One of the big debates coming up in the UK will be the question of whether Britain will withdraw from the European Union or not, and if not what changes will have to be made in the EU’s ground rules. There is more and more support for the suggestion that the UK’s economy is suffering as a result of single market policies and getting out of that particular loop would improve matters.
Business for Britain, a cross-party campaign organised to represent the views of business people who are unhappy with the EU for various reasons, is co-chaired by Alan Halsall, himself a businessman who owns Silver Cross prams.
Mr. Halsall said he encountered one of the biggest frustrations in trying to sell his top-of-the-line prams in France. Though there is an industry standard for the EU, which his prams meet and exceed, France also has its own standard which effectively shuts him out of that market. That is just one example, he says, of how the EU is failing in its mandate to further free trade and cooperation amongst it member nations.
Halsall’s comments are in agreement with the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lawson, who has come out with his own proposal that the UK should withdraw from the EU. Back in 1975 Lord Lawson voted for staying in the European Common Market, predecessor to the EU, but he says the EU has changed fundamentally since the European monetary union came into being and the eurozone was created, of which Britain is not a part, nor should it be.
In the UK’s recent local elections there was a notable change in structure, with the Independence Party that advocates leaving the EU gaining seats and and the Conservatives losing ten of them. Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that he will renegotiate the terms of the UK’s status in the EU, and hold a referendum immediately after the next general elections, to give all citizens the chance to vote on the issue.