If my British readers have not yet seen Brexit: The Movie, I highly recommend it:
The documentary’s première took place at the Odeon Leicester Square on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Dick Puddlecote, who is a business owner, was there. He wrote, in part (emphases mine):
… my objection to the EU has always been based on the handicapping effect of never-ending regulation that is impossible to avoid from such an institution. If you dedicate a few hectares of a major European city to thousands of highly-paid people whose livelihood depends on dreaming up new regulations, what else are they going to do but regulate?
(Interesting nugget from the movie. “Many EU staff are paid more than the Prime Minister, but how many? 5? 10? No, 10,000!”).
But, I hear you say, regulations keep us safe don’t they? We need them. Well up to a point yes, but that point passed decades ago in the case of the EU. I’ve written about EU regulations in my industry before which have absolutely nothing to do with safety whatsoever, but instead impose unnecessary costs on businesses, inhibit employment and push up prices for consumers.
The film explodes the myth that the UK cannot do business with any other nation unless we are in the EU. It also discusses the monetary waste of the EU project.
For a 71-minute film, it moves quickly. If you have not yet seen it, please consider taking the time to do so.
Two points that I liked were the models put forward for the UK to follow a Swiss or post-war Germany model of trade and the fact that trade deals would go on with us regardless.
As journalist and Leave supporter James Delingpole, who is in the movie, says:
What, meanwhile, are the Remainers offering us? More of the same old same old. It’s an instinct I can well understand. The familiar is very comforting, as we learned earlier this month in another context from a man named Albert Woodfox who’d been released after 43 years in a Louisiana penitentiary, most of it spent in solitary in a 6ft by 9ft concrete box. ‘In a cell you have a routine, you pretty much know what’s going to happen… So there are moments when, yeah, I wish I was back in the security of a cell. I mean, it does that to you,’ he said.
I feel much the way towards the Remainers as I do towards poor Albert: pity and sympathy, rather than hatred. But this generosity of spirit is not something I’ve seen much reciprocated towards Brexiters.
I completely agree. More on the Remainers’ attitude tomorrow. It can quickly lead to arguments.
UPDATE: However, this film managed to convert a good Remain friend of mine to Leave.
The Mirror sponsored a debate on the EU referendum with Lord Peter Mandelson (Labour), Nigel Farage (UKIP) and, among others, Labour supporter and Leave proponent, novelist Dreda Say Mitchell.
You can view the debate here.
Dreda Say Mitchell, who is black, wrote about her experience at the debate for The Guardian; the discussion, she said, regrettably, turned to racial issues. Despite that, this is why she is voting Leave:
I’m fed up with hearing about what’s good for big business and high-flying professionals; at street level, views are far more mixed. I don’t know many kids from the estates who are excited about starting their own media company in Milan.
I am also unwilling to cede the leave argument to rightwing Conservatives when there’s a long and proud tradition of leftwing opposition to the EU. The arguments made by Tony Benn, Barbara Castle and Peter Shore a generation ago still stand as far as I’m concerned. It’s for other leftists to explain why they don’t.
The Guardian article Mitchell linked to there tells us that 213 of Labour’s 231 support staying in the EU. It was published on January 20, when Labour Leave launched their campaign. MP Graham Stringer, a co-founder of the campaign, gave the historical position; thirty years ago, Labour supported being part of Europe because they thought Brussels would serve as a workers’ defence against Margaret Thatcher’s government. Stringer explained that, since then, things have changed. He warned that staying in the EU would make it difficult for Britain to preserve workers’ rights, renationalise the railways and even maintain a universal Royal Mail service.
The other two co-founders of Labour Leave are MPs Kate Hoey and Kelvin Hopkins.
The campaign’s secretary is John Mills, a generous and loyal Labour donor. He founded home and beauty products company JML, which often advertises on television.
The Labour Leave website tells us that, since January 1, 2016, the UK has sent £7,050+ million to Brussels. The figure will be higher by the time you read this post, which I am writing on May 20, because HM Treasury sends £50 million to the EU every day.
Imagine how we could have spent that money on the NHS and on schools.
The Guardian‘s economics editor
On Friday, May 20, Larry Elliott, The Guardian‘s economics editor, wrote ‘Brexit may be the best answer to a dying eurozone’.
He observed that the Bank of England’s Mark Carney coming out in favour of Remain might be the turning point for our staying in the EU. However, Elliott pointed out that Carney said nothing about the longterm ailments of the eurozone. And, even if the UK is not part of the eurozone:
… let’s be clear: staying in the EU means hitching the wagon to a currency zone unable to go forwards or backwards, and which will continue to struggle as a result.
Elliott reminded us of the late Tony Benn’s warning about the EU project. This might be one of the only times I have ever agreed with a Benn position. In the 1970s, he said:
I can think of no body of men outside the Kremlin who have so much power without a shred of accountability for what they do.
Precisely. And the EU and US are working secretly on TTIP, a trade agreement about which no one, outside the small group involved with it, is allowed to find out anything. That secrecy proves Benn’s point brilliantly.
The EU we have on June 23 is unlikely to remain static or controllable in future. The officials and politicians at the top of the EU gravy train all say that ‘more Europe’ is the answer. Elliott concludes that the EU:
it is the USSR without the gulag.
Just so — at least for now.