This referendum is about change, versus more of the drive towards closer political union. Yes, Cameron returned from Brussels with a new semi-detached status for the UK. But, it was nonsense and such a good deal that the Remain campaign never mention it. Yes, EU President Tusk belatedly tells us that ten states are now signed up to reform. But, this is too late and unsure, and if they are the smaller nations their percentage of the double voting system will not carry much weight. It does smack of a ‘pig in a poke’. If he can firm it up and get all the 27 states on board, he may have a chance for post-referendum negotiations, but then we will be negotiating from a strong position because we will have voted to leave the EU. Voting to LEAVE is a win-win situation. Vote to Remain will result in them thinking they need not change and it will be business as usual.
We have recorded the history and deep-seated movement towards the United States of Europe as part of the EU evolution. The EU has many of the features of a federal state, but is not quite there yet. If we vote to stay the process will be completed. If we vote to go there will be a rethink. Not convinced? In 2014 Italian PM Matteo Renzi said that under his leadership he would use Italy’s presidency of the EU Council to push for the establishment of an US of E. In 2012 Luxemburg Vice-President of the European Commission, Vivianne Reding, called for the same thing as a way to strengthen the unity of Europe. Following the Dutch/French rejection of the European Constitution and in response to that a book [United States of Europe] written by ex Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, was published. This advocated a core federal Europe within the EU as a form of enhanced co-operation. It set out five core policy areas for federalization, including the European Army. Following the Lisbon Treaty some of these have been introduced.
In 2009 the European Parliament also voted in favour of the creation of SAFE [Synchronised Armed Forces Europe] as the first step towards a real European Military Force. This drive to federalism is based on polls that show average European citizens want more Europe. However, when broken down the greatest opposition comes from the Nordic League countries, plus Estonia, followed by Netherlands, UK and Ireland. The central Europeans are not too keen either – the core of the old Holy Roman Empire. To test whether the average European citizen really wants a federal Europe, it would be better for all the States to hold referenda. There would be certainty about the future direction of Europe.
I have come to the conclusion that we would still be having a referendum even if the EU was still the European Community or the European Economic Community, because of the straight-jacket of rules that result from membership of the single-market. When the financial crisis or credit crunch kicked in after the bank-run on Northern Rock in 2007, the Bank of England was not able to respond immediately because of state-aid rules. When the bank bail-outs were possible it was on the basis of conditions imposed by Brussels. By contrast the United States of America was able to respond freely and quickly. That was a wake-up moment. Osborne has presented us with dire and precise consequences if we leave. Too precise to be taken seriously. In general terms he and a whole range of organisations, including the IMF, predict a world-wide collapse of the world economy if we leave. But, we have forecast such a collapse for 2026+ no matter what, and regardless of the referendum result. Given that situation will we be better able to deal with it in an EU straight-jacket or as an independent unfettered player at the World Trade Organisation? That’s easy to answer; its best to be free and independent. So, vote LEAVE.
George Soros is the latest to predict disaster for the £ if we leave. Since he forced John Major to quit the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 by betting heavily against Sterling with his hedge-fund, he is definitely not a friend. He will make money whether we stay or go; whether the £ falls or rises. He now says that the fall in the value of Sterling will be on a scale equivalent to PM Harold Wilson’s devaluation in 1967. He has got enough financial clout to make it happen without relying on the normal operation of the money market. I remember Harold Wilson telling us that the devaluation would not affect the pound in our pocket. We would still be able to buy the same things as before. In some respects he was right as exports became cheaper, increased and earned more reducing the trade balance. But imports became dearer especially food and fuel, which rocketed for other reasons. This was a twist that, together with other factors, gave rise to rampant inflation in the 1970s and entry to the EEC. On the plus side we then had a more sustainable and self-sufficient economy with a large manufacturing sector. Soros says that things are different now and the £ is overvalued against the $. Well that is not the whole truth, the $ is overvalued et al and all the reserve currencies are being manipulated [google the Shanghai Accord]. It is true the UK economy is less resilient, but that can be managed and artificial low interest rates are a big problem. Either the US will lower their rates, or the other central banks will raise theirs. It is also a question of which country is to take the hit under the Shanghai Accord. My advice is take no notice of Soros when you vote to LEAVE.
My last point about the economy and trade; we are told that if we want access to the single-market we must pay an access fee and accept free movement under Schengen. Well if the Europeans want access to the UK market they will have to pay an access fee. It is called tit-for-tat, but it would be better for everyone if the European Economic Area was a stand alone free-trade zone. Schengen has broken down with the erection of internal hard borders and frontiers. The Swiss voted to terminate their participation in Schengen [that has gone quiet until our referendum is over] and to reinforce that have withdrawn their formal application to join the EU, which has been dormant for over twenty years following a previous referendum. Iceland withdrew their application to join and kept their fishing grounds, which helped them to recover from their financial crisis. The Faeroe Islands are looking to break with Denmark and become independent so they can leave the EU and recover control of their fishing grounds. When we leave we will resume control of our fishing grounds and it will lead to a resurgence of the fishing industry. There will be added benefits. If the fishermen want a replacement trawler they have to go to Norway as we no longer build them. With a resurgent and home based fishing industry, those small ship building yards can be restarted. They will also be able to increase overall ship building capacity, with the ability to construct small patrol ships and corvettes that we badly need to protect our territorial waters. Again it is a win-win situation.
Of course this is just our vision, but with the right people leading the country the possibilities are boundless.