The EU in/out debate and the reality… spread the word

EU membership is about politics, not economics.  But the debate is being grossly distorted by the Europhiled to scare people into maintaining the status quo while distracting people and businesses from understanding the facts.  If we are to help the UK escape from this political prison while protecting its economic interests, understanding how this false debate has been framed, is essential:

In recent days, Tony Blair, the Lord Mayor of London, big business represented by the CBI and numerous others have all been repeating the same plaintively concerted cry. But what is almost wholly absent from all this one-sidedly lacklustre debate is any reference to the fact that, if Britain were to leave the EU, we could still enjoy full access to that single market by joining the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), allowing us to continue trading with the EU just as we do now.

It is not surprising that the cheerleaders for continued membership so consistently fail to explain this to us, because it completely removes from them almost the only argument they offer for why we must stay in, as part of Mr Barroso’s drive for political union.

If they do occasionally mention it, this is only so that they can scornfully dismiss it by claiming that, although EFTA members such as Norway have full access to the single market, they must obey all its rules without playing any part in shaping them.

But this merely betrays an astonishing ignorance of how the system works. Not only do Norway and other EFTA members play a very active part in consulting on single market laws before they are finalised. Ever more rules these days in fact originate in global bodies above the EU, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) or the Aarhus Convention on environmental issues, on which Norway is represented in its own right as an independent country, exercising more influence than Britain, which is represented only by the EU.

This is the kind of hard, factual evidence which should be right at the centre of any proper, grown-up debate on Britain’s future relations with the EU. Yet it is ruthlessly swept under the carpet because, to the scaremongers who want to pretend that, outside the EU, Britain would have no influence, it is the very last thing they want the British people to know about.

The media won’t tell the truth.  The Conservative Party’s proxy organisations won’t tell the truth.  So the only way more people will understand this is spreading the word through the grassroots.  Please do your bit to spread the word.

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6 Responses to “The EU in/out debate and the reality… spread the word”


  1. 1 Mary Critchley 15/09/2013 at 8:31 am

    The responsibility to look far beyond the main stream media is vital, yes. It is so tempting – and so childish and lazy – to assume vaguely that those with the muscle of prestige are the clever ones who want to do the right thing on our behalf. At least we do now have the resources on the internet to weigh things up for ourselves – if we are prepared to look a little way beyond what is served up to us by those whose contempt for us is getting more and more evident.

  2. 2 Bill 15/09/2013 at 10:38 am

    If Britain left, walked away, turned its back or whatever there would be no EU. It is not possible for the other EU countries to raise enough tax to cover the loss of Britain’s ‘contribution’. Given the facts the auditors will not sign off on EU accounts and the mad Belgian has given them a verbal and very public tongue lashing the EU is likely either already bankrupt or close to the edge.

    If any country, that is a net contributor of funds, switches those funds off the it’s game over. It might even be so precarious that even a country like Greece being ejected or leaving of could be enough. The only people who know are not saying.

    Whatever breaks this Union it will appear at at unexpected time from an unexpected source and it will make life much more interesting than it is today where everyone seems to be waiting for something to happen.

  3. 3 Audrey Quattro 15/09/2013 at 1:22 pm

    We need a “bulletpoint” campaign – simple, short, one-line statements of FACTS about the EU and our membership of it, such as:

    ‘leaving the EU doesn’t mean losing access to the EU markets’

    – or

    ‘Privatisation of the Post Office is as a direct ruling from the EU’

    the statements should be SIMPLE, TRUTHFUL and HARD-HITTING.

    People remember bulletpoints. They make a statement that is irrefutable, understandable, memorable and factual – all essential to bring recognition of the failures and disadvantages of being a memebr of the EU immediately to mind.

    Perhaps someone could start a blog page dedicated to such bulletpoint statements* and the more memorable, hard-hitting ones could be promoted to the top of any campaign to make people vote NO.

    * (knowledgable people filtering the facts from urban legends and, maybe, rewording them to accentuate the highlights?)

  4. 4 Ken Whittaker 15/09/2013 at 2:58 pm

    Audrey, I’ve been advocating something similar. Five or six one-line bullet points along the lines of “EU membership costs Britain £54 million EVERY DAY” and “Your food bills are £1,000 more each year because of the EU” (It may be more than £1,000 now). These could be posted on advertising hoardings or wherever they will be seen by the public.
    Writing letters to local newspapers can sometimes be productive. I actually engaged in a written debate in my local newspaper with a Labour MEP over EU interference in national and local transport policies. The secret is to find a local news story and send in a letter (or e-mail of course) for the letters page explaining the EU angle to the story. Some editors will publish them. The problem with blogs is that they are preaching to the converted.

  5. 5 Attila 15/09/2013 at 4:43 pm

    There are very large problems associated with leaving the EU, but loss of trade is not one of them, for the reasons you give but also the EU needs our trade as much as we need theirs.
    The problems really are to convince people that we shall be better off in any other way. No one can possibly feel that our politicians are any more competent than the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels, in fact its a racing certainty that the reverse is true, We are Unlikely to be any better off, unless there is a revolution here in the UK and somehow we find a system of true democracy, if such a system can be devised.

  6. 6 Ray Layzell 19/09/2013 at 5:58 pm

    I believed wrongly perhaps that the purpose of the E.U was to provide a common and even ground for the purpose of trade. The union has failed and failed again to provide this medium, and now it is established that Germany pays a lower level of minimum wage than most other Countries within the union, THAT IS PATENTLY NOT a level playing field, and should be addressed now before Britain signs up for anymore of this FARCE.


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