Seamus Nevin argues that the UK would still be strongly influenced by the EU even if it were to leave, contrary to what many Eurosceptics imagine. Moreover, it would find itself with much less power on the outside, which is important when considering that the EU is far from perfect and in need of reform. To ensure a bright future, the UK must be at the forefront of a dynamic and successful EU.
A leader who once warned his party to stop “banging on about Europe”, last January UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech in which he committed to an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. Four months on, Cameron’s attempt to seize the initiative on Europe in response to a restive backbench and growing support for UKIP has neither failed to quell Tory MPs’ discontent or halted the rise of UKIP. Not just that, the Conservatives and UKIP are no longer the only ones pushing for a referendum.
Nigel Lawson’s letter to The Times last week is perhaps indicative of the gains that Eurosceptics hope to make through a UK withdrawal from the European Union. In his letter, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that “the EU has become a bureaucratic monstrosity” which imposes substantial economic costs on all member states and that “escaping” the EU would be a major economic plus for the UK.