EU Referendum raises questions of economics and democracy

Mar 08, 2016

eu-for-news-page.jpgWhether in or out come June the only certain thing is that life will go on either way and the U.K. will strive to make the best of whatever outcome results, however, it will be interesting to see how the desire for democracy aligns with the desire that many people no doubt seek in the apparent safety in numbers and the status quo of staying in.

Stability in the UK residential property market is naturally something I would want to see and I think  this desire would be served well whether or not we are in or out of the EU. The residential market is impacted by global influences and in the past these major events have included 1973/74 crash caused by a global oil crisis, in 1989 by easy bank mortgage lending and Government intervention in tax legislation for home owners and more recently a global financial crisis. Any such event could happen whether in or out of the EU and the impact on the property market will be the same whether in or out.

On the economic front generally I don’t buy the arguments that trading will be worse off for UK as promoted by  the German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The thought that eurozone countries will make it difficult for UK to trade with appears unrealistic. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and you can be certain that trading doors will start to open widely.

Also, the EU is an organisation that has been unable to audit its own financial accounts in the last twenty years or so, therefore the posturing about economic credibility of staying in just doesn’t cut mustard. In reality I think UK plc is in a win win situation and the country will thrive in or out, so for me the economic arguments are fairly neutral.

Being relatively relaxed about the economic arguments, I am left with the big question about what is best for the social fabric of the country and the benefits of living in a true democracy.

Come the day of voting I will have to decide on how much I value the freedom and privileges of true democracy because it matters, so much so that ancestors have shed blood for the rights and privileges of a free democracy which can walk its own path and create its own laws to govern and influence for a better future. Don’t get me wrong, one cannot ignore economics also, but there are definitely important factors around democracy and law making to engage with and the question has to be asked, will the UK will be more at risk from social unrest and political disengagement in out out?

 

John Holden - Chairman and Managing Director McCarthy Holden