A vote on June 23rd 2016 is essentially a vote about the future. We have looked at the record of the EEC/EU on other pages. That is vital to give us a perspective on what we are going to do on June 23rd this year. But that perspective does not stop in the here and now. It goes on into the future. We must therefore look at the likeliest outcomes of the vote on June 23rd and consider the consequences.
There are in fact 3 scenarios, not 2. One is Remaining in the EU; another is a complete and irrevocable break with the EU; and a third scenario in the event of a vote to Leave the EU – a calculated attempt to undermine the Brexit vote by so fudging the Exit negotiations and arrangements that a true and proper Brexit will be undermined, leaving scope for those who want back In to argue a return to the EU.
Personally I see this third scenario as most likely, given what the Remain side has already done to mobilise big business and big politics to the side of the EU as the only possible way for sensible people to vote.
Scenario Remain in the EU.
Certainly possible as an outcome, given the scare mongering tactics of the Remain camp whose whole approach is characterised by a focus on the purely economic ‘need’ to stay in the EU combined with engendering a mentality of fear. How could anybody reasonably argue that the UK would be incapable of existing as a powerful economy in its own right – it is the 5th largest economy in the world, was a world power before entry into the EU, has given so much to the concept and practice of liberty in the world, and has performed far better than the economies on the Eurozone [apart from Germany for whom the Euro is more compatible].
Remain will mean further political and economic integration of member countries. There is no debate on that. There is an argument that the UK has opt outs from this already. Well, we are not in the Schengen zone and we are not in the Eurozone – which begs the question as to why we are in the club anyway !
But being outside these means we will be completely removed from any influence over policy on them. And yet we will be affected fundamentally by them. The UK has already been required to contribute £billions to support the Euro currency or the consequences of its existence. We will continue in the bizarre position of being neither fully in nor fully out and will suffer as we do at present, continually caught between two mentalities and two visions.
What is more, Turkey is likely to be allowed in on some terms or other – note the UK has set a precedent for special treatment…
Turkey is a critical factor. Technically a secular country since the 1920s, she has nevertheless a majority Muslim population [total some 73millions]. She also has a significant Kurdish population which has traditionally been oppressed by the Turks. The Kurds have a historical problem of geography because they straddle the borders of Syria and Turkey.
These factors have become critical in recent years and will remain critical. What is worse is the mentality of the current so-called conservative Islamic government. The current President’s aims and conduct have shown disturbing parallels with Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
The Erdogan regime has built a massive presidential palace kept by a special elite guard dressed in period costume to evoke the glories of the Ottoman Empire; there are indications that it has wilfully destabilised the country by such methods as breaking the truce with the Kurds and allowing/ contriving bombs at peaceful opposition election rallies; it has flagrantly taken control of the main media outlets expressing any dissent from the government’s hard line.
Despite all these very disturbing developments, Angela Merkel has come to an agreement with Erdogan, the Turkish President. The latter and his Prime Minister have employed the Hitlerian mentality of laying down the law to the EU, stating that if the EU does not agree their terms in full, then the EU will be responsible for the failure and subsequent outcome. This is not negotiation, but blackmail.
I cannot emphasise too strongly the real risks of treating with this regime as if it were democratically legitimate in the proper sense of democratic. The EU is making the same kind of mistake as European leaders did with Hitler in the 1930s; where it will all lead remains to be seen but the indications are not good.
While I seriously doubt that the average Turk is any threat to us, there is a real risk allowing free movement of Turks because among them will be those who pose a risk. A certain type has gained control in Turkey; it would be wise to curtail their influence.
This flags up the issue of the general degeneration of the EU area as a result of massive illegal immigration [ongoing]. The effects are already known. Again, while I believe that in general these people only intend to improve their lives, there are those with dangerous intent.
So Remain is actually the risky option, both politically in terms of federalising Europe, economically with the state of the Eurozone, and socially with massive movements of people unsettling many Europeans with fears for their jobs and their culture. A situation the EU has blatantly failed to manage responsibly because it views everything through idealistic eyes.
There is also the scenario of a Brexit vote. A key indication of how this will work out will be whether David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister, or not. If he goes – and how long he takes to go – will be an indication of how far the Brexit negotiations will sincerely implement the implications of a Brexit vote.
If he goes immediately there is a chance that Britain can get a properly conducted exit arrangement with the EU, properly protecting our interests against the possibility of compromise designed to take us back in. Delay or refusal will indicate that a fudge is in the offing to compromise a proper deal to enable us to be completely released from the EU grasp and its consequent enfeebling effects.
A properly, sincerely negotiated exit arrangement will protect the interests of EU nationals living in Britain and Britons living in the EU. This can be done by simply recognising the position of those already living in other countries by formalising this in bi-lateral agreements on rights of residency, health, social security and taxation. Both the principles of law and existing international law reinforce this as the simplest, most civilised and politically expedient option.
Movements of people thereafter would revert to the traditional arrangements that exist outside an EU type system. The idea that we must simply accept the EU’s dictates re free movement of peoples needs to be seen for what it is – an attempt to impose its terms of governance on a now free independent sovereign State.
Trade agreements will be subject to the realities of economic life – the UK has a trade deficit with the EU – it is not in the EU’s interests to disturb this, especially with unemployment running so high in the Eurozone and with the consequential social tensions already evident in EU countries. The UK needs to take a firm line as to its interests and the realities of the EU’s position. Compromise on this will be an indicator of the Brexit arrangements being scuppered by our own side. Watch out for it !
Trade is in any case mainly subject to World Trade Organisation rules – not EU – to the tune of something like 80%. So any renegotiations will concern a mere 20% of the total, not 100% as we are be led to believe. And we will have back our own seat on the WTO to make our point directly for ourselves, in our own interests.
And on the matter of how UK business would fare, let’s be clear. Only 12% of UK business concerns itself with EU trade; the other 88% will not now need to be subject to unnecessary EU regulation but can reap the benefits of shedding EU red tape with all the effort, cost and restrictions that has meant.
Again, watch out for attempts to undermine the real benefits of Brexit on this one.
But of course the fundamental point will be gained. Complete control over our own laws instead of the present 25% or so. That means we will be able to get rid of governments that make laws we don’t like. At present we can do nothing meaningful about what the EU imposes.
And that is the most important point for people who believe in freedom and democracy.
The ability to sack governments we do not like and replace them with an alternative.