For the EU’s economy, Brexit is like the EU28 becoming the EU10

Graham Charles Lear
3 min readApr 29, 2019

The 19 smallest countries would have to leave before the EU’s economy would shrink smaller than it will after Brexit.

Latest IMF figures show the massive impact of Brexit on the EU

Every April the IMF releases its official figures for the size of the world’s economies by GDP in the previous year. In this case, we’re looking at 2018.

The UK’s economy is bigger than 18 EU member countries — COMBINED

This shows the dramatic impact on the EU of Brexit

Only if 19 other EU member states left simultaneously, would the EU’s total economy be smaller than when the UK leaves

In effect, Brexit is equivalent to the EU28 becoming the EU10, in terms of the EU’s economic size.

All these countries could leave the EU, and they would not have the same impact on the size of the EU’s economy as when the UK leaves:-

Ireland

Denmark

Finland

Czech Republic

Romania

Portugal

Greece

Hungary

Slovak Republic

Luxembourg

Bulgaria

Croatia

Slovenia

Lithuania

Latvia

Estonia

Cyprus

Malta

Why is this important?

The EU is not a country — not yet anyway, although its moves towards becoming a superstate are now undisguised. For the moment it is a collection of 28 countries, soon to be 27.

There is a problem with the way the EU constantly refers to itself as the EU28. The problem lies in the relative sizes and importance of each of its member states.

Listening to MPs and the BBC, the public can easily get the impression that the UK is of little importance to the EU as it is only one out of 28 members. When the UK leaves, the EU28 will become the EU27 — at least until the impoverished Balkans states start joining from 2025.

In economic terms, though, the EU has expanded by adding small countries which have little impact on the overall size of ‘the Single Market’ and ‘the Customs Union’, whose virtues Remain MPs are continuously extolling.

The simple fact is that the countries of the EU do NOT represent the ‘level playing field’ which Monsieur Barnier and his colleagues can’t stop talking about.

Why we are ‘cross with Malta’

To illustrate the facts above, let’s take Malta, a small island 50 miles south of Italy, with Tunisia to the west and Libya to the south. It is one of the 28 member states of the EU.

Since the Referendum, the diminutive Maltese Prime Minister has ingratiated himself with his EU bosses — and has deflected attention away from his corruptions scandals at home — by taking a hard line on Brexit. Even worse, he so often manages to get himself seated next to Theresa May at EU summits and dinners.

The reality is that Malta is a tiny country. In terms of population, the Maltese PM is ruling over a town the size of Kirklees in West Yorkshire. And yet he has a vote at the EU Council where important decisions are made by the 28 leaders of the member states.

Imagine the Council Leader of Kirklees, sitting around a table with the Merkels and Macrons every three months, making decisions of global importance? (No disrespect to the Kirklees Council Leader, of course.)

Imagine him making the decision to extend Article 50 to 31 October — a decision which affects a country that has a population 139 times greater than his?

This is the reality of the EU, not the glossy impression given by Remain MPs that the UK is ‘too small’ to flourish as an independent country. If they knew the first thing about the EU, they would know this.

The usual caveat

We love Europe, there is nothing wrong with Europe it's self as there are 50 countries in Europe, not just 28. We hate the EU. When I produce reports such as the one above I get attacked. Each time I have to point out that MY criticisms are not about the people of the individual countries which make up the EU — quite the reverse.

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.