Profoundly disappointing, but unsurprising, to see Andrew Gilligan using his platform at the Telegraph to perpetuate a demonstrably untrue assertion about the kind of relationship the UK would have with the European Union if we managed to leave. Gilligan is, after all, his masters’ man. He takes the Barclay Brothers’ coin and follows their pro-EU lead, as he shows with the following comment:
Yet the British impetus for full withdrawal may be dangerous: in the modern world, the very idea of “UK independence”, as promoted by the eponymous Eurosceptic party, is surely an illusion. Even if we left, given the amount of trade we do with the EU, we would still have to follow most of its rules – while no longer having any role in setting them.
This is the same fallacious tosh knowingly spun by the Norwegian foreign minister last week in spite of the reality he is completely aware of.
For a journalist who boasts a reputation for ‘investigative’ ability, Gilligan has failed to investigate the truth before doling out the sort of lie that helped
Edward Heath Harold Wilson secure his EEC referendum victory (Apologies – in my rush I conflated the 1975 referendum with Heath’s 1973 parliamentary action). Members of the EEA/EFTA do have a substantial say in the trade rules. To suggest otherwise is an outrageous lie.
The tactics of the europhiles remain the same. The truth is not their ally, but something to be concealed from the populace. Instead of matters of substance on the subject of EU membership we are subjected to a narrative of superfluous nonsense, which Gilligan resorts to at the end of his article to underpin the europhilia that inspired it:
On that day in 1973 when we joined, an opinion poll asked the British people whether they wanted to see in their country Common Market “customs” such as “regular wine with meals”, “more pavement cafes”, “more shops open on Sunday”, “pubs open all day” and “coffee and a roll for breakfast, not bacon and eggs”. The poll respondents said no to all these dangerous foreign innovations (apart from the wine), but now, of course, along with Polish waitresses in London and British pensioners in Spain, they are standard parts of national life. For all our professed hostility to the EU, we are in some ways far more “European” than we were.
To expose how shallow the justifications for EU membership truly are, there’s two questions that eurosceptics should continually keep asking the europhiles to answer:
- Why does it require the surrender of control of our country, identity, money and self determination to an unelected and unaccountable power overseas to realise any supposed benefits?
- Why can’t benefits be achieved through cooperation and agreements, without rule from Brussels?