The Brexit Denouement
Deception masquerading as ‘facts’ was the hallmark of the ‘remain’ campaign.
The quality of the debate between the ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ factions was depressingly low to non-existent. The status quo side seemed to be content with scare tactics underpinned by questionable figures (much of which had been stage-managed or belatedly seen to be based on fallacy) whilst the ‘enough is enough’ campaign was fractured and seemingly incapable of creating a coherent strategy.
No serious mention was been made of Europe’s disastrous and continuing migrant crisis and its economic, social and safety implications. Neither was there any focus on the inherent problems of the common European currency and its adverse economic effects, particularly on unemployment.
In light of just the trade numbers alone (and setting aside the need for democracy, the ongoing migrant issues and the Euro with its ‘one size fits all’ philosophy) one questions why the UK could or should feel the need to remain in an excessively bureaucratic, anti-democratic, demonstrably corrupt and economically bankrupt alliance.
Forty years of experience have shown us that the European Union is intrinsically undemocratic, financially incontinent and deliberately unwilling to change. Leaving the EU would no doubt cause some short-term economic turbulence but the issues set out above make the case for Britain to leave the EU ever more compelling.
The European Union as it currently exists is a cesspool of rotten politics, inept leaders and a badly constructed monetary system which is the central cause of so many of the EU’s problems (and that was flawed from its very outset).
Does the UK want to remain to the bitter end or, by leaving, does it then want to lead the way forward to a truly democratic European Economic Union where free trade, protected borders and freedom of choice will replace the anti-democratic and faintly absurd notion of a Federal Europe ruled by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.
Winston Churchill has been purposely misquoted in the course of this campaign in the hope of supporting the ‘remain’ case. What he actually said was “We are with Europe but not of it. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea”.
Methods of leaving the EU – Article 50 and beyond
The first step is to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. The UK controls the timing of that in entirety. Whilst the EU might wish to rush things (in order to avoid any contagion of Brexit to other countries) it is entirely in the UK’s gift as to when that button should be pressed.
We are already in the EEA (European Economic Area) which is where (once outside the EU) we must choose to remain. This, together with an application to join the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) gives the UK an immediate solution to the ‘access to the single market’ trading problem.
Furthermore, under Article 112 of the EEA Agreement, we also have the unilateral right to claim a partial opt-out from the EU’s ‘freedom of movement’ rules. This would allow us to set up a quota system to control immigration from other EU countries.
However, the EU will no doubt seek to press us into going along with their much-touted plans for a ‘two-tier’ Europe which would leave the Eurozone countries united and centralized and with the UK and other non-euro nations sitting on the sidelines (and possibly joined by ‘neighbouring’ countries such as Turkey and Morocco).
This will be portrayed by the EU as an attractive compromise whereas it is, in fact, a highly deceptive strategy. It would leave the UK still in the EU but as a second-class member with all the disadvantages that we voted to extract ourselves from. We would still be subject to much of the ‘supranational’ system we voted to escape from and it would leave us even worse off than we were.
The most disastrous option is that we could reach the end of our two-year negotiation period without any agreement having been reached. Bear in mind that the EU have already taken 10 years to negotiate a trade deal with the USA and still there is no agreement in sight. Likewise, negotiations with India were abandoned after nine years of pointless wrangling and inability to make a decision by the EU end of things. The impossibility of 28 countries reaching accord is palpably obvious when one looks at the pigs-breakfast they have made of trade negotiations thus far.
Finally, on invoking Article 50, the UK should immediately apply for an extension to the 2 year negotiating period (as the rules allow us to do) in order to avoid the absurd situation where, after leaving the EU but failing to reach an acceptable exit agreement within 2 years, the remaining EU counties could sell to us but we would no longer have the necessary paperwork to sell to them!
We must hope that our negotiators are capable and well-informed enough to negotiate the labyrinth.