Of all the Brexit letters I’ve read over the last three years I would be hard to find a more ludicrous argument than Geoff Holman’s denial that the EU is a bloated bureaucracy.

His argument is flawed and inaccurate.

Firstly he tries to use a comparison with Manchester City Council, which may, or may not, also be a bloated bureaucracy. 

It looks after the local interests of 300,000 clients on an individual basis and it’s community in general. He then suggests that by comparison the EU looks after 500 million of it’s citizens. 

No it doesn’t. 

The EU has no citizens to look after. 

European citizens are looked after by the sovereign governments of their own individual nation.

The EU is simply a political organisation with 27 clients. Why on earth does it require 32,000 staff?  

A more realistic comparison would be with the World Trade Organisation which looks after the interests of 80 nations and manages very effectively with 600 staff.

So what does the EU actually do in the form of work? It has what it calls a legislature in the form of 751 MEPs. Yet this legislature can neither create laws nor repeal laws.

Geoff Holman does tell us what they actually do.  Apparently they write on bits of paper. In his own words  ‘they produce policies, directives and guidelines’. 

Yes – but what do these 32,000 people actually do? 

One thing they actually do every month is to up sticks and transfer between Brussels and Strasbourg. 

This starts on a Monday and takes four days. Three weeks or so later the whole thing is reversed and they all troop back again. This nonsense has been carried out 12 times every year since the early days of the EU.

The original intention was to have a single HQ in Brussels but then a second HQ was built in France at Strasbourg. 

This monthly transfer involves 751 MEPs, flanked by their parliamentary assistants, political group advisors, hordes of ushers, drivers and civil servants together with hundreds of files.

How does that old ditty go?

The grand old Duke of Brussels

Had 32,000 men

He marched them off to Strasbourg

Then marched them back again.

The EU not bloated and pointless? 

Give me strength.

Don Micklewright