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 last day of Parliamentary business proved a very busy one indeed with dozens of written statements and two oral statements in the Chamber. I will be returning to some of these subjects in the (hopefully) quieter days ahead. Today, the news is dominated by the Prime Minister’s attempt to make some very minor changes to the terms of our membership of the European Union. There are essentially four requests
- Ensure the UK is not bound by the words ‘ever closer union’ which appear in the introduction to the EU treaty.
- Ensure the countries outside the Eurozone are not treated unfairly.
- Reduce red tape.
- Prevent migrants to the UK from the EU claiming in work benefits for four years after arrival.
The first three are so meaningless they have been agreed immediately almost without debate. The fourth which most people might thing should not even be a matter which concerns the EU. It just demonstrates how powerless the UK has become that even something like deciding who receives benefits from our welfare system can no longer be decided by us.
Even if the change were agreed it would not have much effect on the numbers coming to the UK because all the figures I have seen show that only a minority claim benefits in the first twelve months which they presumably would do if that were a main reason for them coming to the UK.
The main point is that 99% of our terms of our membership are not even been debated. The U.K. will still be part of the Common Fisheries Policy the Common Agricultural Policy, we we still have to pay around a billion pounds a month (net) just to be members of the EU. Incidentally, it is the fact that we pay such a large amount each year towards the running costs of the EU that the others are desperate for us to stay.
We would still have to go begging to Brussels if the Government wanted to help industry as we have seen recently over broadband and the steel industry. It is frankly demeaning.
The suggestions that we would be isolated if we left are simply nonsense. We would be the EU’s biggest single market. The Germans would still want to sell us their cars the French their wine. I want so see us have free trade deals with all the countries in the World not just the few that make up the EU.
Britain would not only survive we would thrive outside the EU.
It soon became apparent after my election that our Country will never be able to compete again fully on the World stage unless we free ourselves fron the clutches of the European Union (EU). It was for this reason I joined the Better Off Out Group in Parliament a Group which I was elected Chairman of a few months ago.
It is by no means only supporters of UKIP who believe we would be better off outside the EU. I believe there are millions of supporters in all the other parties who think the same. We have known for some time that the Prime Minister has been planning a major speech setting out his view for the way forward on our relationship with the EU and yesterday he announced in the Commons he expects to make the speech next month.
We already know alot of what the Prime Minister thinks. Like me he wants to see powers retrieved from the European Union. I wish him well in his efforts. I would encourage him to go further and negotiate a much looser relationship with the EU. ‘Yes’ to trade. ‘No’ to the EU trying to tell this Country what to do. We should not have to pay billions of pounds every year simply to have the right to sell our goods into other EU countries.
The suggestion which is always made whenever anyone raises the question of the UK leaving the EU is that we would lose millions of jobs. No evidence is ever produced and in any event no one ever considers how much better British Companies will do in selling their goods and services to the rest of the World when they are not burdened by EU rules and regulations. Furthermore the rest of the EU export more to us than we do to them so they have no reason to exclude us from their markets. Why would our European neighbours want to prevent us from selling our goods and services to them. I have never suggested any form of measures to protect British Companies from imports. I think we should make it as easy as possible for countries who want to trade with us to sell us their goods and likewise we shoula then have the same rights to sell to them. There is no need for a huge bureaucracy just a simple free trade agreement.
I do not share the view that the overnight news that the Prime Minister’s refusal to join in a new European Union treaty will somehow leave us isolated and sidelined in Europe.
The fact is that next week Germany will still want to sell us their cars and France sell us their wine. More importantly our European neighbours will still want to buy British goods and services.
I think the Prime Minister was absolutely right to defend British interests and I think the majority of British people will support his view. The claim that there this has suddenly created a two tier Europe ignores that fact that ever since the single European currency came into being there has been two groups of countries in the European union those inside the Eurozone and those outside the Eurozone. All that has happened is that this division has been highlighted and reinforced.
I have long believed that the single currency as it is presently constituted is doomed. This country greatly benefits from being outside the Eurozone. Nothing I have seen about what was agreed at this summit has led me to change my view about this.
The EU Bill has been attracting a considerable amount of press comment over the past few days. I thought it might be helpful to readers if I explained why as an ardent Eurosceptic I voted in favour of this Bill which some have criticised as not being sufficiently robust.
I agree the Bill is not sufficiently robust. There are so many get out clauses and exemptions that personally I doubt it will do very much towards helping to stop the European Project juggernaut from moving towards its declared aim of ever closer union. So why did I vote for it at second reading?
Firstly because although I believe that too many powers have passed to the European Union already at least this Bill does not pass any more over.
Secondly, I think most middle of the road euro-sceptic voters will believe the Government line that somehow by passing this Bill we will be keeping the EU in check. Understandably, I think they would be rather puzzled had I voted against a Bill which is being promoted as a Eurosceptic measure.
Thirdly, by helping to ensure the Bill passed its Second Reading in the Commons it means that it will have five days on the floor of the House where it can be examined in detail and I propose to vote in favour of any amendments that will have the effect of toughening up the Bill. Having said that, personally I doubt there is much chance of any either being accepted by the Government or the Government being defeated on any. I have read much of the analysis written over recent days and the one point I think they have missed is that many of the Conservative MP’s who have voted with their instinct are not so keen to do so if it means going through the lobby at the same time as the Labour Party. Personally, if I am voting what I believe to be the right way I do not care who else is voting the same way. I realise that many Opposition Members will be voting for entirely different reason
Fourthly, and in my opinion most important of all, I think this Bill may well actually hasten the day when the British public get their chance to vote on our membership of the European Union and ensure that a majority vote against our continuing membership. My reasoning is that most people are intrinsically Eurosceptic. Our membership of the European Union costs us money. It means we are subjected to yet more rules, more regulation and more red tape. Because this Bill is being promoted as a means of stopping any further transfer of powers I believe the scepticism of the public will be considerably increased once they realise that despite all the hype because of the get-outs and exemptions gradually more and more powers will be transferred to Brussels without them being given a say.
For the avoidance of doubt had I been in Parliament I would have voted, as did almost all Conservative MP’s, to give the British public a vote in a referendum as to whether we should agree to the Lisbon Treaty. I agree the Lisbon Treaty is not absolutely identical to the draft European Constitution which all the three major parties promised to have a referendum on at the last General Election but no one is suggesting anything other than it is very similar indeed ( that is well over 90% of the content is the same). There is no wonder the general public are losing faith and confidence in politicians if Labour and the Liberal Democrats are not prepared to stick to their own Manifesto promises.
I believe we should be governed by Westminster not by Brussels. Europe should do less and interfere less in our lives. In my opinion the European Union should not have a flag or an anthem.