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EU economy

As Instapundit remarked, OUCH -

According to the Association of European Chambers of Commerce in Brussels, the EU's economy has not improved over the last five years, and is mired at levels achieved by the United States in the 1970s.

The Association of European Chambers of Commerce in Brussels warned that the transatlantic gap had widened yet further in the past five years by all key measures despite the pledge by EU leaders at the 2000 Lisbon summit to transform Europe into the world's "most dynamic knowledge-based economy" by the end of the decade.

The EU-wide umbrella group, known as Eurochambres said the EU's overall employment rate was still stuck at levels attained by the United States in 1978, chiefly due to an incentive structure that discourages women from working and prompts early retirement by those in their fifties.

It found that the European Union's research and development levels were achieved by America as long ago as 1979, while the lag time on per capita income is 18 years.

"It will take the EU until 2072 to reach US levels of income per capita, and then only if the EU income growth exceeds that of the US by 0.5pc," the study said.

Retiring at fifty sounds good until you realize your children and grandchildren will become paupers to pay for the retirees.

Oh, I forgot, it's immigrants who will be picking up the tab. They have all the skills and income that Europe needs to keep Europeans living as they have been accustomed, which, according to Euchambres, is not nearly so well as the despised United States.

If the difference could be ascribed to women staying at home and doing the most important job on earth - raising children - we might be indifferent to economic malaise, but that is not the case. Far too many Europeans are not having children. The economic picture, warned Christopher Leitl, the president of Eurochambers, is so grave it is "a question of survival".

Britain thought it had problems, but hey, misery likes company. Why not be miserable with all of Europe, too? That's the plan, isn't it, under the Lisbon Treaty? British MPs, whose economic ignorance would astonish their forbears, will be able to blame Europe for Britain's undoing, and they'll have a point - it's hard to survive while chained to the sick man of Europe.

There is far more to life than making money, but money usually makes a contribution to life.

This seems to be an idea grasped by the British Chambers of Commerce which warned, "The swelling costs of EU regulations posed a grave threat to British economic dynamism".

Everyone is full of warnings, but the British Government and Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg continue to sing from the same old songbook - 'we have to be a part of Europe, so we can trade, and influence the dear girl for the better'.

The song was never true, and it will never be a hit.

Britain does not need to be part of the EU in order to trade. London did not become a world financial capital because of the EU.

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