The pro-Brussels camp seems to have two main arguments for EU membership. In the recent Farage/Clegg debates, Clegg pushed them relentlessly. Outside the EU, we shall lose jobs, and influence, he claimed. We shall be “isolated and marginalised”.
I comprehensively demolished the jobs argument in a recent blog post. Not only will we lose no jobs when we leave the EU – but we are losing millions of jobs today as a result of perverse EU policies. At a time when the Eurozone faces an unemployment catastrophe, especially in the Club Med countries, it is simply preposterous to argue that the EU is good for jobs.
But the other key line of argument is “isolation”. When we leave the EU, they tell us, we shall be isolated and marginalised. And we shall lose the “clout” (doesn’t Nick Clegg love that word?) that we gain as a member of the EU. To which we reply: What clout? We’ve seen the EU’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis (a crisis largely provoked by Brussels’ inept handling of the Ukraine issue). The EU is totally unable to produce a realistic response. It’s terrified of trade sanctions because of its over-dependence on Russian gas. Quite simply, impotence. No clout at all. Roosevelt’s dictum was “Tread softly and carry a big stick”. Europe, this powerful empire of half a billion consumers which bestrides the globe like a Colossus, has no stick at all. It backed down as soon as President Putin shouted “Boo”.
Nor does Britain enjoy much “influence” in Brussels in any case. Our percentage of votes in the parliament and the Council is in single figures, and declining. Our government has tried fifty-five times in the last twenty years in the Council to block EU initiatives, and it has failed every time. Those who say that outside the EU we shall “lose the power to influence Brussels” should understand that we have no such power now. I always think it odd that these same europhiles don’t seem to worry about our “lack of influence” in Washington or Beijing. I don’t hear Nick Clegg arguing that we should apply to become America’s fifty-first state so as to “gain influence in Washington”.
If the EU commanded respect in the world, the “clout” argument might make some sense. But the EU is held in low regard (and not only by President Putin), as a paper tiger. Its share of global GDP is in long term relative decline. It talks of soft power, but wields no real power at all. Who is better known in the world’s great capital cities? John Kerry? Or Cathy Ashton?
Better to have 100% control over our own laws than an eight percent say in EU laws.
So let’s look at “isolation”. Britain is a top-ten nation in terms of GDP, and of trade. We are (and have been for centuries) a great global trading nation. An outward-facing nation. We are in the G8 (or is it G7?), and the G20. We are member of the UN, and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Despite the recent savage cuts to our armed forces, we have the world’s sixth largest military by current expenditure. We are a leading player in NATO. We are a leading member of the Commonwealth (whose GDP recently overtook that of the Eurozone). We are in the OECD and the World Bank. The OSCE. After Independence, we shall resume full membership of the WTO (where as an EU member-state we are currently merely observers).
The think tank Global Britain recently presented a list of around 150 international organisations and forums in which Britain is a member. This is a very strange type of isolation.
Britain is, in fact, “isolated” today as an off-shore province in a country called Europe, where Brussels claims to speak for us in trade negotiations, and we have no voice of our own. We shall have more international engagement when we re-join the Rest of the World, where the growth is, and take our proper place in the community of nations as a major, independent country. To suggest, as Nick Clegg does, that in order to avoid “isolation” a major country like the UK has to out-source its governance to undemocratic and unaccountable foreign institutions, is an insult to the British people. It is demeaning and defeatist. It is a shameful surrender of our fundamental rights. And it is also, of course, a lie.
Well said Roger. Do I see a few more billboards coming…
I’m with ilma630 – bravo!
A posting regarding the basis of the vitriol emanating from the MSM re UKIP would be welcome. Any chance of “Why the Times, BBC et al hate us” being published, and in particular what motivates Richard North at EU Referendum blog to incessantly bad-mouth you all?
What would Churchill think of Clegg, Miliband and Cameron! They are traitors to our nation.
The latest one is great, an escalator leading up the White Cliffs from the “French Pond” missewers.
Don’t need the EU or related. Can make friends and trade on the internet…in a few days. They are willing to send me samples based on existing products or my spec at the drop of a hat…any time and at their expense. Simply amazing support for your (and their) gain. China !! Its where you get be in control…
The contemptuous nature of those involved in Government and ad hoc hangers on has to end. Russia,…. I suspect the EU/USA fools have walked us into yet another serious conflict that they cannot end. Needs time, money and long term attention, but should have kept out and simply talked. Rompuoy of late seems to have given that game away?
Climate change…..see Lord Lawsons speech in Bath
The escalator ad is a good one….keep going!
Not forgetting saving taxpayers billions a year in subs to belong to this club of muppets and clowns.
The old joke was the alleged headline “Fog in channel – Europe cut off” but in fact the EU attitude is very much “Fog (or ash clouds which did no harm but caused the eurocrats to ban flying anyway) in Atlantic – Rest of the world cut off”
They really are that parochial.
The only part of that I could take umbrage to is the military bit.
“…we have the world’s sixth largest military by current expenditure. ” Behind France and Saudi Arabia……..
But 6th biggest in expenditure means bugger all in terms of boots on the ground it just means expensive kit and well paid soldiers. In terms of numbers we are behind Israel even, somewhere down below 30.
For a successful military (rather than a police occupation force) boots on the ground means bugger all, whatever the Fawlty Towers majors think. Technology wins wars.
Otherwise we would never have had an empire.
We spend to much on boots compared to drones and satellites.
Agree completely with you . It is a national disgrace the way the government has decimated are forces . Which European ” friend ” was it that armed Argentina with Exocet missiles during the Falklands war ? La Belle France of course . Who needs enemies with friends like that ? The sooner Britain is out of this corrupt club the better .
You are misguided on so many levels…..
The Exocet was already in the Argentine inventory when the war broke out. They had numerous MM38 ship launched missiles and 5 AM39 air launched units. All were sold to Argentina with the approval of the British government.
The problem the Argentines had at the start of the war was that they had not yet finished marrying the missiles to the Super Etendard aircraft. This was accomplished when when of the Aerospatiale technicians, against the orders of the French MOD, gave sufficient information in 6 1 hour telephone calls to someone in Argentina to enable them to get them airworthy. Still they didn’t get it completely correct because of the 3 missiles which actually impacted, one on Sheffield and two on Atlantic Conveyor, no warhead actually exploded. The damage done was kinetic followed up by burning propellant.
As to the French selling us down the swanee, we were already there. The bombs which hit and sank Ardent, Antelope and Coventry and were dropped on ground forces, were all British 1000 pounders, sold to Argentina some while before. We also sold them two guided missile destroyers of the Sheffield class along with loads of other kit in a car boot sale at the MOD.
So in balance the damage done by French weapons against the British forces was considerably less than the damage done by British weapons against British forces.
Anyway this is not a good month in which to rake this shit up.
Recommend you read ‘Four weeks in May’ by Captain David Hart Dyke. If your eyes are dry at the end, you are not alive. My ship was just 5 miles away and steaming into the Falkland sound when Coventry was hit. I also saw the sky light up when Antelope blew up lighting up the night forever. I am well aware of who our enemies were, and are.
Most of them are not foreign.
“We’ve seen the EU’s reaction to the Ukraine crisis (a crisis largely provoked by Brussels’ inept handling of the Ukraine issue).”
The American idea of 1776 consists of revolution, elections, democracy. President Obama went around the world announcing this before he was elected for the first time. To Americans it is common sense. To Arabs and Eastern Europeans it is dynamite.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland is a creation of the 1970s. So she loves a bit of naughty rioting. It does’t do much harm and the Police don’t really get very rough. Then there are always the useful words, democratic change, the progressive EU with its lovely blue flag, rights for all, the future…
Russians, too, have a history of revolution. It was really rough in 1917. The famines were not much fun in the Ukraine in the 1920s. Then came the Nazis. Then came the Commissars with the angry Red Army. Years of Communism followed when decisions were taken in Moscow, not Kiev. Russians are in no way 1970s students. Do you know any real ones?
If I can see all this. Why cannot Baroness Ashton of Upholland? Russians are not playing; they mean to keep their country together. Personally I try not to pick fights which I know I cannot win. Didn’t she know that too? European politics – especially in Eastern Europe – are very different from running a small bunch of NHS hospitals.
I don’t think Ashton sees or is meant to see anything, she’s an inert placeman, someone elses puppet, given, what is to all intents, the most powerful position in the union. It was a token gesture to foster the democratic inclusion and illusion that the UK is in the forefront post Lisbon.
The position requires a statesman or woman and she’s neither.
In the Ukraine situation Ashton is the eu’s puppet and the eu is the USA’s puppet.
I think they all have bitten off more than they can chew, if I didn’t know better, or do I, I’d think they were spoiling for a war.
Love the latest poster on the White Cliffs. The Telegraph and Mail have been running daily articles to try and rubbish UKIP to no avail.
I really hope we get b40% of the vote on 22nd and CMD has his feet to the fire.
Keep spreading the word Roger. People are starting to notice.
Great post again Mr Helmer.
This is my key issue: “Better to have 100% control over our own laws than an eight percent say in EU laws.”
What we are missing is a complete guide to the areas of influence that the eu has over our lives.
The eu is often cited as an isuue at maybe 9th or 10th in order of priority, what is never flagged is the influence the eu has on the higher priorities. It has it’s fingers in all of them.
Just noticed that you have been linked as a possible candidate in Newark.
If true, and selected, good luck! A safe pair of hands with tens of thousands backing you!
Van Rompuy: If The Public Doesn’t Want EU Expansion, ‘We Do It Anyway’
Hi Roger I included above a URL to a story I read on a site called Britbart which claims that in an interview with a Dutch magazine De Standaard Mr Van Rompuy made some explosive comments including warning Vladimir Putin that the EU intends ultimately to control every country on the western flank of Russia..
Is this story bonefide because if so it’s something UKIP should be shouting from the roof tops especially given Nigels WHO ARE YOU speech recently!!
Clegg wouldn’t even know the meaning of the word shame. He was part of covering up the Lord Rennard affair when 11 female members of the party brought sexual misconduct allegations against the parties biggest doner dating back to 2003 when the first groping allegations were made to by victims plus has developed a bad case of amnesia over the ballooning Cyril Smith child abuse affair.
This man by his abysmal leadership if you could grace what he does with the term isnt fit to be our deputy prime minister.
HES UTTERLY SHAMELESS AND I THINK YOUR ARTICLE TITLE SHOULD HAVE REFLECTED THAT I.E.
Cleggs SHAMELESS Lie!
Professor Bengtsson suddenly resigned from GWPF today….see his scary letter here:
This needs a hard look into…a very hard look at. This man appears to be being harassed for his scientific belief. I think he is frightened actually ! He joined GWPF about 3 weeks back…full of the joys of spring, so to speak.