Blog 7: EU Referendum
It has been a while since I last updated the blog. I have been very busy with UKIP, the referendum and life in general.
In February I went to Brussels and guess who I bumped into? None other than Nigel Farage himself! Asked him for a comment for my website (day before David Cameron released his deal) and he gave me a full speech. I will be updating this page to include the video.
One of my Stretford & Urmston colleagues was out with me this morning. Anita. She is as mad as a box of frogs and she regularly restores my faith in humanity. She is like me in many ways and I value her friendship and her intellectual curiosity enormously. We disagree on a few points - but such is life.
We can and do disagree. This morning Anita said something very interesting. She said that the fear people have is a fear of going into the unknown with a Brexit (a word I really do not like) and few politicians have addressed this genuine fear. This got me thinking.
If we are looking into the future are we looking into the unknown? No, not really. I do believe that prior to the start of the 1970s we were not a part of the EU. I do believe we were not only capable of functioning as a country but we were able to run 1/3 of the world. I do not think in 1939 when we took on Europe's greatest army that we had some sad-sack at the Foreign Office saying "Oh, this is unknown, we should not be doing this." In the 1950s when we were faced with re-building the country and had to try, somehow, to entice people to come to the UK and help with the building we had someone at the Home Office saying "Oh, that's an unknown, we really should not be doing that."
No, we have always marched on. We went to war with Germany and won that war. We invited people from other countries (predominantly commonwealth countries) to come and make Britain their home. In the 1950s to the 1970s we were perfectly capable of trading with the world and Europe despite us - wait for it - **gasp** - not being a member of a union between European countries. We were actually capable of agreeing to trade with other countries. Why would we suddenly be unable to do this in 2016?
If we Vote to Leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 (and I sincerely hope we do) there will be an initial period where the markets go nuts, foreign exchange rates will go nuts and I have no doubts at all that that will be a short-term pain. But the markets went nuts when the Euro came into being - and guess what - none of those countries knew what would happen. But they did it. This namby-pampy fear of the unknown is ridiculous and makes little sense. We have been outside of the EU and we can look at many, many countries that trade with EU countries but which are **gasp** not members of the EU.
Negotiating a Trade Agreement
My final point on this is one I think people miss a lot. Nigel Farage said it. This fear of the alleged unknown is nothing more and nothing less than politicians in the UK believing that David Cameron is incapable of negotiating a trade agreement under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union. That is what their fear is. They think that when Dave comes to negotiate trade agreements (Article 50 requires it) he is simply too rubbish at negotiations - as we found when he negotiated the current deal.
I believe that the UK is capable of putting someone else into No 10 and asking them to negotiate a deal with trade partners. We do not need to pay £6 to £18 billion a year to the EU to trade with other countries. The CEO of VW will not suddenly wake up on 24 June 2016 and say "Damn, we can no longer sell cars to the UK - what a pity, we made so much money with them. oh well, the shareholders will understand why we do not make as much profit, as they know we cannot trade with countries that are not in the EU!!"
No, the CEO of VW world-wide will see it as an opportunity of getting a good deal with the UK. He will not allow Merkel to impose punitive sanctions on the UK. We will probably have problems with the French, but we will not have a problem allowing tariff free trade for Fair Trade coffee growers - who at the moment must pay a tariff to trade with us despite that there are no coffee growers in the EU. Car dealers will still want to sell to us. We are still one of the richest nations on this planet and the extra few billions we do not pay in membership fees to the EU will make us richer.
I therefore propose that we call for a new leader of the Conservative Party who can negotiate on our behalf and we look to two years of negotiation behind a man or woman that believes in Britain. I personally hope Boris takes the leadership and really shows Cameron what he did wrong.
I believe in Britain. You should too.
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