An ideal EU? Not likely
Business for Britain thinks it has a blueprint for Britain inside a reformed EU. But, like David Cameron, they don't understand that it is the whole EU model that needs abolishing. Nothing less will really mean anything
Business for Britain has just published its pamphlet “The Change We Need”, listing 10 reform proposals the EU could adopt to make our membership of the EU more palatable to the British public.
The points they propose attempt to address the superficial ‘problems’ which result from our membership of the EU:
** An end to ‘ever closer union’
** Cut EU red tape for SMEs and start-ups
** Return control over social & employment laws
** Protect the City and financial services
** Protect the UK from Eurozone meddling
** Fast track international trade deals
** Cut the EU budget to save taxpayers’ money
** Apply UK transparency laws to the EU
** Give member states control over migration
** Restore Britain’s right to veto EU laws
Of course, none of these ‘reforms’ are attainable because the EU establishment has absolutely no appetite for serious change. Reform of the EU needs to go much further than outlined in Business for Britain’s proposals.
We need much more to achieve any kind of ideal relationship which would benefit the Great British Public. It is simply not enough to restore Britain’s right to veto EU law or even to end ‘ever closer union’.
For some advocates of a free trade arrangement, these 10 reforms will seem enough to justify remaining in the EU. However, we need more to safeguard Britain’s long-term prosperity.
The proposals suggested by Business for Britain do not address the key flaws of our membership of the European Union. The EU is an old fashioned customs union and NOT a “free trade area”. And Brussels intends for it to remain that way.
Undoubtedly, there is only one form the EU can take which will best serve the interests of Britain along with all the other Member States.
This would be a Free Trade Area model -- and Britain can do this more easily and more quickly than the EU has ever been able to do so far. Anything falling short of this will ensure Britain’s growth and independence will be stamped on by the unelected pen-pushers in Brussels.
In order to implement the necessary free trade area, the EU bureaucracy will need to collapse entirely. There would be no European Parliament. No European Commission. No need for courts which overrule Britain’s laws.
Britain would be able to conclude its own trade agreements, rather than Brussels negotiating them on our behalf and ending up with continual delay. We only have to examine the EU’s incompetence at finalising agreements so far, such as negotiations with India and Malaysia.
A proper free trade area would protect the independence of all its members. There would be no requirement for a single currency. Current EU members would be able to set their own exchange rates again, according to their own country’s best interests and circumstances. The benefits of this are clearly obvious.
Furthermore, a free trade area would ensure free movement of capital as well as goods and services. But countries within the free trade area would be able to retain border controls, in the interests of individual states.
David Cameron’s promise to renegotiation the terms of our EU membership is a complete and outright charade -- they will fall far short of an ideal relationship and certainly wouldn’t result in restoring control over immigration.
There is a clue to Cameron’s insincerity about having a fair In/Out referendum. Why did he select 2017 as the year to hold our In/Out vote on our membership of the EU?
2017 was originally earmarked because it just happens to be the same year in which Britain will receive the rotating 6-month Presidency of a key EU body: the Council of Ministers.
Presidency of the Council of Ministers affords no power other than to set an agenda for meetings. However, it will give Cameron and all his Cabinet ministers ample opportunity to pose in front of their ‘vanity photographers’ and look like they are running and ‘influencing’ the European Union.
Cameron’s strategy will be a pantomime of epic proportions. Our Prime Minister ‘s renegotiation plans will prove to be a farce and a clear attempt to deceive Britain.
Make no mistake. Britain wants and needs an ongoing economic relationship with Europe, as with the rest of the world. However Britain must steer out of this flawed political union.
The reforms outlined by Business for Britain cannot safeguard Britain’s independence. The root of the problem is the central institutions. It is an old fashioned, out of date model, unfit for the 21st Century.
Reforms will never address the problems for Britain or any of the other member states, unless all the governing bodies -- the Commission, the Council, along with the European Court of Justice -- are out of the picture.
While the EU clings to an obsolete, outdated customs union model, we are left with the best option on the table for Britain -- run like hell and Get Britain Out.
Alan Murad is a Research Executive at Get Britain Out
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