Thursday, 30 March 2017

We're On Our Way Out

Now that Article 50 has been triggered, there is an audible squeal of pain and fury from the contingent who have done so nicely for the past few decades with their noses in the EU trough. Prominent among them is the Green MEP Keith Taylor. It would be nice if we could sack our worse-than-useless LibDem and Green MEPs and use the money they cost us for some more constructive purpose.
It is impossible to get yourself off the mailing list of that dim, garrulous blob Keith Taylor. I have never asked to be on it, but anyone who has ever sent him an E-mail on any topic automatically gets put on it and kept on it no matter how often they request removal. This means they get his newsletters full of twaddle and self-important witterings. He is one of those who, unwilling to accept the outcome of the Referendum, resorts to inventing jargon such as "Hard Brexit" and "Soft Brexit". He claims that in voting Leave we didn't vote for "Hard Brexit" (meaning actually leave) but may only have meant "Soft Brexit" (which means stay in, pretend the Referendum never happened and shut up).

Like so many people he does not understand the difference between belonging to the EU "single market" and having access to it. The EU has actually got free-trade agreements with 50 nations that are NOT member-states but which have agreed to do tariff-free trade with the member-states. Why shouldn't the UK be added to that list? When we leave we will have freedom to re-negotiate any details of those agreements for ourselves but there is no reason why the countries that found it beneficial while we were in the EU should change their minds when we leave. If they plonk on tariffs we will do the same. Their politicians may talk about it, but their business community is dead against it, and knows how much harm it would do to them. 

Keith Taylor's idea of having a vote on the deal is a naive one - what would happen then is that the EU, which is desperate for us to stay in, would offer the worst possible deal in the hope that a second British referendum would reject it.

He does not even discuss the possibility that the UK will re-join EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, of which it was a founding member. It has access to the single market. This is not without some membership fees, but they are far smaller than those of the EU and members retain sovereignty and significant powers to make their own laws about control of the seas, their borders and free movement. Currently the EFTA states have 27 Free Trade Agreements covering 38 countries around the globe, and they have already signalled to us that they would welcome our return to membership.

Image result for eu free trade agreements countries
Currently, the EFTA States have 27 free trade agreements (covering 38 countries) with the following partners:
  • Albania.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Canada.
  • Central American States (Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama)
  • Chile.
  • Colombia.
  • Egypt.
  • Georgia.
EFTA member states are not subject to unlimited huge fines imposed in a dictatorial way by Brussels.
As for co-operation in matters of education, we should be trying harder to escape it. The Council of Europe (to which we still belong) has barmy plans to make all degrees into five-year courses. Those people who lament our withdrawal from the Erasmus programme (which benefits only a handful of British students per year) are the very same people who made degree courses here in the UK unaffordable. Nick Clegg, whose voice the BBC never tires of broadcasting, infamously broke his promise to prevent any rise in university fees. He totally failed to meet the challenge of funding Higher Education here for our own sons and daughters, but makes a song and dance about the loss of a very minor and incidental programme in which few participate.

If we value international education the first thing we should do is address our abysmal performance in language learning in schools. After that, leave it to the universities to arrange their own exchange programmes - and make it clear that we wont accept any crackpot ideas put forward by the Council of Europe at its endless conferences and talking-shops. After leaving the EU, escaping tyranny from the Council of Europe should be next on our agenda.

There are actually many drawbacks to so-called "free trade" especially if it is tied to free movement of all people, goods, investment, services etc. It is not free and it is a mixed blessing. Nevertheless I envisage that in ten years time, most of the countries of Western Europe will belong to some such community as EFTA or the EEA and the EU may well have collapsed. Greece desperately needs to leave. Italy has problems that can only be solved by leaving and escaping the €uro currency. France is tempted to follow our example. It has always had exemptions from a lot of EU legislation and even so, it is suffering in the straitjacket. Eire is restless. The Czech Republic leaders are increasingly critical of German domination. Poland and Hungary are defying German and EU dictatorship in a feisty way that is most refreshing and indicates that they will not accept political enslavement as the price of economic inclusion.

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Greens will continue fighting the Prime Minister’s extreme Brexit vision

We don't have to accept our fate, the fight against an extreme Brexit continues 

Keith Taylor writes:-
"Article 50 has been triggered and Theresa May is marching Britain one step closer to an extreme Brexit cliff edge, [ding-ding-ding-ding inflated rhetoric alert] but we don’t have to accept our fate, [the majority decision] there is still time to avert disaster.[ding-ding-ding-ding panic alert!] We must and we will fight on.[Meaning: I am desperate to keep my well-paid prestigious job and don't want to go back to being a nobody]
The Government’s proposals will send the country hurtling towards an extreme Brexit that will see Britain as the ultimate loser [because we in the Greens have the ability to foretell the future] in a global race to the bottom on everything from environmental regulations to workers’ rights.
Almost 80 percent of Green Party supporters, the majority of voters in Surrey, and East and West Sussex, and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and 48% of my constituents across the South East voted to Remain in the EU.
That doesn’t mean I am blind to the fact that a slim majority of Brits voted to leave the EU. [Well actually it does.] But it does mean that I won’t allow the voices of those who didn’t to be silenced.[In other words he simply will not accept the outcome of the Referendum].
The narrow referendum victory does not give Theresa May a mandate for an extreme Brexit. [Wait a minute - Leave doesn't really mean Leave does it?] The Prime Minister is attempting to conjure a phantom majority [so real people are ghosts now] in support of ejecting Britain from the single market; [He doesn't understand the difference between membership of the "free market" and access to it] sacrificing our economy at the altar of ending free movement.[Ha ha ha, Green of all people talking about sacrificing our economy. Their entire manifesto is designed to close it down]
We deserve better than this. Which is why I am fighting in the courts, through the so-called ‘Dublin Case’, for the British people [meaning the minority who agree with me] to be given the choice they are being denied. The EU referendum should have been the start of a democratic process, not the end of one [meaning we are angry we lost and we won't accept any outcome until it goes our way].
As Greens, we believe voters should have the final say on the Brexit deal, once it is clear what the outcome of the negotiations is.[meaning that we don't regard anything as final unless we win the vote] If people have changed their mind, they must be able to stop the process.[Really? So in that case at any point after ANY election if people don't like the result they should be able to say they've changed their mind and rescind the outcome? In that case can we all rescind the election of Keith Taylor himself - and of Tony Blair in 1997?]

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