Since I left school we have been in Europe. Common Market to the European Union. Life as got progressively better. Fine we have had our gripes and there has been set backs but on average we are more prosperous, less likely to be wiped out in a nuclear war, crime has come down and the environment is much cleaner.
As a trading nation membership of the EU has helped us succeed and not hindered.
I’m traveling at the moment and so for amusement I looked for evidence in this room to back up my words. There’s a Korean TV in this American chain hotel room. I drove my Germany car to get here on time. My Swiss watch helped ensure that I did. My Chinese made smart phone helped too. My Next cotton jacket was made in China as was my Delsey back pack and my Marks and Spencer shirt and underpants. My Gap cotton khakis were made in Sri Lanka. Inside my back pack there’s my German made Braun shaver and toothpaste supplied by Unilever – who knows where that came from originally. The air conditioning in this room is made by Siemens. The MK plugs and sockets are British because it’s our electrical standard that requires the 3 square pins. However, my travel plug adapter claims to be Swiss designed. I know my Clarks shoes were not made in Somerset as they once were. At last, it’s nice to see that the two cups with the tea and coffee making gear have stamped on them “Made in England”. The tea is Ty-phoo from Merseyside. There’s one thing that I can say is wholly British and it’s the pound coins in my pocket. Maybe not wholly British because I expect that the metal was imported.
Surveying that lot I’d conclude that the single market is working well. As Europeans we have a great deal of choice. Now, I lament the passing of Britain being the workshop of the world as much as the next man. Wish as we might there isn’t going to be a return to the imperial days of the past. So what are the advocates of Brexit proposing? Are they going to make all of the above more expensive as we exit the single market? Are they proposing to eliminate all the German goods and replace them with cheaper ones from Asia? I have no idea. Here we are in Europe with a good deal, freedom to pick and choose and a huge diversity of products and services. I can’t see the sense in throwing all that business advantage away. The agreement on EU membership points all one way and that is to stay.