Norway Option finally gets a media airing

From yesterday’s London Evening Standard


The battle facing the UK is over who should run Britain.  The British people and their elected representatives, or unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats overseas over whom we have no control.  It is about sovereignty.

Speaking with our own voice, representing our own interests and shaping the rules that are made in the global committees and forums, would make the UK far more influential than it is today.

Being stuck in the EU means that today we merely implement what has been decided at a global level and handed down to the EU for its member states to follow.  We don’t shape the rules and we don’t get to act in our own interests.  It is high time we took back the power to do so.

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8 Responses to “Norway Option finally gets a media airing”


  1. 1 The Gray Monk 09/11/2013 at 8:52 am

    While the EU is certainly responsible for setting the agendas, it is Whitehall that actually rewrites and gold plates everything the EU tables, a fact that most of the other EU states find astonishing. Here in Germany some even find a parallel between the zeal of the civil service to embellish Directives as being on a par with the former GDR and the Nazi state which sought to intervene in every aspect of their subjects lives.

    Even if we were outside of Europe, we would still be obliged to adopt (and no doubt the Civil Service embellish) the various directives that come from such bodies as the UN, and even less representative than the EU over which our MEPs and the Council of Ministers (both with input from us, the electorate of the UK) have some control. The days of the nation state able to do as it, or as a portion of its citizens/subjects please are gone, now we are all, in some form, subject to the web of international treaties that dictate ‘International Law’ so beloved of the likes of Amnesty International et al. I would remind you that all of the badly drafted and abused legislation we have, and for which the EU is blamed, was and is written in Whitehall by the incompetents who now infest our Civil Service and rubber stamped by the equally vacuous incompetents who have passed from Student Activistas through ‘Special Advisers’ and into either the upper echelons of the CS or as MPs.

    Would we be better off outside the EU? I believe not, for one thing we are a small fish these days in a very large pond, we are bankrupt, despite the pretense at being a ‘world power’ and we would still be ruled by the same incompetents that rule us now.

  2. 2 graham wood 09/11/2013 at 11:25 am

    Gray Monk. I am surprised at your counsel of despair which to me seems to be full of odd assumptions – as in – “the days of the nation state. . . etc.
    Or, We are a small fish . . . . .
    and – Still ruled by the same incompetents”.

    Firstly. Perhaps you are not aware that there is a majority of prosperous nation states in this world which are NOT imprisoned within the EU moloch.
    Norway and Switzerland are prime examples of such countries within the European continent and often quoted, rightly as being prime examples of peoples who are determined on political and economic policies independent of the EU – and hugely prosperous. That is why the “Norway option” is IMO an important one to pursue as is now being explored. More power to the Troy/North et al who are putting the case in the Norway Option DVD..

    Of course the ‘economic’ arguments, pro or con will continue to be debated, and its is good that at long last this debate is beginning to open out. All credit to the Evening Standard for their brief contribution.

    However, the issue is, as many have pointed out, not primarily economic but rather POLITICAL. This is the very heart of our contention with the EU and our own governments, with such vital questions as: Does it have democratic legitimacy to make our laws? Answer No! Is there a mechanism for bringing a measure of democratic accountability to the EU. Again, no.
    Is the EU reformable so that in time the UK can ‘influence’ decisions? No!
    Can the idiot Cameron remotely succeed therefore in getting the EU to cede back powers to the UK grabbed from it? (this is a political deceit and con which exceeds even Cameron’s usual level of deception and guile).
    Clearly no, and several EU politicians have already openly stated this.

    Unless and until the glaring democratic deficit of the EU is squarely faced and its whole raison d’etre challenged by Westminster, then none of the economic issues can be resolved. The ONLY solution is a political one which takes us to the door marked exit.
    The ‘gold plating’ etc you refer to are real problems but separate from the main objective which is to restore self-government to the UK. Only UKIP as a party is pursuing that goal at the moment.
    Tory MP sycophants who make a pretence of “eurosceptism ” are largely hypocrites and irrelevant to the real issue about representative democracy which most of them do not even begin to understand.

    In answer to your “still ruled by incompetents” which is an important point – Indeed so, but once full democratic sovereignty is restored to the UK then the problems posed by these and their fellow travellers of ‘Common Purpose’ Civil servants can be dealt with.
    In the end, as AM and posters on here know only too well – the only ‘final solution’ lies in the 6 demands of the Harrogate Agenda – a revolution comparable to that of 1689. .

  3. 3 graham wood 09/11/2013 at 11:34 am

    Re the issue of “renegotiation of powers” perhaps Digby Jones (ex CBI chief) has put the obvious point superbly. Did you see it?

    “He blasts the Prime Minister’s stated plans for renegotiation as “insane” because the option to leave should be “on the negotiating table”. He asks: “When did anyone start negotiations with an opening gambit: It’s OK. We don’t mean it, we will do what you want anyway and I will campaign to stay in the EU whatever the outcome of negotiations”?

    Apart from any other arguments about “re-negotiation” this obvious riposte to Cameron is unanswerable, and insanity is the right word for the clown!

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 09/11/2013 at 11:43 am

    Gray Monk, what you’re not considering is that we can refuse to sign global treaties that result in regulations and directives handed down from the EU. Not every country is signatory to everything, and as a sovereign nation we could opt out of things we do not like.

    Irrespective of that, the UK can offer a great deal of expertise in a number of fields, and in global discussion that carries significant weight. Being in the EU prevents that expertise being brought to the fore. That would enable UK interests to be given prominence and supported by other countries and blocs.

    You are wrong to assert that all of the legislation we implement is written in Whitehall.

    Regulations apply to all EU member states in their entirety, to ensure the same law is created and applies throughout the EU. They are not written in Whitehall. Directives, which must be implemented, do give the member states some scope to incorporate them as they see fit, hence gold plating occurs – but incorporated they must be. Decisions are also fully binding.

    Your ‘small fish’ in a big pond argument is frankly nonsense. Size of geographical area and population is irrelevant. Influence is based on knowledge, capability and expertise. There are smaller countries than us which thrive as defined by per capita GDP, including Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Iceland. New Zealand and Israel are only just behind us.

    Where we do agree is about rule by our domestic incompetents. That is why the Harrogate Agenda for real democracy is so important.

  5. 5 1957chev 09/11/2013 at 6:38 pm

    Back away from the EU. It is not a benefit to the UK at all.

  6. 6 The Gray Monk 10/11/2013 at 6:49 am

    Graham Wood, what many in the UK fail to recognise with regard to Switzerland and Norway (and a number of other successful economies outside the EU) is that they have not sold off every industry and most of their ‘commercial’ enterprises to foreign nationals. They have not committed themselves to mutual defence pacts and they do not have what is best described as an electoral system guaranteed to deliver the sort of political flip-flop we always see with our system. Until the current “first past the post” system which favours tribal voting and divisiveness between the supporters is scrapped and replaced with a truly democratic system we will continue to be ruled by the current political class – in which I include the Whitehall W*nk*rs.

    As to the assertion our laws are not written in London, think again. Yes, the EU Directives do, to some extent, set the agenda, but our peculiar legal system means that everything which, for instance in Germany, Holland, France, etc., can be simply adopted and left to the enforcer to interpret (In Germany it does have to pass the scrutiny of the Constitutional Court first), in Britain has to be turned into War and Peace so the legal profession can have a field day and make pots of money out of it. On that subject, someone remarked on this blog recently that “Britain has habeas corpus, and the rest of Europe doesn’t”. It may be true of some parts of the EU, but it is certainly not true of most of it. The German, Danish, Dutch and Belgian legal systems have habeas corpus at their heart. No, they don’t have juries, but the investigation process is rigorous – and the victim in a criminal prosecuation is represented by a separate counsel in court and is not ignored.

    Our current ‘prosperity’ is almost all focused on the financial activity in London, our ship building capacity is shot, our manufacturing capacity is shot, and our political system is a mess – and blaming Europe isn’t going to help. As to who ‘writes’ the laws, having spent a large part of my career working within the management of the civil services, I can assure you that all the drafting is done in Whitehall, modified in Westminster and then passed. It is not written in Brussels. In regard to international treaties, we may choose not to sign them, but the likes of Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Fiends of the Earth all successfully loby and sue until we adopt the same legislation.

    Face it, we are now ruled by small pressure groups who, with the assistance of a biased media, have the politicians dancing to their tune. UKIP? I think not. Dr North I have a lot of respect for, but Farage? No.

  7. 7 The Gray Monk 10/11/2013 at 7:21 am

    One point I have not seen mentioned in the UK press, is that Cameron is not alone in the EU in wanting a rolling back of Regulation. Barroso, Merkel, the Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Austrian leaders all support him and currently are looking at ways of bringing in a “1 in = 1out” form of introducing new Directives. All of them want a rolling back of the bureaucracy, the German’s in particular demanding less bureaucracy and a reduction in the number of bureaucrats in the EU. They are very likely to succeed as well.

    In case anyone is wondering I am a monarchist, not a republican, and a lifetime of contact with politicians in various countries has made me realise that, like my ancestors, I would take up arms against the ptretnsious no bodies of an over mighty Parliament to defend the Crown and our liberties. I have sat through far to many meetings where I have had to listen to Civil Servants feed an ignorant Minister what I sahll prefer to call “misguidance” and then had to deal with the consequences.

    Fix Whitehall, and we will have made a major start on fixing what is wrong with our society and our form of government. Fix our broken electoral system, and we’ll get our democracy back, inside or outside the EU.

  8. 8 cosmic 10/11/2013 at 5:55 pm

    TGM,

    We have to go back to the purpose of the EU. Terrible, destructive wars had ravaged Europe and these were seen as the result of national identities and populism – democracy.

    The objective was to create a state run by bureaucrats and supervised by an oligarchy, appointed by the political systems in the member states, and dissolve the national identities and populism which was seen as creating the problems. Have politics there for show and let the technocrats get on with running things properly. It was by design anti-democratic and couldn’t be democratic for the simple reason that there’s no EU demos.

    There are a couple of obvious problems.

    The technocrats cannot be guaranteed not to be selfless and invariably have accurate judgement.

    People may not want what the technocrats are doing, however well meaning and lofty the intentions.

    You rapidly have the government going one way and the populaces the other way and having the notion ignored.

    Now, the British political system is a microcosm of this, and as we can see from AM’s other pieces, there’s a growing sense of frustration and disengagement with mainstream politics.

    However, I’d suggest that if we had a system with more direct democracy, this would not be compatible with membership of the EU. In turn being a member of the EU makes it harder to have a UK government which is more accountable. A large part of this is that the political parties are the froth on the surface and most of government is permanent and completely untouched by the electoral process.

    I suggest we have a chicken and egg problem. Both membership of the EU and the lack of democratic accountability in the UK, have to tackled together, and it seems that membership of the EU is the easiest one at present. I don’t believe we can fix Whitehall whilst in the EU.

    As for Cameron, Barroso and others talking about rolling back regulation, we’ve certainly been there before with Cameron and his Bonfire of the QUANGOs, Errh, you can’t get rid of QUANGOs unless the government rejects the functions they discharge as outside its remit. Cameron wasn’t about to do this (and bear in mind that many of the functions are mandated by the EU) so we had a bit of name changing and chair swapping and little else. However, cutting red tape always sounds good and no one is going to argue explicitly for more red tape.

    The EU is of course, an organisation of which the life-blood is regulation so don’t expect anything of significance to happen.


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