As we exit the EU fully we need to be aware of just how far the EU had got in seeking our integration and submission to their system. They were always bitterly disappointed that the UK avoided joining the Euro, the main mechanism by which a fully integrated EU economy is being created. Greece and Italy have discovered the hard way that there are many policy choices they can no longer make as they are committed to the disciplines of the Euro.
Despite this they sought to ensnare us with various common policies. The Common Fishing policy took more and more of our fish to foreign ports, leaving us with one of the richest seas in the world to become net importers. The common energy policy got us to depend more on imports through interconnectors, making a country with plenty of its own energy partly dependent on a continental EU short of energy and committed to Russian gas. The common state procurement policy meant we bought more and more goods that the UK is quite capable of making from EU suppliers with continental factories. The Common Agricultural Policy led to a sharp decline in the proportion of our food we grow and rear for ourselves. The trade policy made us impose high tariffs on food products from outside the EU we could not grow ourselves. The animal welfare policy fell short of what we wanted, but we had to accept live movement of cattle and the standards the EU would accept for everything from chicken cages to sow tethers.
In future blogs I will be examining the scope there now is to improve so many things. The annoyance is the way the last Parliament and much of the UK establishment blocked preparatory work to grasp these many opportunities to do better more quickly.
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