Sunday, 29 May 2016
We deserve some answers from the Remain camp
It's not easy for us Brexiteers. We have a totally inept leave campaign undermining all our best efforts and we probably have lost the game by now. The biggest asset we have on our side right now though appears to be Jean Claude Juncker. He's basically EU royalty and the EU's own version of Prince Philip - saying that which everybody is thinking but dare not say. He has been quite candid about the EU's ambitions for an EU army and is now on record saying the EU will need its own treasury by 2025.
In that regard he's actually one of the only honest players in this entire debate. We are constantly told that us Brexiteers are demented conspiracy theorists but Junker spells it out as clear as day. The EU has every ambition of becoming a superstate and it is not the trade bloc that remainers pretend it is. Why this isn't sufficient proof beats the hell out of me.
But this notion of the EU having its own treasury has been on the cards for some time. Leave Alliance bloggers initially suspected this would be on the cards in Cameron's reforms, offering us associate membership so that the EU can go ahead with consolidation. We were wrong on that score for two reasons. The EU is not quite ready politically to pursue such a radical change - and the leave groups competing for designation were so bad, Cameron really had nothing to lose by walking away with the thin gruel "reforms" he had.
But when the EU is ready - and that will be sooner than we think, we will see such moves which will very much require a ratification process. It will require a new EU treaty. Because that mainly concerns the Eurozone, I strongly suspect that with the support of the bogus Cameron reforms, the British government will seek to ratify it without a referendum thus ducking the referendum lock. They will claim that no transfer of powers is involved thus no need.
The thing here is that this is not entirely, in my view, untrue. It may not have implications for Britain in terms of sovereignty. It already has the powers it wants. But it is so radical in nature that it very much does change the nature of our status within the EU as it creates that two speed Europe we have heard so much about. We will then be excluded from major economic and monetary policy decisions.
The implication there is that Britain will be on the sidelines. It dispenses with the notion that we can be leading in Europe as the remainers like to bleat. Britain is very much parked as an ongoing concern but at the same time not endowed with the necessary tools at the global level to act independently. We are then effectively on a tight leash with diminished influence at every level. For remainers to then claim that we would lose influence by leaving defies all logic.
Remaining in the EU effectively means walking up a cul-de-sac where we are quietly forgotten and left waiting to be told what the rules are. Fax democracy one might even say. An EU treasury and single monetary policy has massive ramifications for the City, and yet we are not being told what that looks like. The treasury seems to think it can offer us a fifteen year projection of what Brexit looks like, but surely there are massive risks in Britain being a secondary power within the EU without a real say in seismic economic decisions?
In real terms, the merging of economic and monetary policy means bringing all Eurozone states into the same level of EU control as Greece is presently under. We might even say the future of the Euro even depends on it given that Spain, Italy and the minnows are seemingly incapable of balancing their books or cleaning up their act. It marks the completion of the EU as a supreme government for the whole of the Eurozone and only a few small steps away from being a fully blown state.
In so doing it will then have the clout it has always wanted to replace member states at most of the influential global regulators and there is no guarantee that will not apply to non Euro member states. We may find ourselves entirely without a voice and unable to influence the common EU position on global bodies. We then become passengers with even less control than we have now. At best we can register a complaint but that's it.
It's not just a twist of rhetoric to ask what does in look like? Will the EU secure the political mandate to take control over all economic policy? And what ramifications does that have for taxation. A nation not in control of its tax policy is simply not a nation at all. And the real risk here is that the UK government will allow it without giving us a say? Can we afford to take that risk? There is plenty of precedent to show that the government absolutely will hand over powers without seeking consent. That is how we ended up ratifying the Lisbon treaty.
As it happens I think if we don't have a referendum on that then we most certainly will have another referendum on EU membership. Another betrayal will not go unnoticed. But then supposing we do have a referendum on the new treaty and Britain says no? There is every reason to believe we would refuse it. What then? Britain has then stalled very necessary structural reforms which leaves the Euro hanging in the balance. Could we be forced to leave? I seriously don't know.
And there's the rub as it happens. We have no idea what direction the EU is going to take or where our destination is. All we know is that Britain will not join the Euro and consequently will be entirely subordinate and a passenger of events.
At the moment the leave camp are being pressed to answer the question of what Brexit looks like (not unreasonably) but there are at least options on the table being knocked around and discussed. There isn't even a debate as to what happens if we stay - and there is widespread ignorance of what the options are. The EU itself does not know.
On that basis, I think we should get out while we can. There is no possibility of leading the EU or reforming it in our image. All that seems certain is yet more political uncertainty and EU instability along with yet another existential question for British voters to answer. It seems like a remain vote settles nothing and does not answer the question of what our relationship with the EU is going to be. The only thing that puts it to bed is to leave once and for all and start building a relationship with the EU that doesn't require our complete and total surrender. To me it seems inevitable that we will leave so why put it off any longer?