be flawed, but the idea that it’s some kind of right-wing project represents “a combination of wilful ignorance and ideologically induced blindness”.