Science Speaker Matt Ridley on why Britain should leave the EU

Science SpeakerBest selling author and science speaker, Matt Ridley, writing for the Times, believes that leaving the EU would be a much needed ‘leap into the light’ for Britain. Matt argues that the EU is an institution rooted in the past, and to remain a part of it will only serve to hamper Britain’s progress. Innovation is the key to progress, and the European Union is ‘bad at doing it, and good and discouraging it’, he writes.

Matt acknowledges that this may not be the most fashionable reason to leave the EU – early polls suggest that economic and political security are highest on most voters’ agendas.  However, we have seen throughout history that innovation brings with it economic and social improvements, and that stagnation leads to unrest. The EU more often than not considers only the harms of new technologies which has so often prevented the transition of out-of-date technologies with new more efficient ones.

Michael Gove summed it up this week when he wrote that “The EU is an institution rooted in the past and is proving incapable of reforming to meet the big technological, demographic and economic challenges of our time. It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and like other institutions which seemed modern then, from tower blocks to telexes, it is now hopelessly out of date. The EU tries to standardise and regulate rather than encourage diversity and innovation. It is an analogue union in a digital age.”

The argument for Britain being a part of a regional trading bloc is out-of-date.  With ever improving communication and transportation, the barriers to trade with the rest of the world are becoming less of an obstacle than the legislation and restrictions imposed by the EU. David Cameron wants us to stay in a reformed Europe, Matt writes, but his renegotiation has not “reformed Europe” at all, ‘just Britain’s relationship with the EU and in minor and irreversible ways’.

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