Europe is far from a perfect model when it comes to property market

Our European counterparts are often taxed heavily in many different ways
Our European counterparts are often taxed heavily in many different ways

Brussels certainly seems hell-bent on alienating whichever elements of the British electorate have not already got the message.

Brussels certainly seems hell-bent on alienating whichever elements of the British electorate have not already got the message. UKIP must be jumping for joy at the latest suggestion from our European chums. Not content with already writing more than 75% of our country's rules for us, the Brussels Club also wants to tell us how to manage our property market.

In some ways, they are right in what they say, because there is no doubt our property market is very different from those of anywhere on mainland Europe.

But we are different. And I, for one, am proud of it. So long may that last.

I do not want to pretend I am anything other than British and, while I am very fond of visiting our European neighbours, I certainly do not want to start emulating them. We have our own national traits and customs, our own way of doing business, and our own code of conduct. We certainly do not need another group of nations telling us what we can and cannot do in our own country. Anyway, back to their latest suggestion advising us on how we should be managing our affairs in respect of the property market.

The first point on their agenda is advice I am sure most of us agree on: we hardly need anyone to tell us we need to build more houses. It really did not take Einstein to work that one out.

If, however, we are really to become just as our European chums would like and if we are to emulate them, then I think all our Brit euro-fanatics should first take a look at some of the examples of housing across the channel. Take a self-drive holiday through some of the suburbs around Paris alone and then tell me that is really something you propose we should emulate.

Equally, if you are a property-owner of any description, be aware of the facts. We currently complain at the top rate of stamp duty being 4% for properties costing more than £500,000. Well, forget all that. Our chums across the Channel pay a flat 10% to include the notaries fees.

And you can also forget about doing a 1% or 1.5% deal with your local estate agent as well; the norm elsewhere is another whopping 10% - plus vat, of course, monsieur. That is why our European counterparts do not treat property the same as we do, because they simply are not able to afford to.

Yes, in many cases, property is cheaper than in the United Kingdom. But that is either because it is in an area where nobody wants to live or there are simply no buyers.

Why are there no buyers, I hear our euro-fanatics asking. The answer is simply that our European counterparts are, in the main, taxed so heavily in every area you can imagine. Subsequently, it is even harder for most young people to get on the property ladder, because they simply do not have any money.

Some years ago, while living in the picturesque Bordeaux region, I said to my accountant that I really could not understand how French people make any money. His answer was that, in general, because of the legislation, most of them did not.

I can only suggest that anyone seriously believing we retain our Brussels Club membership actually does what I - and many others who believe we should be apart from Europe - have done. That is, experiment first by actually moving and working on mainland Europe for a couple of years then come back to Britain and see if you still have the same opinions.

You do not even have to go all the way to somewhere like Denmark, which has the highest taxation in Europe. Simply go across the Channel to France or Belgium or pop down to where it is a bit warmer - Spain, Portugal, or Italy - and see how you fare. Whatever you decide,

I guarantee you will not see any of it as you do when on holiday. And your views about the European Union - even if you remain a supporter - will have changed dramatically.