Don’t lis­ten to the ad­vo­cates of “Lexit”

The Week Middle East - - News - Ben Chu The In­de­pen­dent

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”.

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