The Independent recently published an article naming the 19 countries of the 196 in the world with the highest quality of life.
I decided therefore to undertake some research upon Gross Domestic Product per Capita in order to see where we, the UK, stand in the league table, as it were.
I think that some may find it surprising where we stand against other EU countries and it would be interesting to see how Leavers would perceive the UK to rank among other EU nations.
My perception for what it is worth is that most UK citizens (sorry, subjects) would have us as being somewhere near the top, not only globally but also among other EU nations; this given the enormous weight attached to the fact that we are the fifth largest economy in the world (or rather we were until the referendum) by Vote Leave.
GDP per Capita does not equate wholly to quality of life, of course, but here I have been talking pure economics.
From a socio-economic perspective I think it would be hard to find anything readily positive about leaving the EU given the broad base of workers’ rights that membership bestows, including freedom of movement; let alone the Union’s role in sharing resources to assist in development, technology and science.
The social charter framework that membership provides also enhances quality of life and freedom of expression. Freedom of movement augments quality of life because it provides freedom of opportunity and cultural benefits that are incalculable. Unless, of course, you are intolerant of your neighbours and would rather not have any.
The CIA has a list and it may surprise some to discover that in the wealth list valued per person the UK comes in at 39th. In terms of EU nations there are nine other countries with higher GDP per capita scores.
The highest ranking EU nation? The second richest in the world on this basis.
Yes, It’s Luxembourg.
So, which other EU nations rank above the UK?
France, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and…
So, it occurs to me that the UK is really a mid-table Premiership team in these terms. To keep with the football analogy, how many mid-table Premiership teams would risk leaving the Premier League with all that comes with it? Even the team that finished 10th last season.
Whilst other teams clamber to get into this global economic and social Premier League bizarrely we appear to want to leave it. Unfortunately unlike a relegation from the Premier League we will not be getting any parachute payments however.
In fact, if a German newspaper is right we will have a large outstanding indebtedness to repay.