The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Eurosceptic Dilemma

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 9, 2010 @ 16:37

Of course, supranationalism is also responsible for exciting tomes like this one...

Naturally, any dyed in the wool Eurosceptic will be opposed to this:

The European Commission wants EU member states to consider allowing it to levy direct taxes – a move that could ease the burden on national budgets.

The EU’s Budget Commissioner, Janusz Lewandowski, said he would present some options next month for direct EU taxes.

After all, giving more power to the elites in Brussels continues to undermine our own national sovereignty, and will in turn enhance the formative makings of the EU superstate. Taxation power should never be ceded.

Except when it should.

At the moment, France, Germany and the UK are all working on their very own versions of a banking levy. Whether they are successful or not all depends on whether the banks who will be subject to them calculate the cost of upping sticks and moving offshore is less than the tax itself. A simple cost-benefit analysis.

In the global economy, though, it’s not hard to see some banks indeed deciding the cost is not worth it, and move to a lower-tax country. Net result: jobs lost, no corporation taxes, no income taxes, no sales taxes as a result of that income, and so on. So maybe we shouldn’t bother with the taxes at all. Taxes which, let’s face it, ought to be levied in the first place because of how well the non-nationalised banks have done out of us.

Then there is the question of complexity and confusion. What if Germany had a transaction tax, while France had a tax on overall profits, and the UK decided to tax a bank’s asset base? All a bit messy for the poor corporations, but certainly difficult to understand the implications of where the money goes.

In other words, it could end up either a mess, or becoming self-defeating. More probably both.

Unless there was some way in which you could guarantee that every country raised the exact same levy, in the exact same way…

Some things make far more sense when done as part of a co-ordinated global effort. Environmental issues don’t stop at the border, and neither does capitalism.

To those who support the common market, there follows a relentless logic that only makes sense when taken to its conclusion. Common markets require common regulations. Common regulations require a common regulator. A common regulator requires common governance; an acceptance from all parties, in advance, for the rules of the game.

Step forward, for us Europeans, the EU.

If the EU had not already been invented, it would have been again and again in the decades that followed its creation. The role it plays, and could play in the future, is too important for the collection of nations within it.

The trends towards supranationalism will always continue, and the more we deny it, the more we put ourselves in danger of becoming irrelevant. The dilemma for Eurosceptics is either to deny it and bury their heads in the sand, or engage with it and see just how much we can shape it the way we want.

Oh, EU. Why are you so boring?


One Response to “The Eurosceptic Dilemma”

  1. The Welshman in Hull said

    Boooo… Hisss. I smell Communism!

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