For someone who it is believed will take the helm of any “In/Out” Referendum, who currently is the CEO of Business for Britain, Matthew Elliott appears to be woefully lacking in knowledge about matters EU. His latest attempt to show his ignorance appears in CityAM, an article in which he writes about how British business could thrive under a “bespoke” new deal with Brussels.
It only takes four paragraphs of vacuous verbiage before we get the first example of Elliott’s lack of knowledge. He writes that whenever the EU introduces new Single Market regulations, they are automatically imposed – Norway gets no formal say on the matter. Now, in fairness, it perhaps is the situation that Elliott believes the EU is the originator of all legislation that is imposed in its name.
Is it really necessary to remind Elliott that it is a fact that many of the standard-setting international bodies act under the aegis of the United Nations. Such output has coined the name “quasi-legislation” – it is not law as such but is the source from which all law emanates. This quasi-legislation is then handed down to countries and regional bodies to implement via legislation. Therefore the EU is not, in the main, originating law but is in fact a middle-man, implementing that which has been decided at a far higher level.
In general both the EU and Norway are members of these UN bodies, the EU speaking for the Member States – and, importantly, Norway speaking for itself. As Norway has a voice in the formulation of law that is proposed it is more than aware of that which the EU is implementing. Matthew Elliott is correct to say that Norway has no seat at the EU table – but then why should it need a seat, it has already been part of the formation of said law and is therefore well aware of what is coming out of the EU “law factory”.
If Elliott believes a bespoke deal can be arranged, similar to that of Switzerland, he seems to overlook the point he himself makes, namely that it took Switzerland a decade to reach the agreements that it now has. This begs the question of what Elliot believes the UK should do in the interim period while such bespoke deals are reached. While not ideal, membership of EFTA and the EEA would allow business access to the Single Market with no disruption to those Elliott represents – the business world – while a new agreement is negotiated.
Of course, Elliott does not tackle the method by which such a bespoke deal could be negotiated. Bear in mind that the only way in which the UK can negotiate any new deal is by invoking Article 50 of the TEU – but then we can’t expect Matthew Elliott to understand even the most basic points about matters EU.
Elliott continues about having maximum access to the Single Market, yet only yesterday the Mail was reporting that the forthcoming manifesto to be published by Business for Britain was calling for the UK to quite the Single Market in favour of a “customs union” – but then he is becoming renowned for spouting contradictions.
In accordance with the inflated opinion Matthew Elliott would appear to have of himself where his standing is concerned, we are fully justified to believe that where he writes how we can best change our relationship, the “we” are those in the “Westminster Village” and “Business”.
Why should we be influenced by someone who invariably obfuscates, lies and contradicts himself every time he puts fingers to keyboard?