June 2016

At times, radical action is the most prudent option. For Britain, leaving the European Union would be a safer course than staying in.

The vote on 23rd June to decide whether the United Kingdom should remain in the EU is the most important decision that the British people have faced in decades. Unfortunately, its significance is obscured by political gamesmanship, hysterical headlines and largely irrelevant assessments of short-term impacts.

Unless Britain votes to leave, the EU’s top-down governance by elites will be increasingly imposed on this country. The 21st-century world economy does not lend itself to the central planning and cozy relationships that are hallmarks of the European system. Within the EU, Britain is tied to a static economic system dominated by outdated social welfare structures and obsolete industries.

Of the larger EU member-states, Britain is the only one with a good shot at succeeding in the new world economy. This country has already set itself apart from the EU. We have a proven ability to attract talent and capital; we have a culture of entrepreneurship; we are open to talented immigration; our regulation is moderate; we have flexible labour markets; we have three of the world’s top five universities; and we have a competitive tax system. As a result, we are a vital global hub.

However, future success is not a given. It is dependent on Britain maintaining distance from the EU. We do not have such power and influence to halt the long-term drive to greater integration. So far, the European elites have pursued this goal regardless of cost or public support.

Remaining in the EU will result in the same soul-destroying conformity and intractable social problems found in most member-states. While the claim that the French have no word for entrepreneur may not be true (or said by George W Bush), there are few innovators in the EU. If anything, Europe is attempting to isolate itself from coming changes in technology and business structures.

Forbes magazine recently published its annual list of the 100 most innovative companies in the world. Eight of the top ten are in the United States. One (ARM) is in Britain. The next highest ranked EU company is at 22 (Hermes, the French luxury goods company). Nor is the EU home to the world’s technology giants (Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, Baidu to name just a few) or transportation pioneers (Uber, Tesla).

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