EU membership: We have to change the terms of the debate

Laura Sandys MP, we are told, is the Conservative Member of Parliament for South Thanet and the Convenor of European Mainstream. In Parliament, Laura was first appointed to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and, until recently, was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Barker MP, Minister for Climate Change. She is currently focused on consumer policy, energy security, the green economy and our relationship with the European Union.

Unsurprising to find therefore that she has written a puddle of unmitigated dribble for the Telegraph, in an article that the editors have chosen not to allow comments on.  A puddle that includes gems like:

[…] ‘Better off Out-ers’ appear fearful of negotiating abroad, unable to succeed in getting their way, and instead choose to loudly ‘beat their retreat’.

[…] However, ‘Out of Europe’ as a stated policy would be the first time in modern history that the UK’s aim would be to diminish its influence in Europe – an extraordinary retreat from our national interest.

[…] For my part I am greedy for the UK, not cautious – I want EU PLUS. I want the 500 million customers that the EU offers PLUS new trading partners and new export opportunities from across the globe.

There is a world of difference between ‘negotiating abroad’ and being subject to political control from abroad.  It is the better-off-outers who want to broaden the UK’s horizons and look beyond the borders of the EU for cooperation and trade in our own name and using our own voice.

It is worth noting that we are increasingly seeing politicians attempting to justify political settlements and the erosion of democracy with some perceived economic benefit.  Almost every political matter is now being projected through an economic prism.  Sandys is doing exactly the same thing here.

This shows the extent to which the political process has been captured and is now dominated by vested corporate interests.

The Europhile side barely ever talks about any other reason for remaining under EU control than trade and wealth.  Important as these things are, people power, accountability, sovereignty and self determination are essential elements for a society.

Having these removed by stealth, without our permission, then having a meagre promise of an economic carrot tossed in our general direction as some kind of compensation when the culprits are rumbled, is not acceptable.

We have to pull the debate back on to the political pitch and demand that the politicans talk to our interests, rather than move the issue on to the economic pitch preferred by their corporate paymasters.

15 Responses to “EU membership: We have to change the terms of the debate”


  1. 1 Clarence 17/03/2014 at 3:32 pm

    Although one should not visit the sins of the father on the child, one is allowed to point out that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree: Laura’s father, Duncan (one of Churchill’s sons-in-law), is one of the many europhile villains in The Great Deception.

  2. 2 cosmic 17/03/2014 at 3:54 pm

    The question of the EU/EEC/EC has always been presented mainly in economic terms by the establishment.

    Back in the 70s, those who were talking in terms of political fundamentals, democracy, the constitution were people like Wedgewood-Benn and Enoch Powell and they were too easily presented as somewhat nutty and concerned with technicalities.

    The Conservatives do address the politics in an evasive and Mickey Mouse way; the reform fantasy, having a seat at the top table, looking forwards, not looking back, looking outwards, not looking inwards……

    All I see in what Sandys has to say is a piece put together from the usual blandishments and distortions; a piece of cheerleading for the Euro elections.

    I really don’t know how the debate is to be shifted from the supposed economic advantages, and flannel such as the Tories churn out is cut through. It’s wearing thin as the likely results in the Euro elections will show.

    It isn’t just ‘Europe’. All sorts of things such as mass immigration have been justified and solely talked about, on dubious economic grounds, when there are other reasons for deciding whether or not it was a good thing to allow. No one in their right mind takes personal decisions purely on the grounds of economic advantage.

    It’s the same thing in both cases. It appears to be something the establishment wants, so we have a skewed discussion concentrating on very questionable economic advantages, and other aspects are simply ignored or dealt with in a superficial and surreal way.

  3. 3 Bryan Tomlinson 17/03/2014 at 4:11 pm

    Why not highlight the widening gap between UK PLC GDP which places UK corporations at 6th highest in the world while the UK GDP per capita survey places the British people’s standard of living at a lowly 34th in the world and falling.

  4. 4 mikebravo 17/03/2014 at 5:23 pm

    I want, I want, I want and anybody who disagrees is a looser.
    There can be no debate because she is right and everyone else is wrong and silly.
    She will misrepresent everything that is said, stick her fingers into her ears and sing la la la.

    The thing that amazes me the most is that people go out and vote for her to represent them. The mind boggles.

  5. 5 BrianJay 17/03/2014 at 5:49 pm

    Not heard about Yugoslavia then

  6. 6 Sue Jameson 18/03/2014 at 6:49 am

    I’ve been fighting this one since Mandelson et al started British Influence. Look at this link : EU Parliamentarian tells undercover reporters his time in government is just to build his lobbying business (Video) http://bit.ly/1fUYsR7

  7. 7 Pogle's Woodsman 18/03/2014 at 8:11 am

    It would help if some of the people who turned up for media interviews to defend the EU withdrawal case were already alerted to this and on top of it from the start. When someone like Redwood, Cash or Carswell are presented solely with Aaronovitch and Sorrell and the debate is immediately plunged into economics by the interviewer, it’s up to the alleged Eurosceptics to dive straight and and very robustly ask ‘What are you talking about this irrelevant guff for, and why are these irrelevant nobodies opposite?’. It’s time such people, if they’re going to generously donate their time to interview, started to highlight it’s a bleedin’ waste of effort if the interview is used so badly.

    Time for them to demand – and presumably such people would not be lacking in the necessary passions – to be presented with accountable political figures opposite, with a proper political brief to match. The debate will never go any where but ‘economics’ if the talking heads refuse to stand the proper ground. Even to the extent of aggressively barracking the interviewer…. ‘If you think that’s the Eurosceptic debate, you’ve been exceptionally badly briefed, and you’re not qualified to be custodian of this debate’…. should be the refrain.

    Neither the Europhiles nor the media outlets are going to change. That change can only come from the public figures fighting the EUsceptic corner.

  8. 8 erek Buxton 18/03/2014 at 4:11 pm

    But what exactly are these economic benefits? I have seen none so far.. All I see are ever rising prices well over world prices all started when the EEC became the EU. We lost trade with our Commonwealth which cost us dear and was a betrayal of all we stand for. Our Industries have been decimated by rules and regulations ignored by the rest of the EU goon show. All we have now is the most corrupt government in my long life, taking orders from an even more corrupt foreign but stateless power. Our Justice system has been destroyed by a foreign import of highly dubious morals and a lack of the very same justice we had for centuries. Sorry, a bit ranty I know but I am sick and tired of jumped up nobodies lecturing me all the time and robbing me blind to boot. As Cromwell is held to have said, “you serve no purpose, get thee gone from this place” or something similar.

  9. 9 Shakassoc 18/03/2014 at 7:11 pm

    Very well put. It is the ancient conjuror’s technique of misdirection, which is deployed so often that it is hard to resist being taken in by it.

  10. 10 kenomeat 19/03/2014 at 8:28 am

    A bit off topic but I see that, at UKIP’s March NEC meeting, a resolution was passed that UKIP would seek to leave the EU through Article 50. As AM and Dr North have campaigned for this for some time I wonder if they would care to comment.

  11. 11 lostleonardo 19/03/2014 at 8:55 am

    We need to demonstrate what we mean by “loss of sovereignty” with specific examples.

    Trade, customs, fisheries and agriculture, for instance, are all exclusive EU competences. The policy is decided in Brussels and the British government has an 8 percent say via QMV. That’s right, isn’t it?

    Pretty damning for anyone who wants to claim that we have not surrendered sovereignty.

    Then, there are other policy areas that are so-called “shared competences” wherein any change of policy desired by the British government must be approved by unelected officials in Brussels. Immigration, asylum, energy, transport, telecommunications, environment, etc. There are a few others, but that is more than enough to be going on with.

    I hope I have understood this correctly. The British government must gain approval from the EU for policy change in any number of important areas of governance, and it is the EU decision that is final. This is what loss of sovereignty means in practice, rather than in “idealistic” or “abstract” terms.

    Perhaps even more worrying is the EU influence in foreign and defence policy, wherein the Member States allow an unelectable know-nothing like Baroness Ashton to “speak for the EU”. The extent to which our military has been “merged” with that of the French (in particular) is also far more progressed than is generally realised. The (French driven) demand for an “independent” “European” foreign policy may even threaten the NATA alliance if Britain allows herself to be dragged in that direction.

    As much as the romantic sense of belonging to a nation may appeal to folks like us, we need to equip ourselves with practical arguments that can defeate even the reductionist “technocratic” mentality of our opponents – and if we can preserve a sense of romance, poetry, humour, at the same time, all the better IMHO.

  12. 13 Autonomous Mind 19/03/2014 at 2:30 pm

    Kenomeat, thanks for the heads up. I will look at this later.

  13. 14 earn online 06/04/2014 at 7:18 am

    It’s amazing designed for me to have a web page,
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  1. 1 UKIP Press Release – New candidates for May local elections | UKIP Hillingdon Trackback on 17/03/2014 at 3:35 pm
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