As promised when I spoke ahead of tonight’s Freedom Association Quiz Evening here is a summary of some of the points I made:
1. A lot has changed since I first moved a motion on the floor of the House of Commons that there should be an In/Out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. Back then in October 2011 all three main parties imposed a three line whip against the idea. Since then the Prime Minister has decided it is time the British people had their say and all credit to him for changing his position. Anyone who wants to leave the EU or indeed anyone who simply wants the right to have their say now knows the only way to achieve that is to ensure there is a Conservative majority Government in one years time.
2. The Prime Minister has made clear that his preferred option is to renegotiate the terms of our membership and then argue for us to stay in. The Prime Minister thinks it will be sufficient if a few powers are repatriated. Those of us who believe the UK would be better off outside the EU want to see all the powers we have lost brought back.
3. We have already seen in the last few days how it appears that power to control our own borders is not going to be recovered. I understand why those who want us to stay in do not want to set out any red lines: they would be used as a scorecard to judge the success of the re-negotiation. However, for many people who are very concerned about immigration ability to properly control our borders again is a red line issue and the fact that this has apparently already been given up on will have already persuaded them that they will need to vote to leave the EU when the time comes in 2017.
4. If a majority of voters are to be convinced to vote to leave the EU we must deal with the fears they have that somehow there will be job losses. More importantly we must also paint a positive picture of what life outside the EU would be like. A UK better able to compete once it is freed from having to comply with EU rules and regulations that the rest of the World are free from.
5. Finally, it is imperative that we build a broad-based coalition of voters including those who may generally support parties on the left of the political spectrum. There is no way we will have a majority with just Conservative and UKIP voters . This is above party politics. It is about the future of our Country
2 thoughts on “Better Off Out”
Re. the first comment. Is David Cameron’s nom d’internet “Wonderland”. Who else could talk up the EU so much and be so sarcastic in doing so?
Yes, Norway and to a lesser extent, Switzerland, have to abide by many EU regulations in order to trade with the Soviet-style bloc. On the other hand, Russia’s main trading partner by a long, long way is the EU and the Russians export to the bloc far more than they import every year. The majority of their exports is fuel, of course.
In contrast, our trade deficit with the rest of the EU is £billions a month. They need our trade far more than we need their’s. I can do sarcasm too… oh, you thought if we left the EU that everyone else would go in the huff and the Germans would stop selling us cars and the French, wine and cheese and so on or impose impossible trading terms. Dream on.
On that “final kicker” of workplace legislation, hated by every business owner, not just some Tories and which costs the country £billions a year not to mention the untold billions in losses to the UK by those legislations making us less competitive and so losing out on orders to companies in other countries.
Another thing about the Swiss is that they have continual referenda. The latest was for a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs (about £15) an hour, which supporters considered the least that people there needed to live a decent life.
It was rejected by 76% of voters because ordinary people aren’t quite as daft as your average politician and realised production costs would rise and therefore so would unemployment.
Maybe youth unemployment in EU countries wouldn’t be so sickeningly high if we didn’t have the minimum wage and young people could get a foot on the ladder. Older people lose out as well. Small business owners, like shopkeepers making very small profits, sometimes cannot afford to pay the minimum wage, but could do with the extra help, so there’s a ‘double whammy’ whereby someone stays unemployed and the business stagnates.
The Health and Safety regulations of the EU have been a joke for many years, but nobody is suggesting doing away with sensible and appropriate safety measures. That’s the difference.
And when nearly everyone is feeling the pinch, they probably wonder how they can possibly be worse off out of the EU.
What is “simply ridiculous” is expecting a UK Government to give us a free and fair referendum. All three parties have promised and all three reneged once they got (back) into government, even imposing a three line whip against a referendum, which is a clear sign that the leaderships of the main parties have absolutely no intention of ever offering us a genuine choice. Even if it does finally happen, it won’t! As when the French and Dutch had referenda and the result was simply ignored and when the Irish voted “No” when it came to adopting the Lisbon Treaty and the media was set in action to frighten them into voting the “right” way the next time.
Isn’t it strange that if there had been a “Yes” vote the first time there wouldn’t have been a second referendum? Accountability? They couldn’t even spell it. Getting on for a generation since they last had their accounts signed off.
But, as usual, all you pro-EU cherry-pickers are totally blinded by the economic arguments. Hardly ever is the much wider and more important area of freedom and self-determination debated, because the pro-EU crowd know that when all the facts are on the table, they might just lose the argument. Big time.
This is simply ridiculous.
Let’s take it as read that the EU – rather like Britain itself – is something that continually needs reviewing and updating.
But to argue for baling out? That’s bonkers. OK then, let’s look at facts. Norway and Switzerland aren’t members of the EU, and yet, according to people like yourself, they prosper. Hoorah!
Would you like to admit to readers just how many of the rules of the EU they have accept to trade with the EU? The vast majority of them, you say? Well I never. And did they get to negotiate theose rules? They didn’t? Well blow me down. Do they have to pay a tariff to trade with the EU? They do? Staggering. And if they didn’t? Punitive or non-preferential treatment? Who would have thought it.
In a nutshell, that’s yours – and UKIP’s – foxes shot. In the EU (and one of the largest members) we get to have a major shout about legislation. Outside it? Well, tough, you’re not a member – take it or leave it.
So we decide that we can go it alone, outside a trade union of about 500,000,000 people with the political and economical clout to match. We cut loose from all the trade treaties negotiated via the EU and have a crack on our own.
And guess what? It turns out that neither China nor America is really our bezzie mate and they suddenly become a bit more difficult about British goods entering their countries. Who could have imagined it? Clearly not the geniuses in UKIP and on the more aridly neoliberal wing of the Tories (ie, UKIP but without the convictions to change party).
Outside the EU, we’re very suddenly on our own and, lo and behold, we find ourselves have to renegotiate past treaties signed as an EU member because of that decision. And for some odd reason, we don’t get preferential treatment any more. No doubt that would be put down by you as anti-British sentiment or some such.
And, just to make it a little bit worse for you, but probably a great deal worse for the poor sods who actually do the work within companies that (used to) trade with the EU, for some odd reason all that inward investment like the Nissans of this world is now going to Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Belarus. Who knew? Who could have guessed that our withdrawal from the EU and its trading bloc would lead to a hearty ‘get stuffed’ from international companies eager to do business with a potential half a billion customer base, predicated upon our membership and its existing trade rules?
Who might possibly have figured that one out? Clearly not you, David.
What you sketch is a picture drawn by a charlatan. And not even a convincing charlatan at that. The EU needs to change – all institutions everywhere do. That’s what progress is all about. But your reasoning is nonsense and you don’t have the ability to see the end result of your arguments. I’ve laid it out above; go back an re-read it.
And there’s a final kicker, isn’t there?
The EU laid down a raft of workplace legislation that is hated by your party. They would give anything to get rid of the Working Time Directive and get back to the good old days of junior doctors working 80 hour weeks to the detriment of patients. I’m sure that the opportunity to ditch work place protection for ordinary people is too good to miss. After all, you’ve already enacted a law to make sure that people in the first two years of their employment have far fewer rights than those in work beyond that, and having cut legal aid for employment court cases, and having imposed fees for industrial tribunals, I’m sure you’re on board with the emasculation of working people in your own constituency.
And I hope they don’t forget that, nor any of your craven comments above.
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