Monday, June 20, 2016

EU - It's time to go

With just a few days until the EU Referendum, the main UK papers have now published their editorial positions, whether opting for 'In''or 'Out'. Last night in Milton Keynes the Prime Minister in the words of the Independent got "absolutely savaged". I  had applied to the BBC for a ticket to be part of that  TV audience which incidentally demanded a significant amount of personal detail on the application, but they didn't call. Denied the opportunity to contribute to the great debate via television, through the platform of this blog  I offer my reasons why Britain should leave the EU,

1. The EU - What is it and where is it heading - a free trade zone and customs union, or a super state?
The 'Remain' campaign's over arching reason for staying in the EU rests on the supposed economic  benefits of being a member of a single market of 28 countries with 5 million people. Leaving this vast market they say will lead to a recession, a big hole in the UK  budget, which will have to be filled by increased taxation and job losses. In short it is primarily for economic reasons the UK should remain within this tariff barrier. But the ambitions of the EU go way beyond selling British goods to the EU, and buying theirs in return.

The EU has a much loftier goal than creating  a simple customs union that the Remain campaign are banking on by frightening the electorate not to vote to leave at the peril of losing their jobs, lower pay, paying more for goods in general and paying more tax. In Brussels it is referred to as The European Project.  It is a long term project that its architects envisage driving towards a European superstate. Institutions, structures, laws and the trappings of a superstate are step by step being put in place. Most are already set up. The EU already has a parliament, a civil service, courts, a flag and a national anthem, but there are at least two big issues yet to be implemented. The EU is well aware that there is little popular support or interest in a superstate and crucially lacks a unifying common language. As more eastern states have joined, so have people with German as their mother tongue - 100 million of the total EU population of 500 million - has increased. Mrs Merkel's Christian Democratic Union  party has already proposed the working language of Europe should be German. And the other big issue? A German controlled European army!

When voting for remaining in the EU, it is not voting for some cosy business club set up to keep the rest of the world out and protecting inefficient EU producers  from global competition thanks to  tariff barriers, it is voting for a German dominated United States of Europe!

2. The European Project
Voting to remain in the EU is unlikely to be a vote to preserve the status quo - even the Remain speakers recognise it needs reform and argue that there is more chance of doing this within the organisation than outside. Unfortunately the British experience of reform actually goes to the sacred held tenets of EU faith. Free movement of labour being just one that is a current issue. The British have little or no appetite for a massive federal super state - especially a state that rules by directive. One that legislates for eventualities they may never occur or are not a problem. The British press has long taken great delight in lampooning directives that seek to specify the shape, size, colour etc of fruit and vegetables such as the legal curvature of a banana. During the second world war German officers handbooks on military matters included the authority to raise the left arm in ritualistic salute to the Fuhrer should the right have been lost in battle. And here is a serious problem - the British not only think this obsession with rules and regulations is authoritarian, but a huge joke. The laws that insisted vegetables and goods in general could not be sold by Imperial measures anymore which gave rise to the 'Metric Martyrs' and buying milk in 2.72 litre containers, yet still drinking pints of beer in the pub, buying petrol in litres but driving distances in miles. Despite 40 years or so of metrication, even people not born when it came in, still talk of their height in feet and inches, talk about 'going the extra mile' and drinking a pint or having the other half - the old measures were more related to human experience and are deeply entrenched in our language and culture . A cricket pitch at 22 yards, also known as a chain or in Euro speak 20.1168 meters would never have been proposed by a Eurocrat, but then again few European countries play cricket, none at world class. The British way is just different, so why on earth join the club in the first case? The British were never given the choice? We have long memories and now its payback time.

3. Towards European domination
The British have also had a soft spot for the little guy, especially when pitched against the odds. In football we applaud the little village team of tradesmen and shop keepers who knock an expensively assembled top league team out of the FA Cup. The outsider who has no chance against the professionals, men like 'Eddie the Eagle' who competed in a winter Olympics in ski jumping against the sporting elite of the ski world. Even more so that he wore pebble lens glasses and looked gawky and awkward, but we cheered on the audacity and sheer nerve to even compete. He didn't get anywhere near the winners rostrum, but we still remember him, long after all the famous names have been forgotten. It is not just in sport where we like people and teams who defy the odds, but on he field of battle too. Shakespeare's Henry V captures the mood with 20,000 well equipped French lined up against a tired, sick and depleted English force out numbered more than 3 to one. And yet despite  the superiority of men and armour Agincourt was a famous English victory over the French. Centuries later it was another  English army in retreat at Dunkirk. France had fallen to the armoured might of the German  Panzer tanks and Stukah dive bombers and with the British Expeditionary Force pushed back to the Channel coast the British were the next on Hitler's 'European Tour. In later years some clothing vendor came up with a commemorative T-Shirt based on the style popular for a while celebrating a major pop tour with the dates and venues of the gigs. The "Adolph Hitler  European Tour 1939 -1945."It listed the countries invaded - September 1939 - Poland, April 1940 -Norway, May 1940 - Luxembourg, May 1940 - Belgium, May 1940 - France, September 1940 - England Cancelled, April 1941 - Yugoslavia, May 1941 - Greece, June 1941 - Crete, August 1942 - Russia. Cancelled, July 1945 - The Bunker, Berlin. After Dunkirk Churchill made his famous, "We shall fight them on the beaches .. speech to the House of Commons. In 1942 Hitler had a report prepared by a committee of bankers and academics- Europaische Wirtschafts Gemeinschaft – which translates to European Economic Community [EEC] for the post war administration of Europe which he believed Germany would win. There were many echoes of this document in the Treaty of Rome in 1945.

4. EU - The democratic deficit 
One serious flaw with today's EU is that the directives are not initiated by elected parliamentary representatives, but emanate from unelected bureaucrats. People not in the public eye and not accountable to the people they effectively rule. Those MEPs who are elected have no power to stop or initiate directives. They merely a fake parliament to give an impression of democracy. The voter turnout is very low at Euro elections and in Britain UKIP has the biggest elected group of MEPs.

5. The EU - Does it work?
Finally does this expensive, slow moving, wasteful, corrupt and dictatorial organisation work? There is some dispute as to whether the books have been signed off in the last 20 years. Unlike commercial organisations an EU funded Court of Auditors checks the accounts and has reported on wasteful use of funds by recipient countries and cases of fraud.

It is on the slide as the share of world trade continue's to decline.

It has no idea what to do about the millions of refugees entering its borders.

The euro has caused great austerity to countries like Greece.

It is not democratic - the bureaucrats are not elected or electable.

It is outdated, inward looking, stifles enterprise and inefficient ...

...... it is time to say goodbye.

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