By definition part of the rationale behind the European Union project and their long term desire to create a single European superstate means that the EU has to be a single market. So logically, leaving the European Union means not being part of the single market. It does not mean not having access to the single market. It does not mean the U.K. no longer wishes to trade with the EU and their single market. As it is anyone can sell into the single market. No different to selling goods to any other country. It is though common sense that if you wish to sell good to another country you have to comply with their requirements, and so it is with the EU and their single market. Of course the EU may threaten to impose tariffs on goods we sell to them. This is going to be a real test for the EU. Do they really believe in free trade? The U.K. will be saying to the EU we want to have free trade with you. The question is how will the EU respond. As the EU sell more to us than we do to them (not surprising given the respective sizes) if the EU do impose tariffs and we therefore also impose tariffs on imports from the EU it follows EU exporters will be paying much more than UK exporters.
We must leave the EU as the British people voted for. We must leave the Single Market, offer the EU a free trade deal, see how they respond and we then respond accordingly. Meanwhile, we must go as far as we can in putting in place new trade agreements with countries around the world. There are tremendous opportunities across the World for our companies.
The result of the High Court yesterday that the applicants should be allowed permission To have a Judicial Review of the government ‘s decision on how they plan to serve the Article 50 Notice and that the government should seek Parliament’s approval was in my view wrong. Parliament only derives its sovereignty from the people. It is the people who are sovereign. The phrase that Parliament is sovereign arises because MP’s are elected by the people in a general election. In this particular case of leaving the EU the government specifically had the consent of the British people to hold a referendum on whether we should leave the European Union. There is no need for Parliament to express a view on this issue on behalf of the people of the Company because the people of this Country have already expressed their view in the referendum. Anyway, as I thought it now looks highly likely the case will finally be decided by the Supreme Court at a hearing next month. In the meantime preparations for us leaving the EU will continue.
As the High Court decides today whether the government can give notice to the EU that we are leaving there are two debates in the House of Commons today. The first is on the area of financial services and how it might be affected by the UK leaving the EU. The second on living wage week. I hope the Court realise that the court case is simply an attempt by the losing side in the referendum to try and obstruct the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. The government has clear authority arising from the referendum result to serve Article 50 and the sooner the better. As it is I expect that whatever the result in the High Court today the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Today in the House of Commons after Questions to the Secretary of State for Health there is a motion to introduce a Bill to “amend section 33 of the Harbours, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847 to allow local authorities to proscribe, in certain circumstances, the transport of live animals for slaughter abroad via facilities that local authorities control and operate; and for connected purposes.”
I hope to be able to oppose this Bill not because I disagree with the principle but because for two reasons the Bill is a waste of Parliamentary time. Firstly, as this session is due to prorogue this week there is no time for further consideration of the Bill. Secondly, because of our membership of the European Union even if we amended the law as the Bill seeks to do it would not stop live animals being exported because of the effect of European Law.
After this the main business is about the new Universal Credit which has been scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee.
I am both surprised and disappointed to hear that my colleague Douglas Carswell has decided to leave the Conservative Party and join UKIP. I have always had a great admiration for Douglas who has an independence of thought which is very refreshing.
I should say that I had absolutely no advance knowledge of this decision and at no time have I ever discussed this with Douglas.
Of course people will now be asking who will be next and as Chairman of the Better Off Out group of MP’s and Peers in Parliament I have no doubt my name will be the frame. I can say therefore that whilst I will continue to make the case for the UK leaving the EU – something I agree with Douglas and of course UKIP about – I intend to stay in the Conservative Party. We have made enormous progress since I was elected in May 2010. When I first put forward the idea of having an In/Out referendum in October 2011 there was a three line whip from all the main parties against the idea. Now the Conservative Party is putting a three line whip on a Private Members Bill which provides for an In/Out referendum in 2017. The only way we are going to get that referendum is to have a majority Conservative Government. Even UKIP accept there will not be a UKIP Government and there is a real danger that in many marginal seats voters will stop Conservatives being elected and allow Labour MP’s to be elected.
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
Millions on account holders with RBS who have been expecting the transfer of their accounts into the hands of Santander will be surprised to learn today that the deal is off. I have been a RBS account holder for decades so I know how they feel. I was one of the account holders who was told the account was being given over to Santander. Not something I wanted and whilst I know I could decide to move my account quite frankly changing a current account is such a hassle I decided to sit tight. So for the moment actually I, and I suspect many others, will be quietly relieved. Unfortunately, RBS are still need to try and sell hundreds of branches by the end of next year so millions of RBS account holders could still find themselves under the wing of another a bank.
These customers may well ask why? Why should RBS be forced to sell off some branches. There is hardly a demand for it. Well it is all down to the rules of the European Union. When the NatWest and RBS were bailed out by the Government the EU decided to intervene and say that if our Government were going to help one of our Banks they were going to intervene and tell us – or rather tell RBS – what to do. Yet another reason why I believe we would be better off out. Why should the EU tell the Companies of this Country what to do? As usual with the EU there is no question of consulting the customers. Simply a case of do as we say.a