There is a joke going around the internet it how the European Union works (or doesn't):
Pythagoras's theorem - 24 words.
Lord's Prayer - 66 words.
Archimedes's Principle - 67 words.
10 Commandments - 179 words.
Gettysburg address - 286 words.
U.S. Declaration of Independence - 1,300 words.
U.S. Constitution with all 27 Amendments - 7,818 words.
EU regulations on the sale of cabbage - 26,911 words.
Why are EU Regulations so long? Maybe because they have to be translated into the 18 official languages? Interpreters also have to be found who can work into and from those languages at the European Parliament. The translation budget is massive. One of the official languages currently is Irish. It can confidently be said that there is no one in the Republic of Ireland who does not speak English; many Irish do not even speak or understand Irish, and certainly none of Ireland's politicians will be fluent only in Irish. But all of the "acquis," the body of regulations that are already part of the EU body of laws, also have to be translated into the languages of candidates for EU membership, such as Turkey, thus adding more languages to the tally each time a new regulation is passed. If Catalonia breaks away from Spain and remains a member of the EU, Catalan will need to be added, even though Catalan politicians all speak perfect Spanish.
Corruption and Waste
This month, in March, an official audit reported that EU auditors refuse to sign off more than £100 billion ($144 billion) of EU spending. The Brussels accounts have not been given the all-clear for 19 years in a row. Moreover, the EU is apparently less than incompetent at managing the funds it has.
This is happening at a time when the EU is demanding that the UK pay it £1.7 billion ($2.45 billion). It was reported on September 17, 2015 in the Daily Mail newspaper that Britain had reluctantly paid this sum, which prime minister David Cameron himself, a fan of staying in Europe, has described as "appalling."
Also reported on September 17 in the Daily Telegraph, was that, according to the annual report of the European Court of Auditors, £5.5 billion ($7.9 billion) of the EU budget last year was misspent because of controls on spending that were deemed by experts to be only "partially effective."
The audit, published on March 17, 2016, found that £109 billion ($157 billion) out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 alone was "affected by material error" -- that is, disappeared into various people's pockets.
Thanks to the European Union, the Value Added Tax (VAT), the tax which in the UK replaced purchase tax in 1973, is now applied to services as well as goods. Such a tax discriminates against service-based economies, such as those of the developed countries, because such economies are taxed so they cannot compete with services provided outside the EU. Each member country's tax regime is micro-managed by the European Union. The former purchase tax was specifically designed for taxing luxury goods, but the VAT is now imposed even on essentials needed by the poorest members of society. Furthermore, the VAT discriminates against women because the EU requires the member states to tax products used by only one gender, such as tampons.
The "Traveling Circus"
Few people outside European parliamentary circles are aware that there is an EU "traveling circus." Once a month, the European Parliament moves from Brussels in Belgium to Strasbourg in France. Even though Members of European Parliament (MEPs) voted to scrap this move, the French government, which initiated this madness in the first place, has the power to block any such decision and is apparently determined to do so. That is another fact which goes unmentioned by those determined to keep the UK in the EU. When this author challenged an MEP, Mary Honeyball, on the subject, she claimed that it was "being dealt with," but the French government is fiercely opposed to keeping the parliament exclusively in Brussels and it has the power to block any such reform. The cost of the "travelling circus" alone is conservatively estimated at £130 million ($187 million) a year.
Free Movement of Labour
The free movement of labour between EU member states was always going to be a non-starter. Has anyone noticed the hordes of British plumbers and electricians emigrating to Bulgaria and Romania? The movement of skilled and unskilled labour from the poorest countries of the EU to the wealthier ones -- those that offer generous benefits to the unemployed and even subsidise low wages -- has always been a fact of life, one seriously underestimated by successive British governments. The British suffer most because, of all the countries of the EU, the UK offers the most generous benefits. The so-called "freedom of movement," which has proved to be just a one-way street, is only one of the reasons why Britain needs to regain control of its own destiny and stop being subservient to laws being made by unelected, overpaid, un-unelectable bureaucrats in Brussels.
But Will There Be a Brexit?
Unfortunately, most voters in the British referendum glean their information from the sound bites of politicians on television. This circumstance leaves the public open to manipulation, uninformed, and ignorant of the facts. One fact, however, that cannot be ignored is that ever since Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, British politicians across the entire political spectrum from left (Tony Benn) to right (Enoch Powell) were perceptive enough to realize that Britain would lose the power to make its own laws and turn into a vassal of the France-Germany axis.
Leaving the European Union will give the UK back its sovereignty and leave it free to make alliances not only with its former European partners, but with other Commonwealth countries, to say nothing of the United States, and Central and South America.
Josephine Bacon is a journalist, author, and translator based in London. She is an active member of the British Labour Party and the Cooperative Party.
 The Court of Auditors also found that the fact that Value Added Tax is not payable on goods and services exported within the EU from one country to another has led to VAT evasion and fraud, and that this was not being adequately tackled.