Douglas Carswell

29 FEB 2016

The EU's economic certainty: no innovation, no growth

Innovation is the mark of a successful economy. 19th-century Britain became the richest nation on the planet with a century of invention that raised productivity and prosperity to unprecedented levels. How did we do it? Low taxes, cheap energy, light regulations, open markets, free trade, and sound money. Why is Europe stagnating today? Because the EU does the exact opposite.

Compare the EU to 19th-century Britain. Instead of low taxes, it demands ever higher contributions from member states. Instead of cheap energy, it drives our fuel bills up. Instead of light regulation, it imposes one-size-fits-all legislation on every conceivable product. Instead of open markets, it gives us quotas and subsidies. Instead of ensuring free trade, it's protectionist – imposing tariffs on non-EU goods. Instead of sound money, its broken currency has produced malinvestment on a vast scale.

The Remain camp is staking its campaign on scaring us into believing that the EU is the route to economic prosperity. But hang on a second: the EU is the world's only declining trade bloc. Unemployment in EU countries is skyrocketing. More world-leading high-tech innovation comes from Tel Aviv, in a country surrounded by hostile neighbours, than the so-called single market. In fact, major innovators – like the biotech firm BASF – are leaving the EU because of its suffocating red tape.

Over the next few months, Establishment figures will tell you that we can't risk the uncertainty of voting Leave. Well here's the certainty if we stay: no bureaucratic empire in human history has ever unleashed innovation and economic growth. Nothing the EU has done suggests it will be the first. The only way to create the conditions for innovation in Britain is to vote Leave.

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