Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Maybe 'Remain' isn't so bad after all !!!

I usually use blog posts to write about complex issues, giving me the platform to write what I think without challenge, or to write a 'position statement' to which I can refer those who write or email me to ask my opinion or lobby about some issue. This blog post just involves the lifting of comment written by a writer I respect, giving what I find an interesting take on the UK's future post June 23rd. Lord William Hague's article in yesterday's Telegraph.

I've always thought of Lord Hague as Eurosceptic. I also know he is a committed 'Remain' advocate. In yesterday's Telegraph article he addressed how both sides should react to the referendum result. Both sides must accept the decision of the British people. Of course it won't be easy. For many Leave campaigners it will be the end of a dream based on freedom and democracy. If we vote 'Remain' on June 23rd, those dreams will turn to dust. But the result will have to be accepted.

When the referendum was first announced, I took what many thought an odd approach - that it would make little difference in the long term which way we vote. Either way, there will inevitably be treaty change to unify the economies of the Eurozone countries, creating a central EU core, and a two-speed EU. The UK would be in the slow lane. And if we were to leave the EU, we would have to negotiate agreement with our current EU partners giving us access to the single market - not that much different from being in the 'slow lane. Must admit, this theory secured no purchase whatsoever. So I've given up on it.

Anyway, here are quotes from Lord Hague's Telegraph article on what 'Remain' should mean if we vote for it. 
"changes should be built on an explicitly two-tier EU, using as a starting point the agreement by EU leaders in February that Britain is not committed to 'ever closer Union' and that the rights of non-Euro countries are protected".  
"the inner core of the EU should relax about Britain, the Nordic countries and any others being happier in an outer tier, but not part of it's more centralising ideas". "There should be a huge drive for more free trade with the rest of the world, a single market in products sold digitally, and a true single market in energy  to keep prices down and avoid dependence on Russia."

I read the article twice. Makes 'Remain' look a less demoralising prospect !!


Robin Larder said...

If that were possible - why was it not part of the talks the PM had with the EU before the referendum?
What happened was that the EU were unable to make any really meaningful concessions to the UK - even while there was a very real chance the UK would leave if they did not get anything meaningful.
So... if the EU is unable to deliver any real change under the threat of a Brexit - why would they even consider any change with no threat at all?
Also - what vehicle would we use to even begin these negotiations? How can we be even slightly assured that the EU would even consider it?

John said...

Freedom of Labour movement is a very important right that should not be underestimated.
In 1973 Britain joined the European Community after failing to join 10 years earlier because of General de Gaulle's veto on British membership.
Before joining, British citizens did not enjoy freedom of movement and the right to work in other European countries. Passports had to be shown at the borders between countries, travellers were vetted and vehicles frequently checked by customs, causing travel delay and extra cost to haulage contractors.
If you wished to work in Germany you would have to visit the Government office responsible for employment (arbeitsamtand) and apply for a work permit, usually joining a long queue of people of all nationalities. Often having to return the next day, feeling like a second class citizen. You would also have to register with your district police station.
Even after applying and gaining a position with American Express International Banking Division, this was the procedure that had to be followed.
Joining the EU in 1973 made a great difference to the freedom of labour and the right to work in other EU countries. I have many friends who took the opportunity to work and live in Germany, giving them quality employment and a cosmopolitan view of life that they may not otherwise have experienced. I realise that this is a one-way narrow viewpoint but I do believe it should be taken into consideration. I would not like to remove this right and freedom from my children or grand children.