A letter from a former City Banker on Brexit Eloquent and so very true
Brexit and frustration with remaining pockets of ignorance
I suppose, like many Brexiteers, I am no longer fussed about being called a racist, ignorant or stupid. I am married to the daughter of immigrants, speak four of the languages of the EU, have lived in four of its nations and concluded deals in 16 of the 28 current members. I suppose that just leaves the charge of ‘stupid’, which may be true.
The barbs and sneers of Remainers no longer concern me, as I discover how little most really know about the Referendum or the European Union. ‘Nobody voted in the Referendum to be poorer!’ Sounds reasonable but, in the medium, long and, very probably, short term we shall be increasingly poorer if we stay in than if we leave.
I hear Remainers squeal that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would result in a 10% reduction in GDP. It is a number plucked from thin air and it evaporates on inspection. By contrast, a real figure was that Greek GDP reduced by 25% as a direct result of remaining in the EU and in the Euro. The Commission wanted more countries in the Euro and Greek was nodded through in spite of failing on almost every count of the convergence criteria governing the Euro.
I hear Remainers and the press complain that the public was misled during the Referendum. By whom? The Government published a booklet that was delivered, at the cost of many million in public money, to every household and purported to give the ‘facts’ in the scariest possible form about the dire consequences of Leave. Remainers appear to have forgotten this blatant attempt to rig the game before it began.
I hear Remainers bleat that we are going back on our treaty obligations by trying to leave the EU. That is ignorant nonsense. Let’s look at our regard for our obligations.
The UK is pretty well the only country that has consistently obeyed its treaty obligations – one of only two countries to have made a net contribution throughout its entire membership (the other is Sweden); one of only two countries to have upheld its NATO commitment to 2% of GDP on defence (the other, I believe, is Lithuania); the only country to fast track EU regulations through Parliament as binding; the only major EU economy to uphold the commitment to the four ‘freedoms’ (the free movement of Services is a sham – as one Brussels official put it, when challenged about the French refusal to comply, ‘it’s very difficult when it comes to services’); the only significant EU economy to commit to its UN obligation to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid… (Norway, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden all exceed the target. France spends only 0.4%, Germany 0.5% and most other member states 0.1% to 0.3%).
Do the ill-informed bleaters mean that we ‘broke’ the Treaty of Lisbon by trying to leave? Then why have Article 50 in the first place if departure is not contemplated as an option?
Somehow we have been inveigled into accepting an estimated 80,000 plus pages of legislation from Brussels, largely unscrutinised because, let’s face it, no parliament could possible read, debate and revise such a huge volume of laws. As I understand it, no other EU country of any substance has unquestioningly taken on such a massive volume of laws and many just don’t bother to pretend any more.
But there is something worse than that. Almost every country in Europe draws its legal system from the Justinian code that was the basis on which Napoleonic Law was founded. The crucial word there is ‘code’. Our law, common, case, call it what you will, is genuinely the envy of the world. It is (along with the law of various US states) the preferred law for contracts and commerce around the globe. The two systems (code v case law) are fundamentally different. The Commission has tried to outlaw the use of English law in parts of EU trade (this while we are still a member) and water it down through the superimposition of code that is now so impenetrable that ignorance of the law must be a defence. Even lawyers and legislators cannot fathom the quicksand of laws that now absorb Britain.
When Germany and France criticized Britain for ‘failing to take its fair share of the burden of Syrian migrants’ they failed to acknowledge that we had already paid more than £1 billion to successful refugee initiatives to provide schools, housing, hospitals and work in the region. Our policy was the right one. The amount paid by Britain was more than twice the sum promised (but not fully paid) by the whole of the rest of the EU put together. At the point when Germany called for 1 million immigrants (contributing to thousands of deaths through people smuggling and unmanaged migration), France had paid only a few million Euros out of tens of millions promised.
Every economic model proposing a disaster if we leave assumes two fundamental nonsenses in one form or another – they all assume that post Brexit we shall have no trade relations with the rest of the world and none with Europe – and they all assume that trade with Europe will improve in the future if we stay in. Both statements are palpable rubbish. Both statements are relentless pushed by the Bank of England and the BBC.
We are close to agreeing deals outside already (many are awaiting signature, albeit not enough) whereas we have no idea what Brussels will do to impose a Tobin tax to stifle trading in the City of London, or add further restrictions as they tried with Dyson and others. The idea that, after three years of turmoil, the UK would be welcomed with open arms is folly. The bilateral treaty between France and Germany is proof enough of that.
We can hardly claim to be better off isolated within the EU. In the late 1980s the 28 countries that now constitute the EU accounted for more than 30 per cent of global GDP and the 53 that now make up the Commonwealth amounted to less than 15 per cent. In 2015 the same 28 generated little more than 16% of global GDP and the Commonwealth 53 produced almost 25%. Sounds to me as if the Remainers are singing ‘Bollocks’ on the foredeck of the Titanic.
Remoaners and the remoaning press loathe Brexit because they perceive it as ‘supported by old fogeys, selfish gits and bigots’. Challenged they cannot oppose Brexit on the facts because EVERYONE who knows anything (throughout the EU and in many parts of the Commission) clamours to make changes to the fundamentally dysfunctional EU machine but the very structure makes it impossible. Remoaners know so little about the reality that they want to stay, not in a reformed EU but in the corrupt shambles that already causes 30% to 40% youth unemployment in almost half of the Union’s nations.
Remoaners whinge that ‘research and University education will suffer’ – of the world’s top 20 universities there are four in the UK and none in the rest of the EU – that has nothing to do with money from Brussels.
We are told we must stay to preserve security – ‘do as I say or the kid gets it’ is the nonsensical blackmail of a criminal mind. Commission supremacy does not cause or enhance security. When bombers attacked Brussels, the police forces of Belgium were so incapable of talking among themselves (because of petty jealousies, language barriers and heavens only knows what illogicality) that the British police pointed out the dangers in the first instance and then acted as a pivotal part of the communications that the Belgians could/would not do among themselves.
And on and on it goes – when the Referendum took place it was, on the balance of probabilities, right to vote Leave. Now, for anybody equipped to understand facts, it is beyond all reasonable doubt.
The ‘Argument’ (sic) in favour of staying is that if we do not then France will blockade Britain – France, if one had forgotten, is the faded former power that turned it’s back on NATO at the height of the Cold War, in the hope of creating its own economic opportunities with Russia. France is the country that was bailed out by Britain and our allies in 1914-1918 and in 1939-1944 but that same country refused us a place at the table in the original European Economic Community (the Common Market). France is the country that insisted on a Common Agricultural Policy that has impoverished and starved people in many parts of the world. France is the country that sold arms to the vicious regime of thugs in Argentina to help them with the illegal and short-lived seizure of British sovereign territory. These same people, who make allies that are as useful as a chocolate teapot, threaten to break their obligations under the Treaties of Rome, Maastricht and Lisbon, by threatening to harm a neighbouring country without cause.
I hesitated when the question was asked – I am, after all, an European by nature, education, inclination and experience. But kow-towing to the Commission does not make me a better European or indeed a European at all. It merely makes me appear gullible. In the polling booth I was still hesitating when a small voice in my head said, ‘I love the World Cup but I abhor FIFA.’ I love Europe but I abhor the non-democratic absconder from the rule of law that is the Commission.
Would I favour a second Referendum – let the people decide? I do not think it necessary or desirable but if it did happen then there could only be one question: ‘Do you wish to leave on the terms proffered by the European Commission or without a deal?’ The other question (Le’ave or Remain?) has already been answered.
That is why I say, ‘Out now and let’s get on with it’.Anonymously posted