How many superficial “eurosceptics” claim that they want to have a new relationship with the EU based on trade and cooperation, instead of political and judicial union? Many of these have claimed David Cameron’s fraudulent deal achieves this, which is a bad joke. Others are backing Remain claiming that a new relationship can be achieved from within the EU, which of course is unachievable and therefore they are being disingenuous.
Those who genuinely want to have a new relationship with the EU based on trade instead of political union, equitable cooperation rather than subordination and freedom and democracy instead of subjugation, will be voting to leave. We know that leaving the EUdoes not mean severing ties, it does not mean an end to cooperation, and it does notrepresent an opening of hostilities, but rather the beginning of a positive new relationship and a strong alliance.
The first stage is a de-risked, economically secure secession from political and judicial union. The strong foundations on which we can build an independent Britain is as a continued member of the European Economic Area. We’d be free from the constraints of subordination and it represents a massive repatriation of policymaking and sovereignty back to Parliament but, crucially, the trade and business environment remains unchanged.
The Market Solution represents our departure lounge from the EU, merely the first stage of our future. The Leave Alliance has set out its comprehensive plan on what Brexit looks like, including several methods for retaining access to the Single Market and policy ideas for the long term. The market solution neutralises the fear, uncertainty and doubt of the Remain campaign and it cuts through project fear. We firmly believe that the more people who get behind it, the better chance we have of winning the referendum.
In response to the proposal to end our political union but remain in the EEA, Europhiles lose ground and end up backtracking until all they are left defending is a vague belief that we might lose influence. At this point the only thing left for them to do is admit a belief in a federal EU with the UK as a constituent state, or meekly admit an aversion to change and a submissive comfort with the undemocratic managerialism of the EU.
The notion that we will lose influence if continue to participate in the Single Market but leave the EU is based on tired old canards and a redundant understanding of global trade and decision making. The idea that the EU is the “top table” and we have to be in the Union to influence the “rules” are false. If we re-join the European Free Trade Associationand trade with the EU via the EEA, we can and will exert influence in Europe and beyond.
A major element of the “still pay, no say” myth is to belittle, smear and sneer at Norway. A country that has repeatedly rejected EU membership in favour of independence and democracy, is a serious player in the global regulatory system and punches well above its weight in the world. And that is exactly the point, we are in a whole new era of globalisation, the EU doesn’t make the rules anymore.
Remain campaigners say Norway has “no” influence, we should be very suspicious of sweeping absolutes. A nation’s influence in the design of regulations, international standards and the formulation of global solutions is proportionate according to the expertise they can offer and the alliances they form. Is that influence limited? Of course! In a globalised world influence is necessarily limited. But if Norway’s influence is limited, then so is that of Australia. Australia has a free trade agreement with the EU and a mutual recognition agreement for standards and regulations. There’s a good reason for this; it’s because Australia obeys the same rules as the EU, both are law takers.
A recent EFTA report reveals that more than 90% of the laws of the Single Market include policy areas covered by UN or other global bodies. Norway has more influence in drafting laws originating from these sources than the UK, which often has to accept the “common position” agreed within the EU without the ability to veto them and protect the national interest.
So much of modern law making and the formulation of trading rules is done at an international level. Global trade requires global rules and transnational business and industry require global standards. Hence the growing number of global bodies that exist to that end: UNECE, Codex Alimentarius, WTO, ILO, IMO, UNEP, WHO to name but a few. Most people have never heard of them, but they are hugely important institutions in which the EU takes our seat and negotiates on our behalf. Despite the misguided snobbery/and or deception of Europhiles, Norway is fully engaged in the process, influencing the rules before they get anywhere near the EU, and involved in consultation when they do get processed at a European level. Norway is at the top tables and it is able to wield a veto (register a reservation).
While the BBC and Remain campaigners seek out pro-EU politicians – those soldiering on promoting EU membership to a people that have flatly rejected and continue to defy them – they have yet to ask Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, Kathrine Kleveland, Helle Hagenauor Anne Tvinnereim, a serving Norwegian minister, who flatly denies the assertion that Norway has no influence. Or even people like Bjorn Knudtsen, Chairman of the Fish and Fisheries Product Committee of Codex Alimentarius.
It’s not good enough asserting that we will have no influence, it simply isn’t true, it’ a total non-argument against restoring democracy in Britain.
Leaving the EU does not mean leaving the single market, and as a strong player in the EEA and EFTA we can cooperate closely and positively with the EU and/or choose alliances with other countries or trade coalitions depending on the specific situation. That’s what it is to be a dynamic, flexible, free trading nation state, this is what it means to have a new, positive relationship with the EU based on cooperation and trade.
First we have to leave.
This blog was originally published by the author 7 March 2016 http://thescepticisle.com/2016/03/07/we-can-have-a-new-relationship-with-the-eu-based-on-trade-cooperation-but-first-we-have-to-leave/