Since the Tories have little chance of an overall majority at the next General Election, their recent motion on a referendum in 2017, is somewhat academic.
They hope naively that the UK will either be able to negotiate a change in its relationship with the EU, or to cause it to change direction, despite the facts that we already given up key vetoes and would have to persuade 27 other members (not to mention the unelected of Brussels) on any need for change. Indeed, the supposed “strength” of our supposed negotiating position will not concentrate many minds in Brussels, where they can get around anything that doesn’t suit them, as outlined below in the “treaty” transition from Nice to Lisbon.
When asked to vote for an EU Constitution, effectively turning states into local councils (according to Martin How QC), the French and the Dutch voted No, whilst many other countries, including the UK, were denied a referendum. Many will recall that when the Irish voted no, they had to vote again.
Those in Brussels were totally unphased by the no votes and simply regurgitated their proposals, not as a constitutional change but as a (Lisbon) Treaty. The good thing about calling it a Treaty, said commissioner Amato Giuliano, “is that we don’t need referendums”.
Even as we agonise on how to prevent further erosion of sovereignty, the Commissioners will be working up subtle ways to draw us into the Euro and into an EU Defence force, making our “Mother of Parliaments” increasingly redundant. They have no interest in any outcome, other than Political Union.
Any limited repatriation of powers that might be “negotiated” in the short term are likely to fade in time, as did £7 billion pa in UK rebate. Mr Cameron also recently reported an (“ambush”) attempt to reduce the British rebate further by around £1.5 billion, ie beyond what he thought he had agreed. The UK has little or no protection against such ambushes or mission creep, to which it remains exposed. The risk of further subjugation and expense could be countered, if we were to leave the EU and then negotiate from a much stronger position, ie from outside.
But before offering the people a choice, we will need an objective analysis of benefits, as the Swiss produced in 2008, when they decided to stay out. To ask people to make a decision, without such information, would be an act of contempt.
The British people have been denied that analysis and that choice for too long.
The key concerns remain i) that the net cost of EU membership to the UK, exceeds £100 Billion pa, ii) that our Mother of Parliaments is becoming increasingly subservient & iii) that EU share of world GDP has declined from 30% to 20%, since 1990 & is expected to fall below 10% (Citibank) by 2050.
UK entrepreneurs have responded to the EU’s decline, by collectively doubling exports beyond Europe in the last year alone. Imagine what they might do, if relieved of restrictive EU regulations and red tape.
Countries across the world trade successfully based on WTO rules, without political union. Politicians who imply that 3 million UK jobs depend on our EU membership, are being deceptive.
Many MPs continue to pay lip service to the concept of a Referendum, whilst arguing for a negotiated (ie fudged) solution, knowing that the UK is not in a good negotiating position. Since they have failed to deliver a Referendum, many of them need to be replaced by MPs with appropriate conviction.
If the British people want to restore power to Parliament, then what they do at the forthcoming Elections will be critical.
The number of Westminster Tory MPs is likely to fall below the current 304, many of whom remain under the delusion that they can negotiate a sustainable solution, whilst the other main parties show little interest in offering any choice to the people.
So, with the prospect of another Coalition Government in 2015, we will need many more Eurosceptic MPs, to ensure that Parliament is not tempted by a fudged “negotiated” option.
As this may well be the last opportunity for the UK to regain control of its destiny, we will need a majority of MEPs and MPs, who have consistently demonstrated a determination to bring home the powers that have been taken from Parliament, without the consent of the people.
(UKIP) Horsham district councillor for Chanctonbury ward, North Street, Horsham