The Brexit campaign, which Sir John Major described as fundamentally dishonest, squalid, deceitful and misleading, claims that leaving the EU will allow us to take back control of our own affairs and is just as false as their claim the EU costs £350 million.
Over the last decade, a significant amount of UK industry and infrastructure has been sold off and is now in foreign ownership, as the UK has one of the least regulated structure for maintaining UK ownership of national assets. This is nothing to do with membership of the EU, as countries such as France and Germany are much more patriotic when it comes to the family silver.
Germany invests for the long term and controls its economy, because most of its industry remains in German ownership. In spite of being the largest net contributor to the EU of around £16 Billion in 2014, Germany had a balance of trade surplus in 2014 about £172 billion.
The Germans, French and Italians have kept their car industries under national control and buy from home producers, whereas we have allowed our industries to pass out of our national control.
Since the 1960s the following UK industries have effectively become fully or partly foreign owned, declined or disappeared; steel, cars, airports, shipbuilding, motorcycles, rail, aviation, electronics, banking, and insurance.
If you shop or buy services from Lidl, Aldi, Asda, EDF, Scottish Power, EoN, Abbey National, Santander AXA and Arriva, Boots, Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and Camelot, these are all foreign owned. If you buy such products as Weetabix, Cadburys, Rowntree, Branston Pickle, Strongbow Cider, John Smiths Bitter and Newcastle Brown these are all foreign owned. Rolls-Royce Motors, Bentley, Jaguar, Mini, Landrover, Aston-Martin and Ford. Vauxhall, Honda, Nissan, Toyota are all foreign owned.
The list goes on and on because the UK has allowed much of its industry and infrastructure to become foreign owned and controlled, and successive governments have used the sales of these assets to fund their budget deficits. To make matters worse, many foreign owners have asset stripped the companies they were allowed to buy. The UK now has one the highest balance of trade deficits of any major industrial country being £36.7 billion in 2015, because it imports more than it exports.
On a household basis we each purchase £1,350 per annum more than we sell abroad, by borrowing money and racking up debt.
Membership of the EU has very little to do with this loss of control, as the cause of the situation is years of successive government’s short term economic policies and a financial sector that puts immediate gains above long term stability. We now owe too much to the world outside these shores and can no longer isolate ourselves from our creditors, nor from the foreign owned companies who provide the goods and services we eagerly consume.
Voting to leave the EU will not undo the fact that years of selling off our assets to pay our creditors, rather than proper investment to strengthen our economy, has left us fundamentally under the control of foreign companies and financial markets. The Brexit campaigners completely mislead us into thinking an exit will change this situation.
An exit will most likely result in many foreign companies moving their UK operations to other EU countries putting jobs and government revenues at risk.
David Daniels CBE
Beech House Lane
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