Monday, 25 April 2016

In or out, part two

More on Brexit.

Back in 1975, we were given the opportunity to vote whether to join the EEC. I voted in.

Here's what convinced me.

Enoch Powell (a conservative MP - very conservative, famous for the "rivers of blood" speech) said that if we join the EEC, then the UK parliament is no longer sovereign. Meaning, that the UK parliament can no longer do whatever it wants. He meant that as an argument for staying out. But I very much like the idea of limiting the power of the people who want to rule my life. So I voted in.

Here we are again. In 2016, the Leavers are telling me that leaving the EU will increase freedom. We'll be able to control immigration, repeal the European Human Rights legislation, keep our own currency and our own parliament.

Well, that's just wrong.

In my previous post on the subject, I pointed out that in the top ten countries that we get immigrants from, only two are EU. The top two are India and Pakistan, and you'll notice that neither of those are in Europe. The third is Ireland, which is EU, but given the relationship between UK and Ireland, and given the unfenced land border, I can't really see any change there. So, leaving the EU will have almost no effect on immigration.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) has nothing to do with the EU. In 1949, we helped to draft that, and in 1950 we signed up to it. The EEC didn't happen until 1957. If we leave the EU, we're still signed up to the ECHR.

We do, actually, right now, have our own currency. And our own parliament, although it seems that the Scottish tail is pretty effective at wagging the UK dog.

Any increase in freedom, will accrue to the Wankers of Westminster. And I can see why they find limits on their power irksome. Wouldn't it be great if they could do whatever they wanted, without limits?

Of course, we can rely on our free press to curb the power of parliament. Or can we? We can't even read about which celebrities had a threesome romp because of a legal injunction ... unless you read the media published in Scotland, Ireland or any other country. More importantly, the UK press ranks 38th in the "Reporters without Borders" list, just above Burkina Faso and well below Ghana. So don't rely on the press to blow any whistles that need blowing.

And, as we've seen in the past, there are whistles to blow. Remember the MP expenses scandal, and the Duck House. But the expenses scandal continues -  MPs want to self-regulate, which is like putting the fox in charge of the duck house.

In the USA, they have a written constitution. Even with all its flaws (don't get me started), it exists to curb the power of the US government. We don't have a written constitution, we have an amorphous mass of traditions and Acts. Starting with Magna Carta (of which only three clauses remain in force) and with the latest being a change that gives equality of sexes in succession to the crown (which affects me not at all). Except that the monarch can't be a Roman Catholic, because Guy Fawkes (not really because of Fawkes, but really the monarch can't be Roman Catholic).

So, I'm in favour of the EU limiting the freedoms of the Westminster Wankers.

So what about Brussels regulations affecting the size and content of the British Sausage?
Well, even if we left the EU, Europe is still going to be a major trading partner, because geography. And if our products don't conform to Brussels regulations, how will we export them? So when a manufacturer designs a product that is likely to be exported, it will be Brussels-friendly.

Notice that I'm not using any argument on economics here. Because the economic arguments are fuzzy, complicated and incomprehensible. They're incomprehensible because they're complicated and fuzzy, and you can marshal your statistics to tilt either way. Although, as I've noted before, larger economic units (such as the USA) tend to do better than if they were multiple small economic units. If the USA were 50 separate countries, none of them would be a superpower.

And how dare the US president tell us what the reaction of the US would be to Britain leaving! How can it be any of his business how the USA would feel about this! And why would we care how an important trading partner would react to Brexit?


So as you can see, I'm in favour of the EU.

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