December 21, 2006

It is time for the annual CFP negotiations. Once again fish quotas have been cut. Once again the enviromental groups say (correctly) that it is not enough to preserve the fish stocks. Once again the fishermen say (correctly) that the further cuts will damage their industry even more and lead to even more people being forced out of business. And once again there is no such problem in Iceland, Norway or the Faroe Islands where stocks remain healthy since they use a system for managing them that actually works, unlike the Common Fisheries (or Failure) Policy.

Between them the CFP and CAP account for 60% of the EU's budget. Well they probably do, but since the EU's accounts are riddled with errors and have never been signed off since they where first submitted to the court of auditers 12 years ago we cannot be sure about that. However what we can be certain of is that they are both failures, like most EU policies.

The CFP has no preserved either fish stocks or the fishing industries, something that is not impossible since Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands have managed it.

The CAP is responcible for both the destruction of small farming in the EU at the expense of the largest argi-businesses while forcing up costs for consumers twice. Once thanks to the more expensive food, and then again because of the more expensive taxes needed to pay for it. It has also helped to cripple the third world by dumping subsidised food on their market in the only industry where they could compete against the west thanks to their natural comparitive advantage in this field. This is while the third world is denied selling their cheap food into the EU, as opposed to expensive CAP subsidised food, in order that they can get the western hard currency to buy the things they really want (which isn't CAP subsidised food).

The free movement of people is good thing, and so the ability of the people from the accession states to come and live and work in other EU countries is also a good thing. Unless they want to come and live and work in France, or Germany, or Austria, or most of the EU since most countries (the UK being one of the few acceptions) have opted out of their requirement. The accession states however are not allowed to opt out of any of implementing all of the EU's red tape.

Single market could have been a good thing, free trade being good for everybody involved in it. However even by the EU's own admission it isn't. Since the wieght of regulation that the EU has seen fit to encumber it with completely swamps any benefits.

Where the EU has meddled in tax policy it forced the creation of VAT. Horrifically complicated, expensive to manage, and a fraud magnet with the treasury losing billions every year because of it. Yet we aren't able to do anything to prevent this fraud because we have no control over VAT since it is a requirement of the EU.

How about foreign policy, clubing together in order to gain more weight on the world stage. Well the only area that the EU has a ligitimate say is in foreign policy is trade, so lets have a look at it's most recent achievement in that area, destroying the Doha round of international trade talks, in order to preserve the indefensable CAP. This round was supposed to be about specifically aiding the third world and giving them greater access to our markets, the americans even offered a complete removal of all their agricultural subsidies if the EU did as well, safe in the knowledge that the EU would never agree to getting rid of CAP. Yes, the EU managed to get out smarted on foreign policy by George Bush, a guy with the intelectual prowess of a sea slug who cannot even remember to chew before shallowing.


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