Thursday, 10 April 2014

The road out of the EU is not so perilous!

'Tearing free' from the EU


Chris Green

In the recently published article entitled, "Electioneering: The UK General Election campaign is in full swing!", the build-up to the forthcoming European elections and onwards thereafter, to the General Elections in Great Britain in 2015, was discussed. This presumes that there actually is a ‘Great Britain’ after September of this year, because all the indications are now suggesting that the probable outcome of the referendum for an Independent Scotland is neck and neck. There will be more on this specific historic event in the coming weeks, but the Scottish independence vote will have a lot of influence on the political shape of these islands, whatever the outcome. It is entirely fair to observe at this point, however that were the Scottish electorate to back the YES campaign, then the Tories are highly likely to achieve a landslide victory in May 2015 because the Scottish voters will be disbarred from participating in the General Election!

A Tory election victory in 2015 is highly desirable to some of us for many reasons; a Tory victory in 2015 is absolutely critical for those of us who have long demanded a referendum on EU membership, for the Prime Minister has vowed to hold such a vote in 2017 if returned to power. There are those of course, who employ the tactic of the fear factor, Nick Clegg being one of them. Mr Clegg, in concert with his fading Liberal Democrat party and many of Britain’s banking establishment, claim that economic success is wholly dependent upon EU membership.This is nonsense.

Whilst banking is an important part of the British economy with London being the premier financial hub, conveniently located within the European time zone, the reality is that this would continue to be so were we to exit the EU. And why should we heed the words of the bankers whose disastrous errors were the primary cause of the 2008 crash, nor indeed the avowedly Europhile, Lib Dems who lost many seats in 2010 and after 2015, may well become akin to a bunch of shrivelled up flowers, cast to the side of the highway, marking a long past memorial site.

This is not the only issue where the Liberal Democrat leader is at one with the bankers either. Ten years previously, both argued vociferously that it would be a disaster were Britain not to give up the pound and join the euro. What an absolute disaster that would surely have been! But neither the Lib Dems nor the banking fraternity are mandated to speak for the British electorate; the electorate speaks for themselves and they wish to be heard on this issue of vital national importance and a straight forward referendum on EU membership has long been denied to them by successive governments and it is way past high time that their voice was heard.

It is furthermore quite absurd to suggest that “three million jobs” directly depend upon continued EU membership and that these would instantly vanish were Britain to secede from the European Union. This nonsense is often supported by the hand-wringing utterance that it is vital to maintain our access to the ‘single European market’. What is really meant of course is the single European regulatory system. This in turn means more and more regulation in the quest of “more Europe” which strangles business and further reduces national sovereignty. This is furthermore inextricably linked to the undeniable fact that the EU is in fact a political project, far more so than an economic one.

Removed from the EU, Britain would still have access to the European market within the global economic world just as nations outside of the union already have. It is highly likely too, that a bilateral free-trade agreement would be negotiated with the EU were we to be out of it. Furthermore, the EU is attempting to secure such an agreement with the USA, yet for the rest of the EU (sans UK) the United Kingdom market is actually slightly larger than is the US market.Britain would also save a few billion pounds annually, which would be better invested internally!

In summary, life outside of the European Union would not be so bleak and neither is the road out of it exactly 'pothole strewn' either.

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