Odds and Ends
Brexit to the right
29 6, 4:42pm
Long time fan of Humon but I created an account today just to reply to BS you're writing! I'm sick and tired of the EU discussion in Norway being filled with myths and false data about the EU. Our self-absorbed nationalism makes us think that all that is great must come from Norway while all that is bad must come from the outside and the rest of Europe is just holding its breath to please us.
Even if Norway wanted, we couldn't just get a deal like Switzerland! Nobody can because after that deal was constructed everybody realized just how complicated it made everything. Norway is already getting a sweet deal with the EU but if anything, that's going to change in the future. That's why out prime-minister thought Norway could get away with paying the same amount of money to stay in the EEA but ended up paying a lot more. And that will only get worse in the future for several reasons, above all that we need them more than they need us! Norway needs to keep its access to the internal marked of the EU because the EU is by far our largest trading partner. It is more costly to produce things in Norway and if you add import tariffs we simply can't compete. At the same time, to protect our own marked and farmers, we put a heavy tariff on all food, plants and other things that other countries would like to sell us. That's why that even though we have one of the worlds largest exporters of pork right south of out border, we actually drive our on pork to Denmark, have it processed on a separate line and then have it returned to be resold in Norway because it is much cheaper than just having it imported! And the same with "Spanish" serrano ham that we have send all the way to Spain! We want to sell our stuff in other countries but we won't let them sell their stuff in Norway and guess what! - they're getting more and more annoyed with us because it is costing, especially our neighbors, a lot of money and jobs. We have been getting away with it because we are a small country but now that GB is seeking a similar deal, we can no longer expect to get by unnoticed. And the EU can't let us because that would make other countries wonder why they should be a part of the EU when we apparently don't have to and yet appears to get all the advantages. Yes, we pay money for that privilege but there's a reason why we keep making that deal!
And the thing about is that even though we get to put heavy tariffs on foreign products, we still have to follow most of the rules even though we, because we're not a member of the EU, don't get to make those rules. That's why you've probably notices all phone commercials on TV where the companies are being nice to us by making it a lot cheaper to use data abroad in Europe. They did it last year too and they'll do it again next year. Here's what they don't tell you: they, along with other European phone companies, have spend millions of euro fighting this because they have been using the disadvantage of tourists to make them pay extremely high fees that in no way corresponds with their actual cost. The EU made them change this, just like they limit the amount of dangerous chemicals in our hairspray and toys children, hold facebook and google responsible for not deleting the data they are collecting on us and many, many, many other things in our daily lives that we never hear about, because we live in our Norwegian bubble of ignorant bliss. But we don't get to make those rules that effect us because we're not in the EU, so we just have to hope that they other countries that are do what's best for us.
Which bring us to Turkey that you claim is about to join the EU. Here's the funny thing about that: if Norway HAD been a member of the EU, we could actually veto that! All members of the EU has to accept a new member, which is one of the reasons why Turkey can't join because you can't have a member of the EU that doesn't recognize another member of the EU, like in the case of Turkey and Cypress that is already a member. Even if that should change and even if they solve the many, many other problems, there's already a bunch of countries that have said that they will veto Turkey becoming a member of the EU. All that has changed lately is that they've begun discussing the problems and I actually don't think that's a bad thing. In the past, that process alone brought many positive changes to Turkey from a European perspective and it was when the negotiating stopped that things took a turn for the worse in Turkey.
The EU-debate in Norway is practically non-existent and when it's finally pops up, it's always negative and one-sided. How could it be any different when our politicians and companies takes credit for everything positive that comes out of the EU while they blame the EU whenever something is unpopular. And the media cares more about what their readers want to read and what gives them clicks on their web-pages than they do about giving us information that we might actually need. And us, the people, the voters, we are the ones that a truly to blame because we don't hold anyone accountable. We don't because, even though we know that we probably should make the effort, we don't take the time to get what we need to make informed decisions. So we blame the politicians, we blame the companies, we blame the media, we blame the EU but in the end, all we blame them for is our own guilty conscience. Not all things in life is easy and when you have to make very complicated decisions on complected matters, you need to put in some effort. You don't skip class all year and then right before the exam expect the teacher to explain curriculum in two minutes or less. That's how you create a lot of myths and false information. That's the trap we have fallen into.