Posts Tagged 'Self Determination'

Cameron’s trivial sideshow must not distract us from the real issue

The Daily Mail reports that, ‘millions of pounds in child benefit paid to families living outside the UK will be axed under David Cameron’s plan to claw back powers from Brussels.

Cameron has insisted that it was wrong that the British taxpayer is giving cash to 40,000 children who live elsewhere in the European Union, and went on to reveal that stopping migrant workers in the UK from claiming child benefit for their offspring back home would be a ‘key demand’ of his plans to renegotiate a fresh deal with the EU before staging an in-out referendum by 2017.

This of course underlines the vacuous nature of the supposed renegotiation.  The whole thing is a complete sham.  If the detail above is a key demand, we can see that the essential issue of ‘Who should run Britain?‘ will remain a no-go area.  There is to be no change, the UK will remain firmly under the control of Brussels and parliament will remain a hollow, rubber stamping shell of its former self.

The separation of the political from the economic is the only way to ensure people see the real issue that has to be addressed – yet which the political class is determined to keep off the table.

There are various economic settlements that can be negotiated to mutual EU-British benefit to ensure concerns about access to the single market are mitigated in the event of a Brexit, but political control of the UK is a binary condition… either the British have self determination, or we are ruled by a foreign entity.  That is the only issue and we must not allow it to be kept off limits by focus being diverted to trivial sideshows such as Cameron’s pledge today.

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Tax tourism and sovereignty – defining the real issue

Reading through the comments responding to the previous post, it seems the point I was trying to get across hasn’t landed as intended.  So hopefully this better defines the real issue.

The primary issue is not about whether corporations pay tax, or even how much they pay.  The issue is about who decides, the nation state, or the European Union with its judicial court bristling with legal primacy sitting in Luxembourg.

This is about sovereignty.

Without sovereignty over the law and over taxation rules in this country, the UK does not have the competence – the right or ability – to decide what entities operating here pay tax, or how much they should pay.  As such our nation state cannot effect change, be it positive or negative. We are powerless and at the mercy of foreign legal and fiscal institutions that are beyond the control of the British people and are not accountable to us.

But no one is talking about this essential issue.

It was dodged in Parliament during HMRC’s examination by the PAC.  It has been ignored by the media despite the matter being in plain view and ripe for massive coverage. Crucially, it gives lie to the oft repeated claims of the politicians that we are still an independent country, and are just sitting within a club of member states.

Control over the essential matters that determine whether a nation state is just that, has been removed from our national parliament and legal structures.

This has been done without our permission or consent.  But the emerging consequences, while provoking all sorts of complaints, investigations and hearings – be that concerning taxation of geographically distributed corporations; regulation affecting energy prices and ownership of our energy providers and means of energy generation; regulation affecting water prices and ownership of our water companies;  and even the regulation affecting how we collect and dispose of rubbish and the costs loaded on to us as a result – are not being connected back to the root cause… removal of sovereignty.

That is the real issue.  That has to be the area of our focus.  That is the battleground to determine how and by whom the UK is governed.  It is about sovereignty.

The Hannan paradigm

The story we covered earlier concerning Lord O’Donnell’s puff piece, in support of handing more power over the political process to civil servants and Parliamentary has-beens, has attracted the ire of Douglas Carswell.  Fair enough.

But this has subsequently prompted Daniel Hannan to weigh in, after spotting an opportunity to make one of his favourite points – related to comments made by O’Donnell on a different occasion – about how EU membership prevents the UK from negotiating trade accords with non-EU states.  The problem with Hannan’s observation is that while true, it doesn’t come close to getting to the heart of why a UK exit from the EU is vital.

The prior comments of O’Donnell that Hannan fixes upon are these:

Britain is, above all, an open trading nation, but unfortunately our main trading partner, the euro area, is unlikely to increase its demand for UK exports very much in the short or medium terms. Our historical trading patterns, which have been so beneficial in the past, are likely to condemn us to the global slow lane for years to come. Our share of world trade has declined over the last decade by more than that of all our G20 partners.

This prompts Hannan to postulate that:

[…] Ever since the mid-1960s, as Hugo Young showed inThis Blessed Plot, the campaign to mesh Britain into European political structures has been led by our permanent functionaries. It wasn’t that they were unpatriotic. Rather, they had made a calculation, understandable in the context of its time, that economic growth would be concentrated in Western Europe.

Today, no one makes such a calculation. Every continent in the world is growing except Europe. Britain, the only one of the EU’s 28 members that conducts the majority of its trade outside Europe, is especially well placed to benefit from the growth overseas: we are linked by language and law, habit and history, to the places that are doing best. When even Sir Humphrey has internalised that point, our exit is just a matter of time.

What Hannan doesn’t explain, perhaps because he hasn’t grasped the reality of the genuinely bigger picture before us, is the more crucial point that Britain, because of its EU membership, has no direct influence at the level where trade rules and regulations affecting manufacturing and the standards for a vast number of goods are decided.  Namely around the tables of various global bodies and organisations where no EU member has a seat.

While Britain’s ability to strike trade deals is important, of far greater importance is our ability to inform and shape, in our interest, the rules that will bind most countries around the world that are signed up to various conventions and treaties – and which consequently impact international trade deals involving most of the goods we make and most of what we buy.  This is what membership of ‘Little Europe’ denies us and why we have to get out.

Leaving the EU is not an end in itself.  It is merely an enabler that gives us an opportunity to fight our corner in our competitive interest, in the forums where the rules and standards are made.  The hard work therefore does not end when we simply have the ability to strike agreements with other countries on our own terms, rather than the consolidated and diluted terms suiting 27 other European countries.

Hannan’s trade paradigm is only a narrow part of the imperative for leaving the EU.  If he understood and articulated the bigger story from his substantial platform, he may actually help more people understand the benefits of British independence.

Global Governance has turned the EU into ‘Little Europe’

We do not have ‘global government’.  There is no such thing.

We do however have ‘global governance’.  This is all too real.

Most people in the UK and across Europe do not see or even realise the existence of global governance, because of its remote and distributed nature.  All that is seen is the face of governance that advertises and promotes itself – such as the EU and national governments in capital cities.  Increasingly, people are becoming familiar with the raft of diktats, regulations and laws that apparently spawn from the very visible EU and are implemented by national governments.

What is not understood is that most of what is handed down from the EU does not originate in Brussels and is not shaped in Brussels – it is handed down from global bodies that make up the system of global governance.  The EU is only a proxy, a delivery mechanism if you will.  While it governs a regional bloc of nation states, the EU takes its direction and instructions from global bodies, where the true power and influence truly rests.  The development of this network of bodies, on which most individual countries are able to represent themselves and their interests, has trumped the EU to become this country’s real supreme governor.

Global governance has neutered the power of the supposedly mighty EU to such a degree, a truer description of it today is ‘Little Europe’.

As a consequence, and in direct contradiction of the mantra so often uttered by the Europhiles, the influence of EU member states has been sharply reduced on the world stage. The 28 EU member states do not have their own voice on the global bodies.  The EU has one seat and speaks for all 28 at once, the EU negotiation position being a messy compromise of watered down competing EU member state interests.

This is in sharp contrast to countries such as Norway and Switzerland, which have their own seats on the global bodies and can advance their own national interests, undiluted and directly.   So as regulations and laws are formulated by these bodies in their power centres, such as Geneva, Montreal and Basle among others, Norway and Switzerland have as much influence in shaping the regulations as the EU representatives, and substantially more than every EU member state, including the United Kingdom.  All of which underlines the lie propagated by the Europhiles that countries like Norway have to implement what the EU tells it, without any say in what is handed down.

What does this mean for the UK?

In short, this country’s political class, which is trying to shackle this country to the EU middle man for political reasons, is waiving the opportunity to influence and direct input into the regulations and laws that are formulated at a level above the EU, and implemented by just about all of our trading partners.

Too much of what is decided does not suit British interests, but the UK’s capacity to shape these global regulations is hamstrung because instead of being at the top table and having influence, our politicians have given up our seat to the EU.  So the UK instead sits on the floor, knowing what it wants from the menu, but letting someone else order for us what it thinks we should have and throwing us what has been cooked up, cold and part eaten.

The EU model of government is past its ‘use by’ date.  The politicians are trying to tie us in to a system more than half a century old, that is now obsolete and detrimental to the interests and prospects of a nation such as the UK, with an economy and trading base that is among the biggest in the world.  It’s a big world out there and the UK can play a big part in how it works.  Instead, our blinkered politicians and their big business proxies want to keep us locked into Little Europe and its shrinking sphere of influence.

For political – and as this post shows, economic reasons – getting out of the European Union is an imperative.  But it is not an end in itself.  Freeing ourselves from the Brussels bureaucracy is only an enabler.  It merely provides this country with an opportunity to have real influence, a direct role in governance and a big part in shaping the rules of trade and the standards for products and services.

If we want the UK, our country, to be more successful, if we aspire to realise more of our potential, then we need to leave Little Europe and its passe vision and structures behind.  We need to rediscover our confidence and regain or independence.  Only then can we stake our place in the world and develop trade and partnership agreements on our own terms.

Leaving the EU is the starting point for determining our future and improving our prospects.  We have a choice, be part of Little Europe, or become Big Britain.


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