Following the stunning win of the Leave campaign in Thursday’s EU Referendum, a piece worth looking at from a British National who lived under a previous state cobbled together from separate countries. The UK now has the chance to re-engage with the rest of the world as a forward looking, globally trading, independent nation state.
I am a Slovenian national by birth and a British national by choice. And I support Brexit. Why?
Every life is unique. You have not walked in my shoes, and I fully appreciate that I have not walked in yours. I have been asked to relate the benefit of my experience. I hope that you may find a different perspective helpful to your own thinking, but do with it what you think is right.
When I was born, Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia. The nation I was born into was not free, nor was it independent. It yearned for its independence for centuries, if not millenia, and it had to pay for its independence in blood. I had to work hard to obtain the nationality of a free country and I value and cherish it. I find it painful to think that any nation would contemplate giving up its freedom and independence voluntarily.
The following briefing paper was launched by the campaign group, Better Off Out, on St George’s Day and explains well what our continued membership of the EU would mean for England.
In 1973, Britain joined what was then the European Economic community, before reaffirming its commitment in a 1975 referendum that explicitly described the community as “The Common Market”.
At the height of the Cold War, when Britain’s economy was stagnating and the country was becoming renowned as the ‘Sick Man of Europe’, it was sold as a purely economic arrangement between nine Western European nations. At our moment of entry in 1973, the contemporary Prime Minister was unequivocal: “There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.” – Ted Heath, television broadcast, January 1973
At first, we were enthusiastic members of the club, with even Margaret Thatcher – who signed us up to the Single European act, which promoted a combined European foreign policy and gave more power to the European Parliament initially in favour of membership. Since Black Wednesday in 1992, however, our relationship has been grudging at best, with the UK forced to withdraw from the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), before deciding not to join the disastrous single currency project (despite Tony Blair’s best efforts). Forty-one years on from our first referendum, it is clear that this is no longer solely about economics (if it ever had been), with most of our laws made in Brussels, membership costs running to the tens of billions per year, and plans afoot for an EU army – very little of which the British people want any part.
The first guest post from Marian Escafeld, a poem sent to me that has some verses that resonate with the EU Referendum looming….
The Fox’s Prophecy, 1871
D. W. Nash
Tom Hill was in the saddle
One bright November morn,
The echoing glades of Guiting Wood
Where ringing with his horn.
The diamonds of the hoar-frost
During our ongoing discussions with people on street stalls surrounding the EU Referendum a number of questions keep coming up.
Below, Gerard Batten MEP dispels the myths created by the Remain campaign about the dangers of leaving the EU
1) Would leaving the EU endanger jobs and trade, and could the EU put up trade barriers against the UK?
When we leave the EU it cannot put up arbitrary trade barriers against the UK as that would against World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which all EU countries agree to and which govern world trade. And even if they could why would they want to? We have a massive trade deficit with the EU – they sell us far more than we sell them.
Britain currently exports goods and services to the EU to the value of £228.9 billion, whereas their exports to us amount to £290.6 billion: therefore we have a trade deficit with the EU of £61.7 billion. Germany, Spain, France and Italy etc.will still want to sell us their cars, wine and holidays etc. Trade will continue as normal. [i]
And remember, Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world and we are a world trading nation: and while we have a trade deficit with the EU we have a trade surplus with the rest of the world. Our trading success lies in four hundred years of experience; English being the international language of business and science; and the trust that foreign companies put in the English legal system and contract law.
A hard hitting guest post from John Planter……
This will be a land fit for returning heroes….
How hollow that must sound to those who were young people coming out of the services at the end of a war in the late 1940’s.
These people in their 80’s and 90’s who look around today and see the degeneration of the political class, the complete absence of any integrity and the abandoning of any pretence that ordinary people have any relevance in what passes for Parliamentary business since at least 1997.
Despite Blair shoe horning sycophants into the Lords for the purpose of less opposition the actions of the current New Labour Government of Cameron are too much even for them to stomach.
The Lords have sent back to the commons various flawed and invalid legislation many times only to see New Labour (team Blair or team Cameron) use “Parliamentary privilege” for monetary bills.
All bills going through both houses are monetary bills, for they cannot be anything else.
With thanks to Greg Heathcliffe…
One hundred and fifty of the UK’s most important scientists have signed a letter urging us not to leave the EU; science will suffer if we do, they claim. That this is more “Project Fear”, and does not stand up to scrutiny, is easy to see.
Astronomers claim they will suffer from not getting access to major telescopes but there is only one big telescope in the EU. Most are high in the Andes, South Africa, Hawaii and elsewhere around the planet. Not being in the EU will make no difference to the current situation.
We will not be able to work on the International Space Station they claim, but non EU Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Japan are all major contributors along with Russia and the USA so EU membership is hardly vital. The same holds true for building satellites and other contributions to the space programmes. Prior to joining the EU Britain even had its own space programme and was successful in launching a satellite in 1971 (Prospero). It was cancelled by the Heath government prior to joining the EU and is yet another area where EU membership has held us back.
Another guest post from The Hilltop Watchman, contrasting our great literary history with todays world
If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a
foreign field; That is forever England. There shall be in that rich earth a
richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave,
once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England’s, breathing
English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.