Brussels out: Brexit needs to get its act together

EU Remain's strategy of infantile, lying, scaremongering is an insult to the electorate. But Brexit has got to get its act together. The real message should be simple -- ‘We want our country back; and we are going to get it!’

Bye bye Brussels
Robin Mitchinson
On 24 May 2016 12:11

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!

There's still over a month before this truly wretched Referendum ‘campaign’ is over. Both Brexit and Remain campaigns have swung between the pathetic and the outrageous, the former because it has never got its act together, the latter because almost its entire approach has been infantile scaremongering that is an insult to the electorate.

And we are still waiting for Remain to tell us about the EU’s outstanding achievements so far this century.

Brexit has harped on about immigration and little else. Important though this may be, there are many fundamental issues that it has not addressed.

At the back of all the stuff about the economy, the letters drafted by teenage scribblers in No.10 for signature by big shot businessmen, luvvies, and especially economists who have got every single forecast wrong since the Great Depression is the basic fact that the British detest foreigners interfering in their lives.

The Common Market was presented as the ‘Vision Splendid’ that would sweep away artificial limitations and restrictions on the economies of the member startes, enabling free movement of capital, services and workers, the abolition of tariff barriers, and other growth-restricting practices.

And instead of the Grand Design, what did we get? Dictats on the power of vacuum cleaners.

More seriously, Brussels denies science and evidence when these do not fit the bureaucrats’ plans. The effects on our well-being could be serious.

There is the issue of GM crops. GM is currently banned in the EU. Imports are similarly banned. This seems to be based on a single piece of research years ago that suggested mice were affected by GM potatoes.

Prince Charles raised the debate to a higher plane. He reckoned that GM was the sole prerogative of God. The media reckoned that these Frankenfoods would turn us into something from a sci-fi horror movie.

Since that time, GM crops have been gown extensively throughout the world and have significantly improved the lot of people in poor countries by  increased productivity and lower food costs.

American scientists have given GM a clean bill-of-health, but that has made no impression on Brussels. Perhaps the findings of their own scientific officer that GM was harmless might have stirred some action.

Well, it did. They fired her!

And right now, this very week, we see the Tobacco Products Directive.

Amongst other restrictions, it bans packaging. Henceforth, cigarettes will be sold in plain wrapping. Like pornography. It is of no consequence to Brussels that when Australia did the same smoking marginally increased. There are more malign possibilities.

It is reckoned that 2 out of every 3 cigarettes smoked in Britain is fake contraband. The loss to the Revenue must be colossal. A likely consequence is that the increased market opportunity will result in cigarette smuggling being taken over by criminal gangs, as with hard drugs.

But what is of constitutional importance here touches upon the issue of sovereignty (on which topic both Brexit and Remain have had little to say although it is actually the fundamental issue).

Brands and trademarks are extremely valuable. The TPD has driven a coach and horses through British law of copyright and intellectual property, This, of course, matters little to our dirigiste masters in the Berlaymont, but it remains a mystery as to how this outrage conforms to the setting free of trade envisioned by the Treaty of Rome.

So by administrative fiat centuries of English law of intellectual property have been swept aside; no democratic inputs, of course. The votes of elected British politicians count for nothing.

Even more absurd is that e-cigarettes have been captured by the TPD, although they contain no tobacco and are in reality a tobacco replacement. So we have the Royal College of Physicians and other health authorities lauding vaping as a major contribution to public health and suggesting that e-liquids might be made available on the NHS to smokers as a quitting therapy.

Instead, Brussels will control the nicotine content which will reduce its effectiveness as an anti-smoking tool, the size of the liquid container, advertising and the sale to under-18s. Adolescents will have to be content with Senior Service and Benson & Hedges until they grow-up.

And finally, there is the Big Issue of so-called climate change.

There is no conclusive proof either way about the claims of the Green lobby that we are all doomed unless we give up our dirty, polluting habits and revert to... what, exactly?

No sensible investor would put his money into Green stock until there was hard evidence that was beyond dispute showing that without drastic reduction in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels disaster beckons.

And yet the EU, aided and abetted by bandwagon-climbing politicians, has spent millions of our money imposing carbon limits, and shows no signs of letting-up regardless of members’ ability to pay.

The real Brexit message should be simple -- ‘We want our country back; and we are going to get it!’

Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world

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