Thursday 12 May 2016

Brexit The Movie: Sort Of A Review

As mentioned yesterday, I attended the premiere of Brexit The Movie last night along with 1,699 others in a sold out Odeon Leicester Square.

The film has proven to be as divisive as the debate that surrounds it, with reports in just about every news outlet reflecting their previously entrenched views about the referendum. About the only unbiased report I could find today was in the IB Times, although Vice published a fun piece of half-satirical flim flam which captures the pre-screening atmosphere quite well.

We were admitted to the cinema early enough to nab seats in the very back row and conveniently situated for the exit to avoid the post-film crush. It was also a handy placement for stealth-vaping throughout the showing, though I have since heard from a couple of those in the VIP seats at the front that they were using their devices without any complaint.

There has been some controversy (I don't know why) today concerning the fact that the film didn't mention immigration at all (there is an interesting article by Sam Bowman at the ASI today on immigration and the EU by the way). I didn't find this a bug of the film myself, but then my objection to the EU has always been based on the handicapping effect of never-ending regulation that is impossible to avoid from such an institution. If you dedicate a few hectares of a major European city to thousands of highly-paid people whose livelihood depends on dreaming up new regulations, what else are they going to do but regulate?

(Interesting nugget from the movie. "Many EU staff are paid more than the Prime Minister, but how many? 5? 10? No, 10,000!").

But, I hear you say, regulations keep us safe don't they? We need them. Well up to a point yes, but that point passed decades ago in the case of the EU. I've written about EU regulations in my industry before which have absolutely nothing to do with safety whatsoever, but instead impose unnecessary costs on businesses, inhibit employment and push up prices for consumers.

We are well beyond the time where what we actually need is an institution which deregulates, but instead we pay billions to the EU to turn the ratchet further without ever bothering to repeal anything that is unhelpful. Anyone who has kept a close eye on the corrupt shenanigans surrounding the Tobacco Products Directive - particularly towards e-cigs where nothing has been made safer at all, but where innovation and consumer satisfaction has been thrown to the dogs - will attest to that.

The message that Brexit the Movie conveyed wasn't even a new one. It's incontestable that free markets, competition, light regulation and transparency are the most successful drivers of growth, employment, social mobility and betterment of wealth and disposable income. This has always been the case and no amount of governments pretending they "create jobs", by handing back only some of the taxes they take which could have been paid directly to workers, will change that.

Heavy regulation does, though, protect big businesses at the expense of small and medium-sized ones; props up failing business models; inhibits employment; strangles innovation; and raises prices to consumers.

Martin Durkin has made a film which should be pretty uncontroversial, the arguments have all been heard before and the history of trade in the UK is a real life research project that shows that regulations hinder our country more than they help us.

Anyway, I don't know why I'm reviewing the movie because - as I said yesterday - it is available for free online from today so you can judge it for yourself.

Pour yourself your favourite beverage, make yourself comfortable, watch the 71 minutes of it below and see what you think.

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