Dominic Frisby on Brexit: ‘Nothing Will Ever be Possible Again’

Dominic Frisby

We asked two comedians on opposing sides of the EU Referendum debate to duke it out over the future of the nation. Here’s Dominic Frisby’s take:

I’ve been asked by the powers that be on this website to write an irreverent case for Brexit, which is a ridiculous request, because there can be no case, irreverent or otherwise, for Britain leaving the EU under any circumstances ever.

When Britain joined the Common Market in 1973, the EU (as it is now) produced 38% of the world’s goods and services. In 1993, when the EU began, it produced just shy of 25%. Today it produces 17%. In a generation the EU’s global economic share has more than halved. Who, in their right minds, would not want to put their lives into the hands of an organization that has achieved these sorts of results?

If there’s one thing the UK needs, it’s more regulation. We just don’t have enough of it. The beauty of the EU is we no longer have to think up our own. The wonks do it for us. 65% of regulation is now set in Brussels. For sure, they’ve got our best interests at heart.

What’s more, when it sets its rules, the EU has local knowledge. Rather than an inflexible, one-size- fits-all code for the whole continent, administrators are getting their feet dirty on the ground, visiting remote locations across Europe, so they can fully understand what is required at a local level. The effectiveness can now be seen in our fishing industry, which is booming, as well as in the economies of Southern Europe, where youth unemployment is 39% in Italy, 45% in Spain and 49% in Greece.

“Regulation begets invention”

People don’t understand how important regulation is. If you look at the achievements of great British scientists – Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin – they can all be traced back to regulation. Tim Berners-Lee could not have invented the internet without regulation. Indeed, the only reason the internet has grown as big as it has, as quickly as it has, is regulation.

Imagine if Alexander Fleming had cleaned up his workstation – we would not now have penicillin. But EU regulation clearly stated that he must not clean up, and that’s what enabled the happy accident by which medicine was revolutionized and millions of lives were saved.

Shakespeare’s plays, Wren’s buildings, Baird’s television, Bell’s telephone, Brunel’s trains and ships, Turing’s computer science – there is a common theme here and it is regulation. Regulation begets invention. Nobody can invent anything, unless proper regulation is laid down first. The same goes for trade.

Nobody ever bought or sold anything until we had EU regulation.

If we leave, trade will just stop. Like that. Overnight. So will communication. All conversations will end. Friendships will have to end. Relationships will end.


“Oh, my goodness do we need more subsidies!”

It’s clear we need more expensive buildings in Brussels. We need more officials. We need more barriers to progress. We need more jobs for former politicians who can no longer get elected. We need more taxes. We need more subsidies. Oh, my goodness do we need more subsidies!

There is no greater manifestation of the wealth divide in the UK than land ownership. 70% of land in the UK is owned by fewer than 6,000 people. Yet these people are not paying tax on the land they own, they are receiving subsidy for it. In other words, landowners are being paid by the EU to own land. That is absolutely right.

Finally, immigration. Is it not blindingly obvious to anyone with half a brain that Planet Earth is stumbling into a migration crisis of historical proportions? There are more and more people in the world and, whether it’s those displaced by wars, by lack of water, by poverty, hunger or lack of opportunity, more and more of them are on the move. Surely, the last thing we want in such circumstances is to be able to set our own immigration policy?

Dominic Frisby will be performing his show, Let’s Talk About Tax, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.

Want the other side of the story? Read Andy Zaltzman’s defence of the EU here.

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