There seems to be a lot of speculation on both sides of the argument of whether to vote to remain in the EU or leave and each side seems to have an agenda from politicians who simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing for the UK or its people, only to line their own pockets with taxes taken from hard working people and sell off every possible asset this country has, to corporations who are keen to exploit the same hardworking people by paying them next to nothing, in fact nothing at all if they get their own way for the ever-decreasing profits being chased currently by just about anyone who has a modicum of interest in the stock market.
In the last month or so the Leave campaign has been the most vociferous and passionate, but I have to say that against the backdrop of Cameron & Osborn’s tax evasion escapades (even though both seem to be in the Remain camp) I simply don’t trust either of them so far as I could throw them. The remain campaign has been lukewarm in its arguments and not particularly convincing either, preferring to answer some of the more outlandish claims made by the Leave camp.
Just about every conceivable ill is blamed on Brussels, I would even go so far as to say that even bad weather would also be blamed on Brussels and that if we leave it would suddenly be sunny every day until Christmas.
However, I think the most convincing, factual argument not to remain comes from a former Tory chancellor Nigel Lawson in his Chatham House speech two months ago which is accessible on YouTube. In it he gives a clear, lucid explanation of Britain’s role in the world at the time the EMU (European Monetary Union) was being implemented which preceded the ill-fated Euro when our trade links stretched across the world. Not being in the EU would mean we could resume our membership of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and renew links with previous trading partners New Zealand and Australia both countries provided us with stellar produce and I’m sure would do so again.
I am not someone given to speculation, supposition and the like but want to know more about the probabilities of what may occur. I am old enough to remember when people in the UK first voted to join the EEC as it was then, although as an 15 year old I can only vaguely remember some things such as food was cheaper, there were plenty of jobs around, many were skilled but not massively well paid and the food was just plain boring.
Fast forward 40-odd years on and we enjoy much better food, easy to get hold of ingredients in our local supermarkets and shops, better standards of living, the ability to improve our living conditions if we adopt European house building models which are more energy efficient and sustainable to build and live in. More and easier access to jobs abroad and yes, the argument that there may be some migrants who travel to the UK and have access to our benefits system, but is also works the other way around. If you are unable to get a job in the UK but a firm in France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany or any of the other EU countries will give you a job and relocate you, you are also able to access their benefits system, albeit after a qualifying period in many cases.
We also enjoy cheaper travel to European countries without any hassles, bring back duty-free goods to a greater level than was previously allowed. We can even access almost free healthcare if we fall ill or have an accident whilst on holiday abroad (so long as you have completed the correct forms before travelling).
Furthermore the social aspect of being in the EU shouldn’t go unacknowledged. The Working Time Directive which is in danger of being eradicated by TTIP and also our Tory government is a blessing. It was the normal practice for junior doctors to work 100 hours a week and not unheard of for wrong doses of medication to be administered, the wrong diagnoses to be made from sheer lack of sleep. The prevailing attitude among consultant doctors at the time was “Well I had to do it, so they should as well”. Old people now benefit from higher pensions as a result of the social reforms that are standard in the EU. The British government of all shades are obsessed by the idea that if you are old and infirm the remainder of your life should be spent in poverty not being able to heat your home and eat but having to choose between the two. Any concessions gained by old people are also in the process of being taken back by the government while they hide their wealth in off-shore funds avoiding paying tax.
Children’s toys and equipment are also safer as a result of the EU directives on materials, lead-free paint and other components used in their manufacture. These are changes to be applauded and we have and continue to benefit from them.
What has to be remembered is that many of those in the Leave camp already have plans that will not benefit the ordinary working people one little jot. We would be catapulted to the age of the workhouse for the old, poor and destitute, the NHS would certainly be dismantled whereas even under TTIP the NHS does have a letter of comfort that excludes it from being sold off.
I have said this before, with the changes that have been flooding in over since last summer, we have been given a glimpse into just how undemocratic the EU really is, how it is run for the benefit for the few at present, rather than for the many, and how EU bearaucracts are impervious to how much they are hurting poorer countries. This is mainly being caused by two particular villains, Germany and US meddling in Europe.
Germany has been under occupation since WW2, there has been a military presence there which in recent years has been reduced in number. Because of the presence of the US Germany is bound to take “advice” from the US on certain matters. The worst mistake Germany, and indeed the rest of the EU made was to impose sanctions against Russia. This is the main cause of the EU economy tanking in the last couple of years. Russia has implemented all of the requirements asked of it in the Minsk Agreement, Ukraine has not, but Russia is still being punished for Ukraine’s mistakes. In fact the EU is serious considering admitting Ukraine into the EU as a full member. This is a huge mistake and one that will guarantee the fall of the EU as an entity. Ukraine is so broke it makes Greece look positively solvent by comparison. If the EU has wobbled because of the Greek deficit last year, it would certainly implode on admitting Ukraine to the EU. Ukraine’s debts and size are much bigger and the Ukrainians are, by and large, an agrarian country with few resources. It would be like putting money into a bottomless piggy bank and it would simply disappear.
EU politicians really must grow a spine and tell the US to butt out of EU affairs, reinstate relations with Russia forthwith as it is the only way to restore the fortunes of all parties concerned.
Furthermore the EU must ditch TTIP, CETA and other such “free trade agreements” as they serve nobody but US interests alone. We have all been born free people and are not to be give or sold into slavery to corporate interests. The EU must also examine it’s own attitudes to member nations. Currently there is a spat going on about Poland’s newly elected government and the Polish constitution which is heading in the wrong direction. Hardly any mention is being made of the deal between Merkel and the Turkish President Erodigan.
Merkel is happy to hang out a German comedian to dry by using an ancient German law forbidding ridiculing foreign politicians but so quick to point out Poland’s faults. Surely free speech is free speech wherever it is uttered. If Turkey wants to be part of the EU it must accept that we have free speech here and it is absolutely correct for politicians and their beliefs to be ridiculed and told they are on the wrong path, otherwise we have a dictatorship not a democracy. I don’t care about offending other people sensibilities when it comes to expressing my point of view, it is my point of view and my right to say so. I do care about being told I cannot give my point of view because it offends someone else’s point of view, especially when they are a pathetic despot who locks up journalists because he doesn’t agree with them. What is allowed for one side is certainly allowed for the other.