Tag Archives: Democrcy

A missed opportunity?

For those of us who keep a ‘close eye’ on ‘developments Brexit’ it will not have escaped the attention of some that amongst all the talk of the United Kingdom ceasing its membership of the European Union – while wishing the European Union no harm, etc, etc- only one voice has asked the question: why do we need the European Union? As an aside there were two voices, but one of them was a politician (of whom more in a minute) who, in the intervening period appears to have changed his tune – presumably because he was handed another ‘hymn sheet’ (you know the one: it contains the phrase: be a good boy,  ‘don’t make waves’, following which: behave, ‘fall into line’; and you’ll soon be a Secretary of State again). Oh, how are the mighty fallen – but resurrected once they have had their 15 minutes of ‘rebellious fame’.

I am at a loss to understand why any politician in our nation would wish to give the ‘kiss of life’ to an organization that is, in effect, breathing its last due to the fact that the need for its existence has been overtaken by events. Let us, initially, acknowledge that two men (Monnet and Salter) recognized a ‘gap in the market’, one which would bring them – and their disciples – power and fortune. Whether it brought them fortune or power is open to question as those two are now no longer with us – but it sure as hell has for their disciples.

It is a known fact that approximately 80% of what is called ‘EU law’ actually emanates from United Nation bodies – such as UNECE and Codex, to name but two – and whilst our politicians are, no doubt, well aware of this fact, that they do not acknowledge it is probably due to the fact that it diminishes their self-proclaimed right to ‘set our laws’. Knowing this as they do I, for one, find it incredulous that they appear willing to ‘prop-up’ a failing supra-national body which is no longer needed – if it ever was in the first place.

Amongst all the ranting about Theresa May’s views with regard to Brexit, as an aside I have to say I find it ludicrous that MPs appear so obsessed with the subject of whether EU nationals will have the right to remain in the UK once we have left (and vice-versa), when there are far more pressing subjects such as the continuation of trade – but I digress.

Guy Verhostadt has admitted on the BBC that the EU faces possible ‘disintegration’ and in this regard not much, if anything,  appears to have been mentioned by those bloggers who are considered ‘must reads’. Where ‘disintegration’ is concerned, I would suggest that too little has been focused on the possible upheaval that could be caused in the Brexit debate were Gert Wilders to succeed in the Netherlands and Marine Le Pen in France; and adding in Denmark, together with the Eastern Europe Member States (Hungary and Poland spring to mind), just how many of these countries are waiting to see how the UK fares, prior to declaring they too wish to ‘jump ship’?

It cannot be denied that history shows the United Kingdom has not only ‘led the world’- but that it has also ‘led Europe’ – is it not time the UK resumed this leadership? Has- and is it not time – that our politicians held/have talks with the likes of Wilders, Le Pen and the other aforementioned nations with a view to accumulating a group of countries willing to speak with one voice; in effect saying to the EU: we don’t need you – we’re leaving.

In the first paragraph I mentioned two voices querying why we (the UK) need the European Union. One is Richard North (FlexCit: pp 200-210) and the other was Owen Paterson with a speech (google: owen paterson heritage foundation washington speech [should be top hit] – opens in pdf) given to the Heritage Foundation in Washington a few years ago – as I wrote, he appears to have changed his tune somewhat; or suffered a loss of memory?

Helle Haganau first came to the attention of most people when she appeared on a Newsnight programme and ‘stunned’ those of us interested in ‘matters EU’ by announcing that Norway is not ‘governed by fax’ (contrary to what we were led to believe at the time) and had a veto over EU directives and had exercised such where the Third Postal Directive was concerned.

While I have been an advocate of EFTA/EEA membership, as proposed by Richard North in FlexCit, in the interim period we may spend there it may not be the ‘bed of roses’ it appears. HelleHagenau has posted an article here – (click on ‘The EEA – A warning from Norway’ (opens in pdf – do read) which suggests that the EU has been ‘tightening its grip on the EEA’ in its usual ‘salami slicing’ – this would suggest that were we to follow the EFTA/EEA route there is much to beware.

This leads one to query whether there is something to be gained by investigating that which is suggested in paragraph six of this article? Were the UK and France to ‘leave’ (bearing in mind they are both nuclear powers  and have an ‘armed might’ worthy of consideration), notwithstanding the loss of possibly four more member states; might that not put the boot on the other foot where UK negotiations were concerned?

Food for thought……………?

 

 

 

 

 

The hypocrisy of MPs

Following the recent High Court decision on the ability of the Executive to arbitrarily decide when and how Article 50 notification is given, a court case which our all-knowing executive arm of our Government lost, I am amazed at the number of MPs ‘queuing up to proclaim the ‘Sovereignty of Parliament’.

I have, therefore, to ask those MPs just where were they – and their predecessors – during the last four decades plus – when the sovereignty they so prize has been steadily eroded under their very noses?

This ruling of the HIgh Court has been taken by some as an excuse to subvert the Brexit process – witness such as David Lammy on BBC News Channel today (no link) stating that he would be voting against the triggering of Article 50 regardless.

Those like Lammy probably account for the fact that MPs voted 6 to 1 for the referendum, knowing full well that the referendum on 23rd June this year only had advisory status as against being binding – whilst also knowing full they could then ‘get a second bite at the cherry’. Yet did not the Government issue a pamphlet during said referendum stating: This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide. By that statement they, the Government, gave the impression that it was binding.  Either the Government spoke with ‘forked tongue’, or  in common with most politicians, they did not consider the ramifications of that which they wrote.

We now turn to the fact that, in granting the referendum, the Government decided that the question of whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union was one they felt unable to answer so they passed the decision to the people. In so doing, did they not abrogate the ‘Sovereignty of Parliament’ –  in which case just what the hell are they now ‘bitching about’.

I notice that Twitter has today been inundated with complaints about the attitude of MPs to the court case, coupled with complaints that MPs should accept the referendum result. Encapsulated in such comments is the further complaint that they have no control over those that are supposed to represent their views.

To those complaining on Twitter I can but say: wait until 11:00 on Monday next, then get yourselves over to DD4UK.com where you will discover that there is a way in which you can force those you elect to take notice of you rather than you having to take notice of them – and the beauty of this system, known as direct democracy, is it works not only at national level but also at local level,

A swift divorce?

An article appeared on Reuters yesterday, mentioned by Richard North in his article, which stated that, in the event of a Leave vote by the electorate of the United Kingdom, the European Union would seek a swift divorce from the United Kingdom, coupled with statements by two EU sources familiar with the bloc’s latest thinking on a possible Brexit telling Reuters on Thursday that there was no appetite to grant any extension of the two years provided by Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty for negotiating a withdrawal, while any new trade partnership would take many more years to conclude. The Reuters article also states that tentative plans exist for the Commission to hold a rare Sunday meeting on June 26 to set its strategy; and that EU leaders would hold a brief summit with Britain two days later, at which London would be expected to give formal notice to quit.

It should be noted that the LIsbon Treaty contains no provision whereby the European Union can ‘divorce’ any Member State who adheres to its rules; and that divorce proceedings can only be instituted by a Member State stating, through Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, that it wishes to start such proceedings.

It should also be noted that European Leaders can ‘expect’ all they want, but again there is no requirement that Article 50 should be formally lodged within days of any referendum calling for a divorce from the European Union. It must though be remembered that David Cameron stated in the House of Commons on 22nd February 2016: If the British people vote to leave, there is only one way to bring that about, namely to trigger Article 50 of the treaties and begin the process of exit, and the British people would rightly expect that to start straight away. Being the good European Union lackey that Cameron undoubtedly is, the European Leaders may well get their wish.

It appears to becoming increasingly obvious that Cameron will get the result for which he wishes; due to not only his lying and misrepresenting facts in relation to the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, but also the ineptitude of Vote_Leave and other ‘Out’ campaigns, the political class and other commentators and economists (see article linked to above), none of whom appear to know anything about the subject matter and who are unable to present a coherent, consensual case. As a result Cameron can sleep easy without having to worry about triggering Article 50 – or when.

Another very important point that needs to be made is that not one of the Leave Groups, with the notable exception of The Leave Alliance, have presented any exit plan or strategy for so doing, other than their stated belief that, in the twinkling of an eye, a trade agreement could be done.

FlexCit, the exit plan supported by The Leave Alliance, incorporates what is intended as a holding position’ while a fresh arrangement is negotiated. This would involve the United Kingdom applying to rejoin EFTA and the EEA, thus safeguarding continued trade with the European Union but not being subjected to what is termed the ‘political baggage’.

Interestingly, any application to EFTA for membership is entirely a matter for those states – the EU has no voice. On that point leading Norwegians have, in effect, said that the UK would be welcome in EFTA. According to the EEA Agreement any application for membership of the EEA is heard by the EEA Council which consists of the members of the Council of the European Communities and members of the EC Commission, and of one member of the Government of each of the EFTA States. Decisions by the EEA Council shall be taken by agreement between the Community, on the one hand, and the EFTA States, on the other (Article 90: EEA Agreement). Any European State becoming a member of the Community shall, and the Swiss Confederation or any European State becoming a member of EFTA may, apply to become a party to this Agreement. It shall address its application to the EEA Council (Article 128: EEA Agreement).

Reverting to the Reuters article, one gets the impression that the EU is indulging in a little ‘muscle flexing’ while at the same time ‘puffing out its chest’ with a view to intimidating the UK. Simplistic as it may well be, but what better way to deflate chests and unflex muscles than, following a Leave vote, to trigger Article 50 and at the first meeting inform the EU that whilst we wish to leave we are not completely leaving as (thud) thats a copy of our application to rejoin EFTA and (thud) thats a copy of our application to rejoin the EEA. In the ensuing silence then pose the question: next?

 

 

 

 

A Pig’s Ear?

ConservativeHome are running a series of articles this week, the first of which was published today.

When one looks at the ‘supporting cast’, which culminates with an article  by Daniel Hannan on ‘global engagement’; paraphrasing Lee Rotherham, one can only presume that this series will comprise of: from the unaccountable, by the unaccountable*, for the unaccountable – in other words, a perfect example of a vicious circle.

Ending his article on ConHome, Paul Goodman lauds the fact that ConHome (via him) were the first to propose ‘Business for Britain’. All one can say in reply is, to paraphrase Laurel and Hardy: And look at what a fine mess Matthew Elliott has got us into!

*Okay, so Hannan is elected and thus ‘accountable’; but how is he accountable when he is continually elected by those who have no idea exactly why they are electing him?

Meeting my Member of Parliament (3)

Having become a constituent in the constituency of Easington (registered this morning!), I have arranged an appointment this coming Friday afternoon with my new Member of Parliament – with a view to ‘introducing myself’.

Needless to say, besides letting Grahame Morris know where I stand on matters of democracy, Parliamentary sovereignty and the European Union, one of the first things I shall be asking him to do is ascertain from the leader of his political party where and when he mislaid his courtesy – I refer to my email to Ed Miliband at the end of November last year and to which I have not even had an acknowledgement; nor an acknowledgement of the ‘reminder’ I sent in early January this year.

As I shall also be informing him that it is inevitable he will no doubt be receiving some additional publicity in the local media – at every opportunity – I do so hope that when my allotted time ends I shall be leaving him a ‘very happy bunny’ – not!