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The Trouble with Europe: Why the EU isn't Working, How it Can be Reformed, What Could Take Its Place Hardcover – 1 May 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (1 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857886151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857886153
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The Trouble with Europe by the respected economist Roger Bootle is ever so timely and written in a faultlessly reasonable manner, this makes his criticisms about the EU even more powerful.' --The Times

'Clever Roger Bootle. The City economist has done it again picked one of the most vexed subjects of our age, put the boot in, shaken up the pieces and put them back together again with brilliant, albeit radical solutions. He takes you through the arguments in one of the most thoughtful accounts that I have yet read about the European question. If David Cameron wants a grown-up and nuanced spat ahead of next year's election, then all of Bootle's print-run should be bought up and given away free to the nation before we go to the polls.' --Margareta Pagano, Independent on Sunday

'An outstanding, grown-up account of the failures of the European Union. Bootle is certainly no little Englander, but his argument is calm, conversational, rigorous and quite remarkably for an economist entirely free of bafflegab. Engaging and absorbing, here is an eye-opening book that will inspire you to think through the issues clearly without starting a saloon-bar brawl.' --Daily Telegraph

'This is a credible plan for life outside Europe and deserves to be widely read.' --The Week - Business Books of the Year

'Bootle is right on every count.' --Larry Elliott, Guardian

'This will be the essential vade mecum if and when a referendum campaign takes place. The part of Bootle's book in which he analyses the pros and cons of British exit from the EU will be the most influential. On the big calls Roger Bootle has a spectacularly good record. He warned about the bubble in US real estate, which led to the credit crunch. Earlier, he forecast the collapse of the dotcom boom. Most creditably of all, back in 1992 he identified that the pound would be forced out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, and that this would be a good thing for the British economy. His latest book is all of a piece with that prescient judgment of more than 20 years ago.' --The Sunday Times

'Here it is - a book for every faint-heart who thinks this country could never prosper outside the European Union. A timely and balanced analysis.' --Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

'Bootle writes with energetic prose and makes some good points. His discussion of European monetary union is cogent. The enterprise was unnecessary and it was embarked on too early and with insufficient preparation. It was an integration too far and too soon. Bootle, managing director of Capital Economics is an accomplished economist whose The Trouble with Markets provided a penetrating analysis of the origins of the financial crisis. In The Trouble with Europe, he asks what has gone wrong with the EU, suggests why reforms are unlikely to happen and maps out a fresh start for UK-EU relations.' --Financial Times

'Few voters feel warmly about ever closer union; many would agree with Mr Bootle that this aspiration of the original Treaty of Rome should be formally ditched. The EU and the euro will get into trouble again and the outcome next time could be even worse.' --Economist

'Roger Bootle perceptively analyzes what is wrong with the European Union as presently constituted, both politically and economically; what reforms are needed to make it wise for the UK to remain a member; and how we can most sensibly conduct ourselves outside the EU, should those reforms not be undertaken. It is essential background reading for any future in/out referendum.' --Rt Hon Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

'Timely and balanced.' --Gisela Stuart MP, Birmingham Edgbaston (Labour)

'Roger Bootle's well-informed and rigorously-argued book brutally exposes the problems besetting Europe and Britain's position within - and conceivably outside - the European Union. It should be required reading for all those preparing to vote or campaign in the May European elections.' --David Marsh, author of Europe's Deadlock

'A compulsively readable analysis which should be of engrossing interest to europhiles and eurosceptics alike.' --William Keegan, The Observer's Senior Economics Commentator, author of The Prudence of Mr. Gordon Brown

'This is an important book. Anyone who wishes to debate this issue seriously will have to read it. Bootle has done the world a service.' --Dr John Llewellyn, former Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary General of the OECD, founding partner Llewellyn Consulting

'Crystal-clear analysis and punchy comment. It's the best book yet on the European Union's dysfunctionality.' --Jeff Randall, Sky News business presenter

'A compulsively readable analysis which should be of engrossing interest to europhiles and eurosceptics alike.' --William Keegan, The Observer's Senior Economics Commentator, author of The Prudence of Mr. Gordon Brown

'This is an important book. Anyone who wishes to debate this issue seriously will have to read it. Bootle has done the world a service' --Dr John Llewellyn, former Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary General of the OECD, founding partner Llewellyn Consulting

'Crystal-clear analysis and punchy comment. It's the best book yet on the European Union's dysfunctionality.' --Jeff Randall, Sky News business presenter

Book Description

Fully REVISED, UPDATED and EXPANDED edition of Roger Bootle's essential text published in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The EU-too big, too invasive, too bureaucratic and costly, ultimately not serving the citizens for whom it was presumably set up to serve. Worse still it seemingly exists to create regulation, control and encourage waste, corruption and inefficiency. So much so that even its fondest friends have come to question the motives and even its relevance of the European behemoth in the modern world. In a nutshell that the argument of this temperate, concisely argued and well balanced book.

The big question is, what is Europe for? The EU means different things to different member states and different constituencies within those member states. For some it is a form of social harmonisation -human rights, taxation, competition, free movement of labour and travel. For others it is a form of market opportunity. The EU offers protection for producers, especially farmers and gives a free trade zone especially useful for big business. The EU offers especially for smaller, weaker or less prosperous nations like the ex-Iron Curtain countries a way to develop by gaining financial assistance or drawing from the expertise and rigour that that the various organs of the EU dispense or demand. Finally, of course there is the political and economic clout that all member states are meant to benefit from. Even so, argues the author, do the benefits outweigh the costs of the European project?

Bootle positions his arguments largely from the economic stand point. This is because without a strong economy -meaning that output, employment, productivity and general competitiveness are growing at least in line with global trends, then Europe will fail to coalesce as a sound social and political entity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger Bootle is to be congratulated on a thorough examination of the difficulties which beset the European Union. He examines the development of the Union from it's beginnings in post war Europe. He avoids detailing the agonies of negotiation faced country by country as the EEC developed, and transformed in to the EU; his strength is to analyse where the EU is not working and how it may change in the future. The book is written from a British perspective. It should be obligatory reading for all those interested in Britain's membership of the EU. The analysis of the possible outcome of a Brexit move is especially well balanced. An excellent book which deserves wide readership
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good book. Surprisingly for a book on economics I found that the most helpful concept was that of "the top table syndrome" - the idea that British diplomats and senior politicians like to feel they are helping to run the world rather than just their own small islands.

From a medium or long term economic and social perspective there seem two logically consistent alternatives. Either fully commit to the European Project, make plans to join the euro and help shape our future within Europe or alternatively commit to withdrawal and negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU. The third alternative that we stay in the EU but outside the euro seems deeply unsatisfactory: what happens to our economy, employment and migration rates is crucially dependent on what happens in the euro-zone yet we will have no influence on its future.

I have been puzzled as to why the British foreign policy establishment seems desperate to keep us in the EU even outside the eurozone. Even allowing for two or three years of great economic uncertainty the economics do not seem to justify that opposition. However, once you accept the existence of the "Top table syndrome" all becomes clear. It is about "punching above our weight", "securing influence"; it is about keeping our seat on the UN Security Council; it is about justifying keeping an independent nuclear deterrent. Inside the EU the elite can maintain great power pretensions but outside we become another Canada.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roger Bottle puts his finger on the 'hot spot'. He provides a great deal of information about the European Union, it's strengths and weaknesses, it's plus and minus factors and a good deal more! An 'easy/understandable' read. This book should be made compulsory reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition
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Destined to be THE handbook for EU treaty re-negotiations.

In 2017 the British people will, potentially, be asked to vote on their nation’s membership of the European Union - in or out. Central to this decision is the question can the EU be reformed to make it work better and become more attractive to its voters
Economists are often the butt of humour for desultory equivocation -the inability to take a clear view. Not so Roger Bottle. He tells you what he thinks with no obfuscation. And makes a convincing, jargon-free, argument based on solid facts and rigorous analysis.
He sees the European Union status quo as a mess: “The EU is the most important thing that stands between Europe and success.” And as for the euro - the common currency - this much lauded economist has no doubts: “it was undertaken for political reasons intrinsic to the European project. It has turned out to be a disaster for the European economy.”
But this book is no Eurosceptic manifesto. Quite the opposite it is, potentially, a blueprint for successful reform. The author comments: “It is precisely because I am so much of a European, and because I so desperately want Europe to succeed”
He traces the EU’s origins from the physical traumas of WWII and the psychological ones of the Cold War and describes its flawed, complex and costly institutions. He analyses its surprisingly poor economic performance over the past few decades and warns of the dangers of its leaders drive to “ever closer union”. But this is not an exercise in euro-scepticism but a genuine attempt to find viable alternatives.
This book benefits from clear, crisp precise prose which does not hide behind economic jargon or balanced prevarication.
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