EXCLUSIVE. How the EU skew their polls so you agree with the EU.
Yesterday I showed everyone the latest EU poll on international trade. I showed the British buyers who shop online embrace the whole world in the purchasing power they have, while EU27 stick to buying among themselves.
Today I will show you how the EU skewers those questions so they get the answers they want for most of the questions in this poll.
Highly-directed questions give the EU Commission more self-promotion material
For the latest Eurobarometer survey released by the EU Commission yesterday, 27,438 citizens in the 28 EU countries were asked a series of questions about their views on international trade. we looked and considered the answer to one of the questions, which sums up the differences between the British and the EU27 when it comes to openness to the World. Most British people buy online globally, most EU27 citizens don’t
Today I take a look at the answers given by those surveyed in the UK to another important question. I also look at the types of questions asked — and NOT asked — by the EU Commission.
Evidence that the EU propaganda machine is doing its job
65% of people in the UK believe the EU is “more effective in defending the trade interests of its Member States in the World than the Member States are when they act on their own”. Only 24% tend to disagree, or totally disagree.
What the EU asked — and what it DIDN’T ask
If the EU Commission had wanted to assess how it is doing on international trade, it could have done so. It didn’t, preferring to focus on some ’touchy-feely’ and leading questions that match its own agenda and which were likely to produce positive responses.
Let’s take the example we gave above. People were asked if they thought the EU is “more effective in defending the trade interests of its Member States in the World than the Member States are when they act on their own”. Many people will have interpreted this question as being about trade protection, such as preventing the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.
Nowhere did the EU Commission ask about its own effectiveness in actually doing trade deals. It could have asked “The EU Commission has the sole right to do trade deals and prevents the Member States from doing them. To what extent do you agree that this is in the best interests of your country?”
Or it could have asked: “The EU Commission has not concluded any ratified trade deals with the World’s five largest economies since the EU began. To what extent do you agree that this is not the fault of the EU Commission?”
What about the trade agreements which the EU cites as examples?
In one question, the EU Commission begins with a statement: “The EU has signed trade agreements with countries including Canada, Japan and Mexico.” It then goes on to present pro-EU statements about the EU’s trade agreements and invites the individual to agree with them. For example, it starts these statements with “They strengthen the EU’s position as a world power.
Let's look at the three examples which the EU cites:-
The agreement with Canada still has not been ratified
The agreement with Japan still has a long way to go
And the agreement with Mexico was so bad that the EU is now having to negotiate a new agreement
Some tariffs in the EU-Japan ‘Economic Partnership Agreement’ will not be eliminated until 2035
Let’s just look at the ‘Economic Partnership Agreement’ which the EU has finally negotiated with Japan to keep this short. This has not yet been ratified by the 28 member countries of the EU. Nevertheless, it does contain proposed tariff reductions in both directions.
The entire agreement is many hundreds of pages long. On the assumption that readers are unlikely to want to wade in and read it in its entirety, I thought that highlighting one aspect of it might be useful. (Even I could not face reading the whole document, but I have read some significant parts of it.)
When it comes to eliminating tariffs, this is hardly an overnight affair. For the different categories of products covered, tariffs will slowly be reduced over periods of four, six, eight, 11, 13 and 16 years.
This means that for some UK exporters, tariffs will not be eliminated before the year 2035.
The EU’s latest ‘special Barometer’ was trumpeted by the EU Commission as proof that EU citizens are happy with its performance on trade deals.
Here was EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, on Wednesday:
”When I took office five years ago, there was a lot of criticism against international trade and how the Commission conducted trade negotiations. We, therefore, decided to reform the way we do trade policy. Through increased transparency, we wanted to create trust. This Eurobarometer survey proves that we were successful. Citizens feel more positive about trade today than ten years ago.”
Ms Malmström, a bureaucrat with no trade experience who was appointed by Jean-Claude Juncker to one of the most important jobs affecting businesses and jobs, at least admitted that there had been “a lot of criticism” about the Commission’s abilities to do trade deals.
Debunking EU propaganda
Sadly, the incessant EU propaganda — such as that contained in this latest EU report — is never debunked by the ardently pro-EU media across the continent and in the UK.
The simple fact is that the EU has been woeful at addressing the needs of businesses in exporting around the world for most of its existence. Indeed it is only since the EU Referendum was announced in the UK, and since a very few groups were pointing out the EU Commission’s lamentable performance, that they started making an effort. It’s a shame that much of that new effort seems to have gone on propaganda.
The post-Brexit future
The three largest economies in the world outside the EU are now the USA, China, and India. The EU has failed to agree on a trade deal with any of them.
If the United Kingdom can finally escape the shackles of an incompetent EU Commission and promote its own trade interests globally, it is inconceivable that it can do any worse than the EU has done.
The future can only be a great deal brighter with Brexit.
[ Sources: EU Commission Trade Directorate ]