George Wright: Our best days are yet to come
When we look at our history, a number of events stand out as decisive turning points – times when we, this great nation in the North Atlantic, stood up against evil, trusted our own ability and achieved great things. In 1940, we had the choice to surrender to tyranny or to bear the brutality of the Blitz as the last remaining democracy in Europe. We believed in the greatness of this country and the capacities of the people who resided here – alone, through our darkest and finest hour, we stood and victorious we emerged.
Yet after World War Two, the landscape of Europe changed beyond recognition. With the lowering of the Swastika came the dominance of the Red Banner and four decades of oppression behind an iron curtain, impervious to the free, liberal, wealth creating values upon which our nation is founded. On this side of the East-West divide, a new trading bloc emerged to encourage post war collaboration (the European Union is chiefly founded in one simple concept: the French did not trust the Germans and the Germans did not trust themselves) in which goods would be exchanged and democracy supported.
It could not be clearer that the EU is a consequence of peace, not a cause of peace – the real cause has been the creation of NATO, where instead of fighting each other, our armies have been locked into a collective alliance that makes war impossible.
We eventually joined this common market in 1973 – a time when international commerce was expensive, technological development was in its infancy and the appeal of regional trade blocks was all too convincing. But now, with a boom in world trade and the drive through successive treaties towards an every closer union, this trade bloc is now a political institution with control over every aspect of our lives.
The European Commission overrules our government, the European Court is supreme over our Supreme Court, the European Council vetoes our Prime Minister and 60% of our rules and regulations (according to the independent House of Commons Library) are made by an unelected group of bureaucrats that no one in this country elected, no one can name and no one can remove – the perfect definition of unaccountability.
In Britain, we elect a government on the promise that they will implement policies that we agree with and if we, the British people, believe that they have failed to meet their obligations then we have the ultimate power to throw them out and replace them with another group of politicians directly accountable to us. This does not, and cannot, happen in the European Union.
Furthermore, I think it is important to deal with the extreme waste in the EU. Every month, the entire parliament of 751 MEPs, thousands of translators, catering staff and hundreds of thousands of pieces of paperwork are transported from Brussels to Strasbourg for 4 days, costing us £130 million per year. You may ask why this absurd waste is not simply stopped because to any sane individual there are better things to spend money on than transporting bureaucrats 300 miles to vote in a building abandoned for 320 days of the year.
The answer is straightforward: This squandering of cash is in the European Treaties meaning they legally have to do it. Yes, the EU is legally obliged to waste our money on this monthly movement from Brussels to Strasbourg.
Then we come to the luxurious lifestyle that our MEPs enjoy. On top of a salary of over £70,000 per year, they get entertainment allowance, private healthcare allowance, private education allowance, resources allowance, office secretary allowance (usually used to employ a wife or husband), access to private shopping malls and an 8%-24% rate of tax which is less than half what they would pay in the UK.
A few years ago, the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker both attended a summit in the Ukraine. For an EU obsessed with climate regulation laws, it would have been appropriate for them to catch a train or use economy class in a budget airliner. Instead, they used separate private jets, departing and arriving in the same airports.
Now, you may say, isn’t that just blatant corruption? Surely the EU would never be as foolish and hypocritical as to waste public funds in such an offensive way? The truth is this: Yes, it is blatant corruption, yes, the EU squanders our money in this offensive way, and yes, its people like you and me who pay for it. This is why the entire EU Commission was forced into resignation in 1999. This is why the EU abandoned its own investigation into corruption. And now, the man at the reigns, galloping along at the head of the European Union is Jean Claude Juncker, who himself was forced to resign as the Head of State of Luxembourg because of endemic corruption.
Speaking of Mr. Juncker, he himself has a rather peculiar attitude towards democracy. After the French and Dutch held referenda against the Constitutional Treaty of 2005, he famously remarked “if they say yes, we continue. If they say no, we go ahead nonetheless” – openly suppressing the democratic right of Europeans. He has also said that “the EU should continue step by step until there is no turning back, because the people will not understand what has been decided.” He even said that he is “ready to be insulted as insufficiently democratic…. I am in favour of secret debates.”
“The EU is legally obliged to waste our money”
Even if you insist on omitting the more minor details of 20% of all EU staff being paid more than David Cameron and the fact that the Czech Republic received over £24 million last year to support its fishing industry despite being landlocked, we must ask ourselves this simple questions: Does this sound like an accountable, democratic, honest club that we should be tying ourselves to, with no emergency exit once we realise the true extent of the project’s failures?
This may all sound funny, but the reality is deadly serious. Hard working people pay for EU waste. Hard working people pay for MEPs, Commissioners and Eurocrats to enjoy a lifestyle that we can only dream of. Hard working people pay for the corruption that exists in this antidemocratic organisation. Despite this, there remain some who want to hand over more powers to the Union. They say remain inside without a hope of reforming it because otherwise we’ll see World War Three. They say “I don’t care about being governed by an unelected commission in Brussels because I’ve never known any different.”
Let me put it to you like this: a vote to remain is a vote for more Europe. In the past, whenever the EU’s élite have encountered a problem, their solution has always been more Europe. They’ve seen Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy’s economies been obliterated by the Single Currency, but their solution has been more currency union. They’ve seen enormous migration trends across Europe due to Schengen, but their solution has been to expand the free movement area. They’ve seen right wing political parties run rampant in Greece, Germany, France and now the UK because of European centralisation, but their solution has been more European centralisation.
The EU never learns from the past. It is not driven by what is best for the people of Europe, by the most prosperous economic policy, or by the most sustainable long term proposition, but instead it exists only to pursue a path towards ever closer union and the abolition of nation statehood.
If we vote to leave, we will stop sending £11 billion net per year to fund the EU’s waste and corruption. We will pass laws that benefit the British people in a parliament that has our best interests at heart and elect MPs that we can boot out when they mess up.
On the economy, the Remainians claim that “9 out of 10 economists” support remain however the validity of this survey is highly questionable. Of the 800 that we questioned, only 150 replied meaning that the Remain campaign bases their assertion on a farcical belief that 150 economists are an accurate representation of all such professionals. If we were to survey one year group at Bournemouth School based upon race, religion and income and then say “Well that’s the UK census sorted out for another ten years” we would be laughed at and mocked, so why would you trust this misleading statistic from remain?
The Indian State Bank, JCB and Dyson all support a Brescape. They see the opportunities for growth outside of the EU and its prison of petty regulations. Of course we would continue to have free trade with the EU as part of the EEA extending from non EU Iceland to non EU Turkey – a tariff free zone where goods are traded and service expertise exchanged and where some members like Serbia and Albania do not have free movement. But more than that, after Brexit we would no longer be confined to the 500 million people in the EU, instead we would open up to the 7 billion people in the world, forging trade deals with China and India to name a few. It’s clear: we do not need to be part of a failed political union to be part of a free trade economic union with our neighbours.
Finally, we must address the most ludicrous claim of them all. Remainians state that if we leave the EU, workers rights will go too. This is one of the most vacuous statements since the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact declaring an alliance between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. We introduced the Equal Pay Act in 1970, before joining the European Union. We legislated for the Contracts of Employment Laws (on fair dismissal) in the 1960s before joining the European Union. We have a statutory minimum wage that is the highest in Europe and whilst the EU rules 14 weeks of maternity pay to be acceptable, we say “no, that’s not enough” and grant our mothers 52 weeks maternity leave. Our provisions extend further than any EU law when it comes to worker rights and that will not change when we vote to leave.
This debate has descended into a clear choice between hope, opportunity and belief and fear, terror and insults. Writing in an article earlier this week, Alex Cox accused the Vote Leave movement’s policy of controlled immigration of being xenophobic – a statement he has not withdrawn despite polite requests. In the same article he said that he “doesn’t care if unelected bureaucrats make our laws.” This is true face of the Remain campaign. They have nothing positive to say about this country, nothing positive to say about the EU’s flag, anthem or unelected presidents so they insult Vote Leave instead. They find it acceptable to give away what our grandfathers gathered arms and gave their lives to protect. We think it’s disgraceful, not least because we have a vision for our country.
“The EU is an analogue union in a digital age”
Imagine that we vote to leave and the year is 2030. Britain has a free trade agreement with the European Union that gives German car manufacturers and French farmers access to our market whilst giving us access to theirs. We have trade deals with China, India and Nigeria (the real growth regions of the world) that are allowing our economy to grow and diversify in a way deemed impossible by the EU. This country is free of EU free movement policies and has implemented an Australian Styled Points System that allows us to determine the quantity and quality of migrants coming here, instead of discriminating against those from outside of the EU. Our parliament, sovereign and accountable once again is passing legislation on our behalf that helps people in Britain.
There have been claims and counter claims, arguments and counterarguments but through the haze of ambiguity we can see only one thing clearly: If we vote remain, we will be dragged into more bailouts, lose more power over our parliament, see more laws come from Brussels and be inscribed into a European Army. On the contrary, if we vote to leave, we can take back control of our borders, take back control of our democracy, take back control of our money, take back control of our trade with Europe and the rest of the world and take back control of the future of the British people.
They will say that we’re not big enough, not powerful enough and not good enough to succeed on our own, yet if the 2nd most powerful country in the world cannot succeed and thrive, who the hell can?
The EU is a tool of the 1950s for 1950s problems; it is an analogue union in a digital age. Britain’s best days were not those when we had an empire and spread democracy, they were not when we stood alone against Hitler and they are certainly not those now when we are suppressed without a meaningful voice in a failed political union. Our best days lie ahead and our song is not yet sung – its lyrics will be bright, democratic and prosperous.
If you believe in this country, if you love this country and if you want even more for this country then do the brave thing on the 23rd: Vote Leave, take control and let’s make June 23rd our independence day!