We do not yet know what David Cameron’s negotiations with the European Union will bring. We can though start to see the outline of a deal.
And the word ‘deal’ is appropriate.
One of, if not the main focal point has been Britain’s insistence on being able to withhold welfare benefits from newly arrived people from other EU member states. David Cameron has been ‘banging the drum’ on this for some time and talking, not unreasonably, some might say, of the unfairness of people taking from a system into which they have not contributed. In response, many other EU countries say that such actions would be discriminatory to their citizens.
They are both right, however, this is a ‘false flag’. An issue designed to get us looking at this matter and forgetting the real issue.
What is really at stake in this referendum is sovereignty. Who runs Britain. The elected members of the British parliament at Westminster or the unelected members of the European Commission and the heads of 27 foreign governments?
Returning, for a moment to the benefits ‘deal’. The outline proposal is that Britain would be able to apply an ‘emergency brake’ to providing benefits to non-Brits if Britain could demonstrate some kind of an inability to cope with a sudden influx. Oh, and the ‘brake’ has to be approved by all of the other 27 countries! Does anyone, outside of the con-men in Brussels think that such approval will ever been obtained? So the ‘brake’ is meaningless and if this is all that David Cameron can get out of the negotiations then Britain must vote for Brexit.
What might Brexit mean?
The ‘Better Off In’ campaign have initiated Project Fear. This was used most effectively to scare the Scots into voting against independence back in 2014. In the case of the European Union, the tactic is that Britain doesn’t know what life would be like outside of the EU. How would we trade, who would trade with us and so on. Britain would be a tiny island nation exposed to the harsh realities of a world where trade treaties govern trade and remove barriers etc.. What poppycock!
Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world. We are projected to become the fourth, in a short space of time (overtaking Germany in the process!). Britain would have two years, from when they advise the EU that we are leaving, to conclude trade treaties with other nations. The EU doesn’t even have a trade treaty with the potentially largest trading nation, China, so that represents a great and immediate opportunity.
Britain has a trade deficit with the rest of the EU – we import more from them, than they import from us. When you consider that a lot of British trade to the rest of the world, goes through European ports like Rotterdam and this gets counted as British trade with the EU rather than with the end user country, it is clear that the EU has a very strong vested interest in concluding a reasonable trade deal with Britain.
So the fear of the unknown isn’t really that scary, from a trade and economic perspective.
Indeed, given that remaining in the EU would inevitably lead to ever closer union, we could expect that Britain remaining outside of the failed Euro project would be impossible to sustain. The only way that the Euro could possibly work is if the nations of the EU had common economic policies and that would require political union. This should be clear to anyone, who has studied this subject.
That many of the public supporters of the ‘Better Off In’ campaign also wanted Britain to join the Euro, at its outset, and warned of the grave dangers we faced by staying out of the Euro, says a lot.
Britain’s economy is healthy and growing, that of the EU isn’t. If Britain had joined the Euro project we would have had to contribute to the bail-out of Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. We would have had to adopt anti-growth policies and be tied into an exchange rate that is hampered by strong economies like Germany and Netherlands being held back by weak ones, like Greece, Italy and France. I would suggest that a contributory factor in Britain’s current growth is that it is not in the Euro.
So would Britain leave?
My gut feel is that if Britain voted to leave, common sense would prevail, after the initial panic. By that I mean that firstly there would be a clamour, in other member countries for their own people to be given a vote. Faced with the loss of a major contributor to the EU budget, the European Commission would have to come to the bargaining table and bring more than threats and meaningless ‘deals’. Threats wouldn’t work. The EU has more to lose from Britain’s exit than does Britain. I would expect that after an Out vote, Britain would be in a very strong position and would actually be able to negotiate terms that would lead to a further referendum. This second referendum would be as to whether or not Britain should reconsider and remain in the EU, based on the new renegotiated terms or still proceed and exit. Since we cannot say how those terms might look, we cannot say how we might vote but I would suspect that the new terms would be both meaningful and more in line with Britain’s interests (and, I would suggest in the interest of the European Union, itself).
To me it is now clear that the only way Britain can remain in the EU is to deploy Project Fear. However, deploy this elsewhere in the EU. It is the EU that should be scared of the unknown. How will they survive a Brexit? Who will provide such a growing market to which the EU can export their goods and services.
For years, the EU was characterised by the economic powerhouse of Germany, calling all the monetary shots and the French calling all of the interventionist, centralised, nanny state shots. Following the election of the frankly crazy socialist Francois Hollande and the global economic crisis, France’s influence within the EU has waned. They still talk a big game but people aren’t listening so much. In the harsh economic times, that much of Europe is facing, people are listening to the folks who pay the bills and within the Euro, that means Germany!
Germany’s economy though, as mentioned earlier, is declining, albeit gradually. Angela Merkel’s frankly crazy open door invitation to migrants provides a potential boost but I sense that this will be short-lived. The German people are starting to feel swamped and Merkel is now in political difficulty. The migrant attacks, in Cologne and other cities are just the tip of the iceberg. This problem will get much worse before it normalises. Don’t be surprised if there are terrorist atrocities to follow-on from Cologne. Maybe in Germany or elsewhere. (Incidentally, there was a brief news story about one of the terrorists , who was killed in Paris, having German connections but that is no longer being pursued – news management??)
To me the position has become ever clearer but I address this close to the ‘Better Off In’ supporters. The best way for Britain to benefit from the EU and the best way to guarantee Britain’s membership of a reformed EU is to vote to leave. Only this will bring the other EU members to their senses and to the bargaining table.
Vote OUT, even if you want to stay in!