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Liberalism and the European Union

June 2nd, 2015 Posted in EU by

The European Union is not a very liberal organisation. It is constantly on the look out for ways to interfere with how people live their lives and how businesses run their affairs. Membership does commit members to the rule of law and a single market.

If if the EU isn’t the organisation liberals want, would it be best to leave?

Out of the EU, Britain may find itself even less liberal than it currently is as it throws up a protectionist blanket to protect British jobs. The country could find itself adhering to directives it disapproves of just to access trade with Europe. And it would have give up the opportunity to  push the EU in a more liberal direction.

There are no easy answers to these issues. What they do is force liberals to think hard about what their political philosophy is all about.


2 Responses to “Liberalism and the European Union”

  1. Richard Manns Says:

    …or the UK might find itself more liberal.

    It rather depends on the ‘vision’ that hyothetically wins a No vote; Farage should be kept away at all costs, and Dan Hannan might be a far better face.

    And pretty much anyone in the No camp wants free trade; the idea that unilateral trade restrictions will spring up from the UK seems far-fetched. A wounded EU that wants to punish, an EU that enforces trade restrictions out side it in any case, is a far more likely candidate for trade restrictions.

  2. Alex Chatham Says:

    Yes, the UK might be more liberal. I take your point but here are three thoughts:

    1) The supporters of exit say they want free trade but will they if the UK leaves and the economy encounters problems?

    2) If the EU responds as you suggest, will they not encourage a protectionist agenda in the UK?

    3) What if non-free traders are elected after the UK leaves?