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Brexit is a very bad idea

There's not long to go before the British people will be asked whether they want to leave the European Community (EC) or not. I predict most will say leave. We're proud to be British and nobody likes interference from abroad. We are also a net financial contributor to the EC, so voters are being told we'll immediately be better off if we leave. But we won't be. In fact it will quickly cost us very dearly indeed.

There are plenty of arguments for and against leaving, but for me the biggest issue will be the probable loss of export trade. The argument for Brexit is that we're a big market so why will the rest of Europe want to put up export barriers to sell their stuff to the UK? Why will they want to cut off their nezs to spite their visages?

The answer unfortunately is that while 50% of our exports are to the EC, only 10% of theirs are to us. In other words, we need them more than they need us. But the biggest threat will be from revenge.

There are two types of European member states. Net receivers of subsidies (the smaller, poorer countries who don't buy much from us), and net payers of subsidies (basically Germany, France and the UK). So who will be most pissed off with us if we leave? The countries who will have to bear a bigger share of the cost of Europe... and they're our customers, who will continue to have a choice where they source their food, cars, technology and professional services. So even if their governments decide they're still chums with us, for reasons I can't guess, their citizens certainly won't thank us for ruining their dreams of a united Europe and not sharing the load (refugee absorption included).

And then there's this little island off the coast of mainland Europe, providing most of the world's corporations and institutions, especially banks, a 'gateway to Europe'... the world's largest market. If we're not in Europe, we're no longer its gateway and all that banking and services business will go to an eager Frankfurt or Amsterdam (where they also speak great English and already have plenty of daily flights to markets we don't have the airport capacity to fly to). What option would the Chinese, Indians and even the Americans have? They need services inside Europe with all the legal stuff already in place. What use with UK regulation be if it's not recognised by EU countries?

The trouble is the British people hate bankers. Good riddance if they suffer - never mind all the employment and tax they pay. Will my fellow countrymen be concerned about their best interests? Probably not.

So loudmouths like Farage who claim if we leave, they will keep buying our stuff, are fooling themselves. They won't. Would you?

And while I'm calling Farage's dangerous bluff, an elderly friend of mine used to work with Nige's father who apparently pronounced his surname Farage as in marriage, not as in large. So at some point between childhood and politician, the leader of UKIP decided to sound more French... no doubt to encourage our neighbours to stay friends with us after we leave. Gros chance!

This is a divorce not a courteous declination of a marriage proposal. It will be bloody.

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