As the ‘debate’ over the future of the UK in or out of the EU continues we thought we would raise some questions. Answers and comments welcome!
1) Countries and regions are not stand-alone entities – working with others is essential.
2) Following on from 1) , international agreement on issues such as climate breakdown, fishing, environmental protection is essential. In this case co-operation on an EU level is to be welcomed.
3) A race to the bottom in terms of the labour market, environmental regulations is neither good for society or the economy.
4) Population increases are neither necessary for economic growth or sustainable in environmental terms. The free movement of people in the EU is a serious impediment to the creation of a sustainable economy and society. Cornwall has seen high population growth due to in-migration with little economic benefit and costs in terms of environment and culture.
5) Gross Value Added is not the only indicator of well-being for a society. Indeed simply looking at total output is misleading. A country or region might have a larger level of output due to population growth but its inhabitants would be no better off.
What the EU referendum ‘debate’ has highlighted is the lack of any vision on either side. In reality there could be a range of alternative visions including EU based and non-EU based. We are unlikely to be offered those options.