Since yesterday evening I’ve been involved in a couple of Twitter exchanges with fellow EUsceptics about withdrawing from the EU. While you might think this would have been a meeting of minds, it was anything but.
Their views respectively were that:
- we should just up and leave from the EU and that the remaining member states will trade with us as if nothing happened because we are in the EEA and anyway the WTO won’t let them stop our exports to the continent, and anyway China didn’t need Article 50 to be able to trade with the EU; and
- that the Lisbon Treaty is illegal, politicians are traitors and the Parliamentary oath has been broken and we just need the Speaker to declare such to nullify Lisbon, so we don’t need to exit using the EU’s rules which are designed to trap us in the entity forever, and for suggesting we do I’m a EUphile
To describe the discussions with such conspiracy theorising amateur legal experts as a demoralising frustration is an understatement. But this evening the antidote to my misery has come forth, as Richard explains the way in which the UK can leave the EU without triggering any legal challenge under EU law and without adversely affecting our trade and economic interests – the excuses given by the EUphiles for staying firmly in the EU. As Richard writes:
… while some of the europhile claims are indeed nonsense, for a variety of technical reasons, our manufacturing output could be hard hit if we failed to negotiate a sound exit agreement.
This is why, of course, it is vital to promote a negotiated exit based on an Article 50 settlement, tied in with membership of the EEA and the nationalisation of all unadopted EU law and secondary treaties. That way, we can affirm that the day after leaving the EU nothing will have changed.
The main effect our departure would (and should) be to allow us to commence the careful process of transition from being an EU member to full independence – and also to work towards more democratic governance in the UK.
Thus, if the europhiles are going to work on the fear factor, we have all the answers. Given a hearing, we can reassure people that there is no down-side to leaving.
In fact the biggest danger to our exit comes from within the UK itself. Not from those self professed EUsceptics who want the UK out of the EU, but who will not support an ‘Out’ campaign because they claim our membership is illegal and therefore there’s nothing to campaign against. Rather there is a very real possibility that a prominent figure(s) aligned to or part of the Conservative Party who claims to be Eurosceptic actually support the mythical ‘renegotiation’ option where we stay in the EU and have some powers returned to us.
By talking up an option which does not exist and can never happen (repatriation of key powers while staying in the EU) because of the acquis communautaire, they play to the fear factor whipped up by the EUphiles and would undermine an ‘Out’ campaign. This is what Richard refers to as a hijacking by a ‘false flag’ campaign and it is a realistic prospect. Observing who is supported by whom will be important. For example, if Open Europe support a ‘Eurosceptic’ be certain he/she is nothing of the sort and wants the UK to stay firmly inside the EU talking about impossible reform, for that is Open Europe’s policy.
The process Richard outlines, based upon detailed examination of the law this country is now subject to and the trading constraints that could be applied in different circumstances, would enable us to leave the EU cleanly then take the time needed as an independent nation to establish new negotiated agreements that enable us to repeal the EU laws we took with us.
This is what an ‘Out’ campaign needs to get across to the public to successfully counter and defeat the arguments the EUphiles will make in an attempt to prevent this country regaining independence. This is the sensible, reasoned and carefully thought through argument Harrogate Agenda campaigners have developed and are advancing. This is another reason for everyone who believes in democracy, personal freedom and independent nation states to look at the Harrogate Agenda, support it and promote it in their area.
The Harrogate Agenda offers a rational and balanced grassroots alternative to the untrustworthy political parties and the vested interests of the establishment. I’m proud to support it and I hope all genuine democrats will too. You can read some more about the Harrogate Agenda at the excellent Boiling Frog and Witterings from Witney.