This is my final post on the EU Referendum before June 23, 2016.
All my previous posts on the topic are under Brexit. They appear when you click that link.
Emphases mine below, unless otherwise specified.
Two must-see films
The first is 35 minutes long and is an independent production from 2008. The late Sir Patrick Moore introduced it. Two journalists, one of whom is The Telegraph‘s Christopher Booker, an economist and a Russian refugee to the UK made the case for our leaving the EU.
It provides a useful history of the EU in short segments. One of the early segments explains how the EU was designed from the beginning to expand incrementally, step by step, not only in terms of territory but also in structure.
Writer and lecturer Vladimir Bukovsky had the final segment. He saw a direct parallel between the growth and structure of the former USSR and that of the EU. Chilling.
The second film is from Labour Leave. Lexit the Movie is an hour long. It traces the Labour Party’s historical opposition to the EU in the 1970s. It also describes how the UK declined by being in the EU.
The fisheries segment is particularly depressing. Important English and Scottish ports, which used to be bustling with hundreds of boats and hundreds of fishing industry employees, have shrunk to a handful of vessels and a few dozen workers. The fishermen who came of age in the 1970s tell their stories most ably.
Labour politicians, union leaders and workers explain why leaving the EU will benefit Great Britain. I strongly encourage my Labour-leaning readers to take an hour out of their day to watch this. Kate Hoey is in it. She is a remarkable politician. George Galloway and Jim Sillars are also interviewed. Keep in mind that those three entered politics around the time of the first referendum in 1975 (see next part of the post), so that experience no doubt formed their thinking on the subject. All make excellent points, even though I am not at all keen on Labour or George Galloway.
Several of the people interviewed said the big banks, such as JP Morgan, are the ones encouraging Remain, because that is what would benefit them.
Two short clips and some history
Labour – 1970s
In 2013, not long before his death, the former Labour MP Tony Benn addressed the Oxford Union and discussed the EU, which he said would
frighten and demoralise people
into remaining. This clip is two and a half minutes long. Again, I was never a Benn fan, but he was spot on regarding Brussels:
Benn spearheaded the effort to give the British people their first referendum on EU membership in 1975. He warned how dangerous remaining would be. And so it has proven 41 years later.
Unfortunately, people were so fed up with the antics of Labour in general under Harold Wilson’s second term that the party did themselves no favours. Even today, people aged 50+ have vivid and unpleasant memories of strikes, three-day working weeks and limited electricity. This discontent ran from 1973 through to 1979. This is why Margaret Thatcher took such a tough stance when she won the 1979 election. She also actively campaigned for Britain to stay in the European project in 1975.
As a result, the British voted overwhelmingly to remain in the Common Market, as it was known at the time. Not surprisingly, everyone believed it would remain a trade-based construct. The truth was in the name, wasn’t it?
Now it is called the European Union, with a bevy of unelected officials and highly-paid bureaucrats who want to break down the nation state and replace it bit by bit with a centrally-controlled federation run by anonymous, unaccountable men and women who influence our law-making and destroy our distinctive history.
Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker exemplifies this perfectly. The Telegraph has a few of his most outrageous quotes, which include the following (emphases in the original):
On EU monetary policy
“I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious … I am for secret, dark debates”
On British calls for a referendum over Lisbon Treaty
“Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?”
Are Remainers understanding the bigger picture now?
Norway – 1994
On June 20, BBC’s The Daily Politics had a short feature on the pressure put on Norway to vote to join the EU in 1994.
Jo Coburn interviewed Norwegian politician Anne Tvinnereim, who described the Project Fear rhetoric. Much of what she cited sounds exactly like what the Remain camp have been telling us 22 years later — especially the figure that each household would lose per year in income.
Tvinnereim said that Norwegians heard they would be a small, meaningless country; they would never have trade agreements again and they would experience long-term financial disaster. Of course, none of that happened. The Norwegians wisely declined to join the EU and are part of the EEA. Tvinnereim said that the agreement is not perfect, but it is workable for the time being. Kate Hoey was on the panel and said that, if Britain votes Leave, the EEA could have subsequent scope for reform. Hoey, incidentally, stated that she does not believe Britain needs to be part of the EEA or any other formal trading bloc.
Who’s saying what
Now for a round-up of the latest soundbites.
George Soros – Remain
Amazingly, The Guardian had the chutzpah today to lead with an article written by, of all people, George Soros.
It seems he is their latest and best poster boy for Remain.
If that doesn’t want to make you vote Leave, I don’t know what will.
Physiocrat, a Catholic blogger from Britain who lives in Sweden, dismantles Soros’s reasons for Remaining and asks:
I wonder how much Soros stands to lose from a Brexit vote?
Theo Usherwood, London’s LBC radio Political Editor tweeted:
Market speculation – George Soros… Job creation – Anthony Bamford, James Dyson, says Boris Johnson.
Emmanuel Macron – Remain
On June 17, France’s economy minister Emmanuel Macron said that if Brexit wins:
Leaving the EU would mean the ‘Guernseyfication’ of the UK, which would then be a little country on the world scale. It would isolate itself and become a trading post and arbitration place at Europe’s border.
Gosh, that sounds remarkably like what Anne Tvinnereim said Norway was threatened with!
We’ve been the world’s fifth largest economy since 1970 — well before our accession to the EU!
Macron, who previously worked for Rothschild, told France’s RTL radio:
the June 23rd referendum was “dangerous” and that Britain had “taken the rest of the European Union hostage”.
David Beckham – Remain
David Beckham says we should think of the children.
Victoria Beckham – Leave
Victoria Beckham, mother of David’s children, supports Brexit:
The Euro bureaucrats are destroying every bit of national identity and individuality. We must keep our national individuality.
Steve Hilton – Leave
I remember the meetings on immigration towards the end of my time in Downing Street. Everyone around the table, in some way or another, was working hard to try to deliver the government’s commitment.
We were presented with analysis of the numbers of people coming to Britain through various routes, the impact of policy changes we had already made, and projections stretching into the future.
The news was not good. We were way off target; indeed, the numbers were going in the wrong direction. We explored various policy options — and I’m sure that process continued after I left the government in May 2012. But I recall very clearly one of the points that was made to us by the expert officials in the room.
We were told, directly and explicitly, that it was impossible for the government to meet its immigration target as long as we remained members of the EU, which, of course, insists on the free movement of people within it.
Theo Paphitis – Leave
Theo Paphitis, entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den, favours Brexit:
though he added short term gaps in employment should be filled by immigration.
He said: “A trading alliance is really, really good.”
But the businessman, who was born in Cyprus, added: “It has moved more towards federalism than trading, which has brought bureaucracy that makes it difficult to be competitive outside the EU – and also within the EU.”
The big question
I shall leave British readers with the following question, which Leave proponent Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom put forward in the ITV debate a fortnight ago. Christopher Booker reprised it for The Telegraph:
if we weren’t already in it today, is it conceivable that we would now wish to join the European Union as it has become?
Please take the time to read his article in full.
I’ll have more post-referendum once the dust settles.