@ Rob D.
"it's pretty obvious that growth rates across the EU are broadly unchanged over the last few years - not stellar and with some struggling, but generally steady after recovering from the 2008 crash era
Oh, and almost at the bottom of the pile for the last couple of years - the glorious United Kingdom. No idea why that could be happening though"
I can answer that. When the recession hit the UK and US reacted to it, the EU didnt. The US and UK bounced out of recession, the EU started doing anything when they were almost in deflation. The US and UK have full employment and are growing based on the current capabilities in this world, while the EU is trying to catch itself up and trying to fix its economy.
The result is that the EU has a load of unemployed they made unemployed and of course will grow as those people get back into work. We could have EU growth rates, but first we must put a lot of people out of work and trash our economy.