Tag Archive: UK Membership

Changing opinions

In the comments section to a post by Autonomous Mind entitled “Snatching defeat from the jaws of a straightforward victory” – and in which he links to this post by Richard North, EUReferendum – one commenter writes:

“Personally, I don’t understand the levels of antipathy directed at UKIP on this blog, EU Referendum, boling [sic] frog, witterings from witney etc. EU Referendum seems to only want to leave the EU if some sort of perfect re-casting of our political and governmental system is enacted.”

When considering the current discussion about changing our relationship with the European Union – and I refer to Cameron’s wish to ‘renegotiate’ our terms of membership, coupled with the vacuous wordage that has poured forth from various people, such as Open Europe, it becomes obvious that very few brain cells, if any, have been used either collectively or individually. There are two sides to the discussion that is being held and they are, in effect, two sides of the same coin – namely the head: “exit” and the tail: “thereafter”.

The condemnation of antipathy directed at the four bloggers mentioned is, I would suggest, misplaced as their writing is but illustrating a deficit in all the discussion that is taking place in the media by journalists, business leaders and the political class. As the europhiles can be accused of relying on the “fear, uncertainty, doubt” meme – or Euro-FUD, a term bestowed by Richard North – should the UK exit the EU, thus misrepresenting and misleading the British public; so can the same accusation of misrepresenting and misleading be laid at the door of some in the Eurosceptic movement for not discussing that which they should – they need not be named as they know who they are.

On the subject of renegotiation, as has been shown here, what is it that Cameron thinks has changed, whereby he can break up the Acquis and cherry pick those pieces that he wants back? Those that seem to believe, as apparently does Tim Congdon, we can leave the EU and then negotiate a free trade agreement need, with the utmost respect, their heads examined.

Reverting to the fear factor, there are those that prophesy doom, that the sky will fall in, should we leave the EU. Once again as shown here unless there is the recasting so decried by that commentor, the sky may well fall in – at least the bits of metal flying around in the sky, that is. There really is no point in leaving one home for another unless you can be satisfied that the new home has been well constructed and has all the facilities that are needed – plus having a route-map of how to get there.

On that last point, namely a route-map, if Cameron is serious about wanting to redefine the UK’s relationship with the EU and bearing in mind any break-up of the Acquis is impossible, then there is only one course of action he can take – and that is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and negotiate entry into EFTA/EEA.

Membership of EFTA then leads Europhiles to bleat about “fax democracy”, an argument which should be dead and buried after the Open Europe debacle. Unfortunately it is still being repeated and the latest example comes from one who is described asScotland’s most distinguished political commentator:

“The PM says he wants to remain in the single market but leave the EU increasingly behind, and this is a perfectly possible objective if he wants the UK to join Norway in the European Economic Area. Norway is in the single market but out of the EU,  But this means it is subject to the rules and regulations of the single market without having any say in shaping them.”

Perhaps when our MPs have procured their Idiots Guide to the EU, they could send one to Scotland’s distinguished political commentator.

Left to their own devices, if and when a referendum on EU membership does appear it is becoming obvious that which ever side wins will have done so by default, while utilising the black arts of censorship and propaganda. It beggars belief that both Europhiles and Eurosceptics treat this subject, one which will have the most profound effect on the future of this country, with such gay abandon. That the debate also appears to be being held among themselves, one could possibly add the words “and incestuous” twixt “gay” and “abandon”.

To turn to the “tail” side of the problem, the “thereafter”, this period of the operation must not only deal with resolving which laws we wish to retain and which we wish to reject; negotiating further trade agreements, etc, etc; it also needs to include a realignment of our own democracy, involving this idea, with a view to ensuring that never again can our political class – or anyone else – lead us down the road to hell.


This year? Next year? Nope, this year – Oh, wait a mo

Richard North, EUReferendum, has posted about ‘matters Oslo’, Cameron’s future, ‘yesterdays men’ (Messrs. Davis and Fox) and the inability of Ukip to have any importance in ‘matters withdrawal’.

We had been led to believe that David Cameron would be making a major speech this year, setting out his ‘vision’ of the relationship twixt the European Union and the UK, but we then informed by some in the media that this would not happen until next year. We now see that it may be next week or that it might be after Christmas – although how long after Christmas the report does not specify.

This article in the FT by George Parker offers both ‘dream’ and ‘nightmare’ scenarios for both Cameron and MilibandE – on which I pass no comment. If Cameron still believes he can ‘cherry-pick’ those powers he wishes to repatriate – even assuming he would be able to get a ‘hearing’, which is extremely unlikely – then a portent of what would await him comes with the warning from Cecilia Malmström where the mass opt-out of more than 130 policies to tackle cross-border terrorism and crime, including the European arrest warrant, is concerned. Ms Malmström is quoted as stating that “If they [UK] do choose to opt out of – for instance, from the arrest warrant – then they will have to seek bilateral arrangements with all 26 member states and this will be on UK expenses”.

Where ‘matters renegotiate’ are concerned there are those who believe that Article 48 (TEU) can be used, whereas others  – headed by Richard North – have shown that the only method by which new terms of membership can be renegotiated is by invoking Article 50, whereby notice is given of withdrawal and then negotiations for new terms of membership are promptly commenced. It is therefore reasonable to assume that until Cameron recognizes and accepts the Article 50 route, whatever he is ‘cooking up’ in his pot is going to look and taste completely unpalatable, not only to the public but to his party. Watching this subject unfold, one which Cameron has more than once attempted to ‘park’ out of public and his party’s view, is going to present watchers with a ‘tragic comedy’ in that I can foresee both despair and humour in equal measure – despair at seeing one ill-equiped for the task in hand fail yet again; and humour in seeing once again Cameron falling flat on his face. Still, Cameron will be able to console himself with the knowledge that the sheep safely corralled in his Witney field would no doubt re-elect him with an increased majority.

We are presently inundated with opinion polls and in their lifespan now and then there appears a ‘rogue’ poll – and this would seem to be one such, although Smithson”s caveat regarding accuracy must be noted. What it does show though is 2 findings; (a) that of two parties, neither of whom appears to have the slightest idea about withdrawal from the European Union, one has managed a lead over the other of 10%; and (b) that (a) shows the superficial knowledge of those polled about ‘politics’ and the EU.

And therein lies the problem for the hopes of those who will be campaigning for a ‘No’ vote, come any referendum; unless that campaign is properly managed!

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© Witterings from Witney 2012