Having read Veronica Hardstaff’s letter on the EU, she makes some very interesting points. I would like to make some comments on them, from a Eurosceptic point of view.
1. She states that we have enjoyed over 70 years of peace since joining a community of democratic countries. I agree, but we have NATO to thank for that.
Post war, we were friendly and democratic with our neighbours, remember it wasn’t until 1973 that we joined the then European Economic Community. With the tide of refugees seeking refuge in Europe,
I hardly think it is our exit from the EU that is going to destabilise Europe. I think that Germany have already destabilised Europe by opening its borders to over one million refugees without a clue as to how this might fundamentally change Europe for good.
2. She states the EU is not perfect and I agree. And yes our MEPs make decisions on our place in the EU. But it is not always in our best interest when certain laws are passed, sure our MEPs fight tooth and nail to veto laws, usually to no avail.
3. She states that global issues such as climate change cannot be solved by individual nations. Again I agree, prime example the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference which was held in Paris. United Nations has 193 members, dwarfing the EU and it’s 28 states.
Indeed, climate change has to be addressed with cooperation from many countries, not individual ones, but our membership of the EU doesn’t make a difference in this case, we were members of NATO at the end of WWII, 28 years before we joined the EEC.
4. Under EU legislation, employees have protection from working dangerously long hours, and part time workers, predominantly women have protection and entitlement to a full pension and equal rights of a full time worker.
That is good, but I’m pretty sure that if we were not a member of the EU, given our liberal society, those laws would still apply. I can imagine a lot of unrest if this was not so. She also states that many who want Brexit are wealthy individuals and companies , who want to avoid tax and do not want their workers to have protection.
I agree, but with membership also comes open borders and cheap labor, which leads to a wage slump. Even with membership, big corporate companies take advantage of workers.
5. European regulations are designed to make the single market work fairly. But as we know, the single market, primarily those states in the Eurozone, want more and more integration, something our country is not so keen on.
6. She states if we wish to trade with the EU, we would need to be like Norway or Switzerland, obeying all the rules, paying money for the privilege and not getting a say.
But we as a member state have to also go through the EU when we trade with any country outside the EU. I recently read an article that saddened me. It was on our trade with New Zealand, a country that can claim 80 per cent of its ancestry to the UK, and is a member of the Commonwealth.
We always traded strongly with NZ, but on our joining of the EEC in 1973, our trade started to decline with them, and they had to look elsewhere for business. Essentially, we did the dirty, and I probably think that they weren’t the only casualty.
7. Every country makes it’ case for its own interests in the EU, but if that country disagrees, but the rest don’t, then that country gets dragged in anyway.
But you have to see it from our perspective, the general public. We see it as being dictated to. That is because we voted in our politicians to make laws in our country for our own people. We also vote in MEPs that also vote for laws to be passed or not passed.
But they can be outnumbered by other MEPs from foreign countries that have no interest for our people or our nation’s needs. You hear it so often from other EU politicians that the UK is once again moaning and causing trouble.
Are we moaning or are we just trying to make our voice heard in a continually soundproof organisation. I think the EU just wants to go its own way, and feels the UK is a hindrance.
8. It is perfectly possible to be patriotic and pro European. I am European. We are in the continent of Europe. That is just geography. But we cannot really continue to be patriotic, whilst still being in the EU. Because far from the EU being a promotion of harmony, it is causing fractures across the whole continent.
The refugee crisis being a prime example. The commission had decided to share out the refugees among member states using a quota system. Thankfully we opted out, but you suddenly heard objections from many saying they didn’t want that.
Suddenly nationalism takes over, and the EU becomes the stereotypical bully, saying what is best for each state, when they quite clearly don’t know what is best for them.
By all means let us have trade with each other, but let’s also have competitiveness, individuality and control. The USA, Canada and Mexico have free trade with each other in the form of the NAFTA, ( North American Free Trade Agreement), but I was still under the impression that there are still passport controls and immigration controls between these nations.
They all still have their own currency and borders and manage to achieve the same. Let us look at this example and realize the EU could have been such a good thing, but has been managed badly and is now showing it’s true agenda, to eradicate national borders, and sovereignty to become one United States of Europe, with a president and a senate.
Prime Ministers will be replaced by senators. I just have one thing to say, what a terrifying thought.