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Posts Tagged ‘Article 50.’

>GP – RN: EU exit: the Paterson speech

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 24/11/2014

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins (Greg_L-W)
At: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

“To achieve One World Government it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism,
their loyalty to family, traditions and national identification.”
Brock Chisholm, when director of UN World Health Organisation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi,

EUReferendum

Monday 24 November 2014

000a Times-024 Paterson.jpg

The actual speech text is here, delivered at 11am this moning. It is reviewed in The Times, in the Telegraph, the BBC, the New Statesman and elsewhere (140 reports and counting).

The essence of speech is that, instead of pussy-footing around, Cameron should cut to the chase and commit to invoking Article 50 the moment a Conservative government takes office after the election. With an electoral mandate, there is no need for a referendum.

Negotiations on a exit settlement should then proceed, using the “Norway option” as the base, involving joining EFTA and adopting the EEA agreement. Additionally, the entire EU body of law should be repatriated, to ensure legislative continuity, allowing for selective repeal and amendment as appropriate and necessary.

The loss of influence in leaving the EU is more than made up for by the restoration of our standing in international organisations such as Codex, UNECE, OECD, and many others, where we would be negotiating in our own right, determining standards which, under WTO rules, the EU is obliged to adopt.

In this, there would be no “fax democracy” as such. We would be sending laws down to Brussels – not the other way around.

The issue of “freedom of movement” is dealt with by dropping out of the ECHR and the EU treaties, so that we would only be obliged to grant freedom to workers, and not their dependents unless we chose to do so – plus restoring the ability to deport illegal immigrants.

Also, there would be continued measures to address “push” and “pull” factors, making the UK unattractive for unskilled migrants seeking low-paid work

However, Paterson reminds us that it took 40 years to progress to this stage of integration and we are not going to resolve all the issues in one stage. For the longer term, therefore, he argues that we would need to progress from the EEA to ensure a genuine Europe-wide Single Market, working on a truly intergovernmental basis.

One possible alternative, he suggests, is to strengthen the regional UNECE, so that it can administer the Single Market as an economic project rather than a political construct. Using that body, we would be able to negotiating directly across the board, cutting out the EU as the middle man, and substantially enhance the transparency of the system.

With a more durable European solution in place, we would be better able to promote our economic interests and we would also be able to take a lead in revitalising international trade. Free from the EU, says Paterson, we would have real influence on shaping the global regulatory models where true power lies.

The UK would have a key role in building transparency with enormous benefits to tackling organised crime, such as human trafficking, addressing issues of migration constructively.

In conclusion, Paterson adds, the Eurozone has already embarked upon a path that we can never follow. We are simply recognising that reality. We must either be fully committed to “Le Projet” or we must build an entirely new relationship.

The British people must be allowed to make that decision. Article 50 is the best method of making this happen. By this means we would forge ahead and resume our rightful place as a global leader. With our own independent status, working closely with our many allies, we would massively increase our influence.

As Churchill said, “We have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed”. He was right then and he is right now. Get this message across and the UK has a spectacular future as a flourishing world power.

Richard North

To view the original of this post CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.
Greg Lance-Watkins

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“The practice of sport is a human right!. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

There are times when it is reasonable to believe ‘Sport’ is not so much a right but an obligation by diktat!
However boring you may find sport: there are many who derive great vicarious pleasure from watching it – Particularly Women’s Beach Volleyball & Women’s Gymnastics; some even enjoy being a part of a baying mob at football games!

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Posted in FleXcit, FleXcit Plan, Owen Paterson, Richard NORTH | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A GUEST POST on UKIP Dishonesty & Hypocrisy

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 04/11/2013

A GUEST POST on UKIP Dishonesty & Hypocrisy
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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership, 
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is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!  

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A GUEST POST on UKIP Dishonesty & Hypocrisy as they jump on any passing band wagon aware that as a minority cult in perpetual opposition they will never have to honour their claims!!

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European Union (Referendum) Bill comes up for review.

It was, I seem to recall, a Tuesday evening and I was sat at my
desk in the EP. Nikki Sinclaire was in the adjoining office.
Some time earlier we had been talking about the government’s
offer to debate matters in parliament if 100,000 citizens would
present a request by petition. There was no mechanism in
place at that time, nor did there appear to be any real hurry to
put one in place. Nikki had identified this as an opportunity to
call for a referendum on our country’s continued membership of
the EU.Nikki suggested some words, I put them down and sent them
through to her, she e-mailed me back some changes, I finished
it off. It didn’t look bad at all….“We the undersigned call for a binding national referendum to
decide whether Her Majesty’s Government should invoke
Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to negociate the United
Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union….”The campaign was launched at a meeting in Torquay on
September 3rd 2010, and so we set out to find 100,000 signatures.There was uncertainty as to whether 10 Downing Street would
accept the petition. They accepted it, in fact they took in over
200,000 signatures.There was uncertainty as to whether the Commons Backbench
Business Committee would debate the matter. They debated it,
and we saw the biggest backbench revolt the government had
experienced up to that point.The idea of a referendum was voted down, but the matter
would not go away. Nikki’s polling proved that the people
wanted to have their say.This coming Friday, Nov 8th, we will see the Commons review
the European Union (Referendum) Bill.—————————————————————What impressed me was the level of cross-party support for the

petition. Only UKIP failed to support us. Indeed, a UKIP member
who had asked if he should support the petition kindly
forwarded to me a letter he had received from the UKIP leader’s
office. Here is a short extract: “Petitions, I may say, are useful
for publicising issues and recruiting activists; but, where such a
fundamental policy as rejecting the EU is concerned, there is no
prospect whatever of a pro-EU government’s acceding to a
petition.”However, once it became clear that we were winning the battle,
the referendum suddenly became UKIP’s ‘greatest achievement’.As recently as last month, a journalist in Strasbourg reported to
me that two UKIP MEPs had told him that they were opposed to a
referendum on this matter.————————————————————–Of course, this is not an isolated case. During the 2010 General

Election campaign, HS2 was the main issue on the doorstep.
This is a project that will have serious implications for West
Midlanders and indeed many people in the UK.UKIP’s manifesto for that election included the party’s desire to:
‘introduce three high-speed lines linking London to the Midlands,
northern England and Birmingham.’ That reads to me like an
approval of HS2!Now that opposition to HS2 has become a major dynamic,
guess what? UKIP is now ‘the only party that has consistently
opposed HS2?.There have been attempts to airbrush the 2010 manifesto out of
existence, but you can find all you need to know HERE.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

For a copy of UKIP’s 2010 Manifesto CLICK HERE
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Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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 INDEPENDENT Leave-the-EU Alliance

&
Work With THE MIDNIGHT GROUP to
Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK
Deny the self serving political clique ANY Democratic claims to legitimacy
Write Upon Your Ballot Paper at EVERY election:
.
to Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins

tel: 01594 – 528 337
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
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Posted in UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UKIP Racism, The Social Services & Common Purpose

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 29/11/2012

TITLE
.

 Please Be Sure To .Follow Greg_LW on Twitter. Re-TWEET my Twitterings
& Publicise My Blogs 
To Spread The Facts World Wide
of
&
Clean EUkip up NOW make UKIP electable! 

.

The corruption of EUkip’s leadership, 
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC 

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!  

.

!!

.

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.

Regards,

Greg_L-W..

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
 

 INDEPENDENT Leave-the-EU Alliance

&
Work With THE MIDNIGHT GROUP to
Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK
Deny the self serving political clique ANY Democratic claims to legitimacy
Write Upon Your Ballot Paper at EVERY election:
.
to Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins

tel: 01594 – 528 337
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
Summary, archive, facts & comments on UKIP: http://UKIP-vs-EUkip.com
DO MAKE USE of LINKS & >Right Side Bar< & The Top Bar >PAGES<
Also:
Details & Links: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com
UKIP Its ASSOCIATES & DETAILS: CLICK HERE
Views I almost Totally Share: CLICK HERE
General Stuff archive: http://gl-w.blogspot.com
General Stuff ongoing: http://gl-w.com
Health Blog.: http://GregLW.blogspot.com
TWITTER: Greg_LW

 Please Be Sure To .Follow Greg_LW on Twitter. Re-TWEET my Twitterings
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Article 50 revisited!

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 27/11/2012

Article 50 revisited!
.

 Please Be Sure To .Follow Greg_LW on Twitter. Re-TWEET my Twitterings
& Publicise My Blogs 
To Spread The Facts World Wide
of
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Clean EUkip up NOW make UKIP electable! 

.

The corruption of EUkip’s leadership, 
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC 

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!  

.

Article 50 revisited! Courtesy of Dr. Richard North, Christopher Booker and further to CLICK HERE!!

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Hi,
my postings and attention have been a little distracted, for which I apologise, as I have taken a few days off to have a heart attack – IF you are interested there are further details on my health blog at: http://greglw.blogspot.co.uk
Back at home I have taken some time in catching up with the vagaries and stupidities of UKIP leadership and their foolish willingness to preen in faux praise like performing monkeys and small children.
So those who wish for a more accurate assessment of recent events may find the articles on UKIP racism, extremism and right wing bigotry at:
http://EUAlliance.blogspot.co.UK
or:
or consider:
CLICK HERE
and those wishing to be informed may wish to consider the press articles and comments on various publications of interest at:
The Essex Press: CLICK HERE Or CLICK HERE
or the Derbyshire press at:
CLICK HERE Or CLICK HERE Or EVEN HERE
Clearly UKIP has had great good fortune in the stupidity and utterly irresponsible behaviour of Social Services at Rotheram which will, in the short term boost UKIP’s candidate Jane Collins far beyond her democratic merits as just another corrupt and undemocratic placement by UKIP leadership, and the time scale of the good fortune is excellent as it permits no time for responsible journalists to actually expose the undeniable dishonesty, corruption and racist associations.UKIP will of course be used, by flattery, as apawn to bring pressure on the government if not embarrassment as it is this level of childish tittle tattle that sells newspapers in a period between elections.

Clearly since we speak of a Yorkshire by election it is worth being minded of the old Yorkshire saying of:
‘The higher up the tree the monkey climbs
The more you see its ‘R’s.’Oh how very true of UKIP leadership who are such simpletons they are to vain to believe they are merely being used – Clearly there is not a wit of danger that someone so irrelevant and corrupted as Jane Collins could be elected so to make much of the situation for column inches and sales is merely journalistic mischief making.

On the more weighty issue of the desire of the common members of UKIP and most of the British peoples to Leave-The-EU the merits of a Referendum, a Royal Commission and Article 50 are of far greater significance than the idiotic and irresponsible behaviour of Farage, Bloom, Batten, Michael Fabricant and the like whilst UKIP’s sole performing monkey of any merit is still Nigel Farage as shown by thwe incompetence of Paul Nuttall in the media or the light weight and incompetent input of UKIP’s spokeswoman on the regional section of Andrew Neill’s programme on Sunday where her irrelevancy and ineptitude is writ large from 40 minutes onwards at: CLICK HERE

I have written on numerous occasions of the importance of Article #50 but permit me the indollence of merely republishing Richard North’s most recent piece on the subjest which makes many of the relevant points and also points out just how crss are those supposedly advising UKIP’s leadership!

EU politics: another modest proposal

Monday 26 November 2012

Inde 392-wek.jpg

On 7 July 2012, Booker raised the issue of Article 50, as a means of withdrawing from the EU. The piece drew a response from “veteran campaigner”, Torquil Dick-Erikson, in the following terms:

Article 50 is a trap: In the typical Napoleonic-state style, with one hand it purports to grant a right, the right to withdraw from the EU, but with the other hand it restricts it, so much so that it reduces it to nothing. The catch, hidden within article 50, lies in the two-year waiting period that a withdrawing state must wait before it can consider itself sovereign once again, if no agreement on the terms of withdrawal is reached with the others.

He was answered (by me) thus:

I would suggest that you have misread the Article. The two year period is a maximum, unless there is an agreed extension. See 50(3):

The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

In this instance, Torquil did not respond to the comment. But again, this time on 24 November 2012, Booker raised the issue of Article 50. And we got this from Torquil Dick-Erikson:

What Booker does not deal with here is the fact that Article 50 imposes a forced 2-year waiting period on any State that announces its intention to leave, and that does not wish to supinely accept the terms that the remaining EU would want to impose on it …

Christopher Booker has raised the idea of using article 50 before in his column. And here he is doing so again. I hope that next time he will deal with the issue of the enforced two-year waiting period that is imposed by this article. An imposition that prevents us from conducting negotiations for a new arrangement from the strong position of regained sovereignty.

Again he was answered:

Article 50 does not impose “a forced 2-year waiting period on any State that announces its intention to leave”. The article actually says:

The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

It thus sets a maximum timescale for the negotiations, of two years, which may be extended by mutual consent.

As before, Torquil did not respond to the comment. Instead (and as before), he e-mailed his own comment – and only his comment – to a select group of activists, reinforcing his own view that the only way to leave the EU was to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 – a proposition with which his correspondents completely agree.

My response last time was to note that there is a group of eurosceptics imbued with an absolute determination to fail. To keep the faith, they confine their discussions to themselves, never engaging in debate with anyone outside their circle. However, their malign influence on the likes of UKIP ensures the currency of a policy line – immediate withdrawal from the EU – which hands the game on a platter to the other side.

They offer a strategy guaranteed to maximise the disruption and uncertainty, reinforcing the europhile claims that leaving the EU would be a “disaster”. Under the terms of our eurosceptic clique, it most certainly would be so.

Out problem is that, as long as this self-deceiving rump of eurosceptics maintain their position, the likes of David Cameron can appear entirely reasonable in rejecting the idea of withdrawal. Only if they offered a well-structured exit plan, aimed at minimising disruption, would the eurosceptic doctrine pose a real threat.

There, of course, Mr Cameron has a way of completely neutralising the eurosceptic threat, if he choose to take it. With his very substantial resources, he could devise his own exit plan, couched in such terms as to make it clear that we would no longer be members of the EU, but defining a new relationship that was very litte different from full membership.

That would involve the UK withdrawing from the existing treaties which place our nations in the EU, instead forging a new treaty which would have the UK in alliance with the EU. That would entirely confirm with the traditional British policy towards Europe – interested but not absorbed.

Currently, in the pages of the Independent, Tory MP Michael Fabricant advises Mr Cameron to do a deal with UKIP. He should, the Conservative vice-chairman says, set out plans for a referendum on EU membership in exchange for UKIP not standing in the next general election.

On the other hand, there is no need for a referendum. Instead, Cameron could invoke Article 50, offering precisely the “new relationship” with the EU which he professes to want. This would bury UKIP completely. A Conservative Party, genuinely seeking a new settlement with “Europe” would leave Farage and his not-as-merry-men completely stranded, electorally isolated with nowhere to go.

However, there is another, perhaps more important reason why Cameron should take this line. Apart from the electoral advantages, which could guarantee him victory at the next general election, the constant bickering over EU membership is a dangerous distraction from the business of government. In order to focus on the issues at hand, this issue needs to be settled – and it will not go away of its own accord.

Invoking Article 50 and negotiating a new relationship with the EU is entirely compatible with Conservative Party policy, and with Mr Cameron’s personal aspirations. The fact that it is an option so hated by the eurosceptic groupescules could be taken as a bonus.

Richard North 26/11/2012

IF you wish for further direct comment on the issues surrounding Article 50 you may follow up at CLICK HERE
.

Regards,

Greg_L-W..

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
 

 INDEPENDENT Leave-the-EU Alliance

&
Work With THE MIDNIGHT GROUP to
Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK
Deny the self serving political clique ANY Democratic claims to legitimacy
Write Upon Your Ballot Paper at EVERY election:
.
to Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins

tel: 01594 – 528 337
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
Summary, archive, facts & comments on UKIP: http://UKIP-vs-EUkip.com
DO MAKE USE of LINKS & >Right Side Bar< & The Top Bar >PAGES<
Also:
Details & Links: http://GregLanceWatkins.Blogspot.com
UKIP Its ASSOCIATES & DETAILS: CLICK HERE
Views I almost Totally Share: CLICK HERE
General Stuff archive: http://gl-w.blogspot.com
General Stuff ongoing: http://gl-w.com
Health Blog.: http://GregLW.blogspot.com
TWITTER: Greg_LW

 Please Be Sure To .Follow Greg_LW on Twitter. Re-TWEET my Twitterings
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North & The Spectator on a ‘Floundering Farage’ & UKIP

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 24/09/2012

North & The Spectator on a ‘Floundering Farage’ & UKIP
.

 Please Be Sure To .Follow Greg_LW on Twitter. Re-TWEET my Twitterings
& Publicise My Blogs 
To Spread The Facts World Wide
of
&
Clean EUkip up NOW make UKIP electable! 

.

The corruption of EUkip’s leadership, 
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC 

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!  

.

Dr. Richard North & The Spectator on a ‘Floundering Farage’ & UKIP!

Richard warns of his views on Referendum considering it in isolation!

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Hi,
it is interesting to note just howmany people in their condemnation of a referendumand its risks so consistently fail to show that there is a methodology to improve the fairness of such referendum.A Referendum will be lost if taken in narrow isolation – I have little doubt of that.

We must always ensure that any referendum is held AFTER a Royal Commission is held, which will be charged with not just a cost benefit study of our membership of The EU and of our leaving with a clear ‘Exit & Survival Strategy‘.

I am sufficiently certain that a Royal Commission would act responsibly to inform the electorate in detail for a full, fair, evenly funded and evenly promoted referendum that I am happy to say that in its Exit & Survival Strategy it will surely promote the strategy of use of Article 50 as our strategy for exit.

The idiocy of permitting a referendum on government terms without a Royal Commission and with no sound Exit & Survival Strategy disregarding Article 50 would be crass, suicidal and irresponsible.

That we have a need for an Harrogate Agenda or similar is just as indesputable as to move on using the 19th. century style of governance into the 21st. Century will merely lead to the next foolish scam or social engineering as with the oh so arcane, undemocratic and Victorian style concepts of The EU.

Consider, in your study of the concepts and to add balance Richard North’s comments which follow, comments which I incline to support in the context of overlooking the details I have annotated so far:


 EU Referendum: foundering Farage

Saturday 22 September 2012

Farage 767-bqo.jpg
 
 

“I think we’ve proved that we are a serious party that cares about a lot more than just Europe”, says Harold James, an active UKIP member from Weston-super-Mare, veteran of nine conferences.

Predictably, though, the Spectator is less than impressed, accusing a “Floundering Farage” of struggling a little once “away from his hobby horse of a European Union Referendum”. But, had the magazine been on the ball, it could have observed that Farage was struggling even when riding his hobby horse.

That is the only conclusion one can draw from his “Referendum Stitch-Up” pamphlet. His knowledge about the mechanics if the EU was always slight, but in this production he demonstrates that he has not added significantly to his knowledge in the ten years since I worked across a desk from him.

If this was simply a matter of a vainglorious party leader doing what politicians so often do – displaying his ignorance – it would not matter so much. But, as even the Spectator concedes, we are almost certainly looking at a referendum in the not too distant future.

Rigged though it may be – and we could hardly expect otherwise – I have to believe that this referendum is winnable, and that we can successfully deliver a “withdraw from the EU” message to our masters. With contributions such as Farage’s, though, we are set to lose.

To understand why, it is helpful to go back to the debate we were having on Article 50, where we argued that we need to take advantage of the negotiation process offered to draw up a relationship with the EU before finally cutting the knot.

Amongst those who disagreed with this stance was Nigel Farage, one of many who believe that we can unilaterally abrogate the treaties and then expect the “colleagues” to sit down and negotiate with us, without there being any penalty from such action.

Until now, quite how Farage managed to believe that this could be a penalty-free option has escaped me. But, if it is his settled belief that a free trade area can be set up with “a blank piece of paper“, then it is unsurprising that he sets such little store on negotiation – there is only a blank sheet of paper to agree. And that attitude is what is going to lose us the referendum.

The reason why this will happen is because Farage and his supporters are preparing, in an utterly cavalier fashion, to ditch the “single market”, that iconic property which legend has it was breathed into life by the Dragon Queen herself, Margaret Thatcher.

Yet, examine David Cameron’s rhetoric on the European Union and you will notice the emphasis is almost entirely on preserving this mythical beast. To threaten it with extinction is to invite unrestrained enmity from the entire Tory tribe and give hostage to fortune to the other side.

And that is only part of it. The “single market” effectively comprises a huge body of EU law – directives, regulations and decisions – alongside thousands of meticulously crafted standards, which together binds the corporate world and protects it from the cold winds of competition, mainly from small and medium businesses.

Anyone who believes that big business doesn’t like regulation simply knows nothing about big business. As noted in our forum, “complex regulatory structures are a significant barrier to entry, and dominant firms that can afford large compliance departments often lobby for such regulation which prevents the entry of upstart firms”.

And, in their enthusiasm for more and more law, the corporates are the natural partners to the EU. If their precious body of law is threatened by a “no” vote in a referendum, they will pour massive funding into any “yes” campaign.

The best we can possibly hope for from the corporates is their neutrality, which could only be secured – of at all – by assurances that their “single market” is kept intact.

On the other hand, the genius of the EU is the way it has hijacked trade regulation and harnessed it in the service of political integration. In promoting our exit from the EU, therefore, we have to detach the corpus of standards and trade agreements from the community acquis and give it an independent identity.

This, to my mind, is one of the greatest challenges confronting the “outers” in any referendum campaign. It is also one I believe we can deal with by negotiating continued EEA membership – thus keeping the single market intact for at the very least a transitional period, while we sort out better, long-term arrangements.

Whatever might actually be decided though, we cannot afford to ignore the single market, or the rent-seekers who gain so much benefit from it. Allowing a “floundering Farage” to set the pace here would then be to invite a foundering campaign. Protect the single market, or we lose.

COMMENT: “FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT” THREAD

Richard North 22/09/2012


 EU Referendum: fighting the good fight

Saturday 22 September 2012

UKIP 834-jwy.jpg
 

There is a joke amongst economists, Nigel Farage tells us in his “Referendum Stitch-Up” pamphlet, that a real free trade agreement can be illustrated by holding up a blank piece of paper.

That, he avers, is because if trade is genuinely free, there are no regulations to follow or tariffs to pay but business people and traders can get on without hindrance or interference in doing business and creating wealth.

Thus, in principle, we are told, “to create a single market or free trade area is incredibly easy if you know what you are doing and think it through. It merely requires an absence of restriction, most easily achieved by the progressive – or instant – dismantling and removal of all existing barriers and tariffs”.

Unfortunately, a regulation-free market is neither desirable nor acceptable, and if this presented as UKIP’s objective for Britain once we leave the EU, it will simply invite the hostility (and derision) of those who understand why much of the regulation at present in force must remain.

One can, or course, make a case of the removal of tariffs and also non-tariff barriers, but it is important to realise how important well-crafted regulation is to international trade.

This can be well illustrated addressing the problems of a banana importer, based in London, buying from growers everywhere in the world to supply wholesale and retail customers throughout Europe.

In the nature of things, the quality of the product will vary and with it price. It has thus long been the sensible habit of shippers to use grading schemes – a common language between buyer and seller – so that the nature of any transaction is fully understood.

This does make sense. Our putative buyer, who might decide to purchase a load from Jamaica, may wish to order Grade A bananas, sight unseen. And, as long as an agreed grading scheme is applied, he will know exactly what to expect for his money.

There could be problems, though, if he wished to buy Grade A bananas from Costa Rica and that country operated a different grading scheme. National authorities in some countries could even give their exporters a price advantage by setting more relaxed standards, while still allowing produce to be called Grade A, to the detriment of buyer and consumer.

More complications arise if different consumer countries dictate their own specific standards, thus leaving our putative importer being able to buy produce from one country which he can then sell in some countries but not others. Thus, each country having different standards – whether producer or consumer – is a recipe for chaos.

On that basis, it makes absolute sense to have international standards.for commodities which are traded internationally. And for them to work, they must be common standards that are known and recognised by buyers and sellers alike.

Such standards are not in any way a restraint on trade – quite the reverse. When properly and sensitively crafted, they facilitate trade and are seen, overall, as beneficial. As such, they are a necessary precursor to free trade. Clearly, that applies here with South African bananas.

This being the case, it is unsurprising that many commodity standards pre-date EU regulations. In fact, much of the current EU legislation for agricultural produce is based on a British model developed long before we joined the EEC. Even in the land of the free, the United States, agricultural produce for inter-state commerce was being regulated as early as 1880.

Nor is it a surprise that much regulation is actively sought after by the trade itself. Take meat safety, for instance. Few people realise that official inspection did not become compulsory in this country until 1963 yet, for decades before that, producers had voluntarily paid for inspection as a measure to improve consumer confidence in their products.

And when, in 1964, the Six in the then EEC imposed mandatory inspection of imported meat, to be carried out at the point of slaughter, the system was based on a regime developed by the British. It had been imposed in response to the Aberdeen typhoid outbreak, which had been linked to Argentinean corned beef, again to promote confidence in international trade.

The important thing, therefore, is not the absence of regulation, but the right sort of regulation – sufficient for the purpose and not too onerous – applied only where it is needed. Where the EU most often went wrong was (and is) in applying export standards to internal trade or – where grading regulations was applied – prohibiting trade in ungraded produce. 

 
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To an extent, this is being addressed, with the EU progressively relaxing standards (allowing misshapen fruit and vegetables), so some of the the issues that Farage raise in his pamphlet have less force anyway.

That aside, regulation does not only apply to goods, but also services such as air travel. Here for instance, if we look at requirements for commercial aviation, we see minimum regulations applied to the equipment required by airliners to enable them to land in reduced visibility conditions.

Knowing Farage’s intimate acquaintance with aviation safety, one suspects he would not want to see such regulations removed or weakened. Would he really be happy with a blank piece of paper when it came to his flying to Strasbourg to pick up his expenses?

Thus, the real issue is that, even if reduced, a huge tranche of trade regulation will remain. It cannot be wished away. We thus have to find a way of dealing with the continuing process of adding, modifying and adapting trade regulations while outside the EU yet still trading with its member states.

In this context, to pretend that we can live without trade regulation is not helpful to the cause. We need more sophisticated arguments to carry the doubters, coming up with real world solutions that demonstrate our understanding of the realities of modern international trade. Farage’s fluff simply isn’t good enough.

COMMENT THREAD

Richard North 22/09/2012


 EU referendum: delaying the inevitable

Friday 21 September 2012

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Farage put his finger on the Cameron dilemma this morning, pointing to the Conservative leader’s credibility gap when it comes to promising a referendum.

Talking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said that he would only consider making a deal if it was “written in blood” that there would be a[n in-out] referendum on Britiain’s EU membership.

What was not raised though – not here or in an earlier programme – is how different the political landscape will look in 2014 when the euro-elections are due to be held. Thus, although Farage consistently claims rising support for his party, he and his followers may be disappointed when it comes to the elections.

Not least, the much lauded poll ratings consistently fail to materialise as votes in real elections.

For instance, in one recent council by-election, Canterbury City – Blean Fores, the Conservatives took 342, Labour 185, Lib-Dem 121, Green 64, UKIP 38 and Independent 24. Cornwall County – St Keverne and Meneage, had the Tories on 585, Lib-Dems 279, UKIP 141 and Labour increasing to 52 (from 33 in June 2009). Scarborough Borough – Esk Valley gave the Tories 606 votes, Independent 151 (down from 417 in May 2011), Labour 87 and UKIP 35.

So consistent is this experience that one can discount the UKIP election hyperbole. And, to make matters worse, there is recently another factor in play. As the Independent reports, in all the recent by-elections, both Labour and Conservatives scored “landslide gains” at the expense of independents.

We may thus be seeing precisely that which we have seen in Germany and in the recent Dutch elections – the classic small-party squeeze, which is so often apparent when times are uncertain. And where the UK election is shaping up for a battle between two unpopular personalities, perversely, that tendency might be accentuated.

In recent years, however, the euro-elections have obeyed their own rules, and Farage might confidently expect a good showing for UKIP in 2014. But again there is another factor at play: Barroso has committed to publishing proposals for a new treaty before the euro-elections. With the commission president determined to make this an EU election issue, electioneering could be sufficiently transformed to make it mainstream – to the detriment of UKIP.

With Cameron planning a major speech on European policy next month, he may well take the opportunity then to commit to a referendum, contingent or renegotiations arising out of the treaty process, essentially marginalising UKIP and its pretender, the “We demand a referendum” party.

Here, the Conservatives are in a much stronger position, as polls on EU sentiment tend to show that the renegotiation option (however unrealistic) is popular with the voters, and Cameron can rely on the “referendum lock” to demonstrate his good faith. He does not need to make a promise “written in blood”, he may say, when it is written into an Act of Parliament.

This does not stop speculation elsewhere about electoral pacts with UKIP, from the usual ill-informed suspects, who currently don’t seem to understand that the chances of a referendum before 2016 are slight. In all probability, we are looking at 2017 or beyond.

Those, like Nikki Sinclair’s little party – which has dreams of a referendum in 2014 – clearly fail to realise that Cameron can use for an alibi, active engagement in EU negotiations. No sensible person could expect a referendum while negotiations are still in progress.

To that extent, also, the Tory europlastics are beginning to outflank the “outers”. Knowing that renegotiation is more popular with the public than the straight “out” option, they have concentrated their firepower where success is most likely. That could well leave Farage and his supporters stranded, being faced with fighting a referendum in the distant future for which they are singularly ill-prepared.

The “outer” fraternity thus looks doomed to get what it wished for. And unless Farage stops whingeing about how the contest might be rigged, and starts working out how to win the referendum we’re going to get, rather than the one UKIP wants, the wish granted could prove his nemesis.

COMMENT THREAD

Richard North 21/09/2012


 Politics: another one doesn’t get it

Friday 21 September 2012

Lamenting the decline of political parties, a Failygraph hack still believes there is a remedy. “The answer is fairly simple”, he writes, “To recover, political leaders need to come up with radical and original ideas that enough people think are worth supporting”. The man simply doesn’t get it. If they could have done so, they would already have done so. They cannot, because it is not in their nature. But, if you want radical and original ideas, they are there, in the Harrogate Agenda. And that rather illustrates why political parties must continue declining – together with their cheerleaders in the media.

However, not all is lost. The man at least understands that we are now the mainstream. “No matter who wins the next election, it is likely that abstainers will outnumber those voting for the winning party”, he writes. But that has been the case for a long time. Why is it taking them so long to realise? 

COMMENT THREAD

Richard North 21/09/2012



 EU referendum: strategy is the problem

Thursday 20 September 2012

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In a well-judged intervention, Cranmer tells us that the Eurosceptic “movement” (if it be) is fundamentally a clash of gargantuan egos, none of whom will deign to co-operate or collaborate with their co-eurosceptics, principally out of a lack of trust, belief or respect.

So, His Grace tells us, with a referendum on the next EU treaty looming – and, as sure as night follows day, it is coming – please don’t expect political coherence or campaigning strategy from the Conservatives, UKIP, the Democracy Movement, the Campaign for United Kingdom Conservatism, Better off Out, Campaign for an Independent Britain, the Freedom Association, or the Liberty League.

Frankly, he says, you have more hope of persuading a Wahhabi Sunni to sup with an Ahmadiyyan and plant the cornerstone of a new mosque. If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand: the referendum may already be lost.

Hesitant as one is to disagree with His Grace, one has to say that he is wrong. This is not a matter of egos, gargantuan or otherwise, but of strategy. Egos we could cope with. The more profound differences over strategy are far more problematical.

Courtesy of Witterings from Witney, we see demonstrated precisely the point in the recent adjournment debate led by Tory MP Andrea Leadsom.

This is a woman who is determined that we should “renegotiate our EU membership – to remain within the EU but to have our absolutely best attempt at renegotiating a relationship that works for Britain, with full and free access to all EU assets, but without being hampered in a global world by EU regulation”. What she wants, she tells us, is “fundamental reform”.

No red-blooded eurosceptic could begin to agree with such a europlastic view, but within the debate there was also David Nuttall, Tory MP for Bury North. As chairman of the Lords and Commons “Better Off Out” group, he wants us to repatriate all powers from the EU.

We would have no difficulty in accepting this desirable objective, except that Nuttall does not think we are likely to be given the choice of an in-out referendum. He thinks we are more likely to get an in/in referendum: the choice of the status quo – staying in as we are now or staying in with 17/20, 18/20 or 19/20 of the status quo and repatriating a few powers.

The trouble is, as Leadsom points out, while a July 2012 YouGov survey had 48 percent wanting to pull out and 31 percent wanting to stay in the EU, if a new deal was renegotiated, the poll suggests that people would vote in a completely different way. Most – 42-34 percent – would vote to stay in the EU.

This is the eurosceptic nightmare: a referendum offering not the in-out option but the “reform-out” option. This would be very hard to win. Strategy becomes absolutely vital.

Then, as WfW reminds us, there is the Lilley point: during a referendum campaign, on average there is a 17 percent swing back in favour of the status quo. This means it is necessary to start with a 34 percent lead for change to have a 50 percent chance of winning. Starting with roughly half of people being in favour of leaving and a third in favour of staying would result in a vote to remain in the EU.

Problematically, though, our people are not thinking strategically. Under these circumstances, the Minford idea of unilateral withdrawal, followed by negotiation, would be a disaster. The uncertainties would drive voters into the EU camp.

Yet, despite the potential for disaster, this is the preferred UKIP option, and the guardians of the message are quick to stamp on dissident thought. There is no debate in this “outer” fraternity. You either conform with the approved message or you are consigned to outer darkness as a “traitor”. 

 
Nor is there any recognition of the “Stokes precept”, from Richard Stokes, the Labour MP for Ipswich, who on 15 October 1940 told the House of Commons in a debate on war aims that it “… is no use fighting for a negative object. You must have a positive one, and the sooner that [is] stated the better”. To gain a broader acceptance from the majority of the population that we should leave the EU, we must be able to offer a positive object. Simply to fight on the negative one of leaving the EU is not enough. And just to argue for a referendum, without the first idea of how you would win it, is suicide.

Those who refuse to accept this, who robustly argue simply for unilateral withdrawal and expect the nation to rally to that cause, are part of the problem – as much as those like Leadsom, who are arguing for “fundamental reform”. Egos really don’t matter. It cannot be emphasised enough that what counts is strategy.

Sadly, while the old saw, “divided we fall” may be true, uniting behind the wrong strategy could be just as fatal. We thus face the prospect of “united we fall, divided we fall”. Even so, there is time yet to mend our ways. We should take the opportunity while we can, if we can.

COMMENT THREAD

Richard North 20/09/2012

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Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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