The Blame Game

An article at Campaign  Agencies’ anger at failure of Stronger In campaign gives an insight into what the advertising and public relations agencies employed by the Remain campaign think went wrong.

It is worth reading in full, but in summary the agencies are blaming the politicos for a lack of strategy and poor management. They seem to have a point, but I can’t help thinking that the the EU was a difficult product to sell because it is rubbish. Project fear was a losing strategy, but there really wasn’t a better one.

At some point maybe someone (ideally the PM) should have thought, if we can’t find a strong message to sell this to the British people, maybe we should not be selling it?

OK I like this idea of looking at EU membership as a commercial proposition. What is being sold?

a) free trade with your nearest neighbours
b) trade deals with the rest of the world

what is the price?
1) A hefty membership fee (~1% of GDP) some of which you get back.
2) A bloated regulatory regime that applies to all your commericial activity (not just the part that involves trade with your neighbours)

3) A common external tariff that makes your imports more expensive
4) You are not allowed to make your own 3rd party trade deals
5) Subjugation of your courts and parliament to an external power
6) Loss of control of who you let in to your country
7) Eventual political union

Why is this a rubbish proposition? Because everywhere else in the world you can have (a) essentially for free with none of the other baggage. The price of getting tariff free access to other peoples markets is that you must allow tariff free access to yours. It is mutually beneficial, there is no need for the other stuff.

On (b) the EUs trade deals with the rest of the world are rubbish. No deals with the next 5 biggest economies. (US, China, Japan, Brazil, India). It is almost like they don’t really want free trade with the rest of the world. Because they don’t. And you can’t do your own trade deals.

Other matters such as cooperation on security and crime, air traffic control, reciprocal health care, mobile phone roaming, whatever, the rest of the world just deals with as bilateral or multilateral agreements because again it is mutually beneficial to do so. No need for a political union or a supra-national court.

This is why it will not be long before everyone else figures out it is a rubbish deal and leaves too.

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