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Thursday, 11 October 2012

UK at the heart of Europe

In a frankly silly piece in the Guardian this morning, Martin Kettle misrepresents the stance of the large and growing anti-EU lobby as xenophobic and isolationist. Nothing could be further from the truth; breaking away from the strictures of EU membership will place the UK at the heart of Europe. We are a European nation, with bonds of blood, language, culture, history and faith that bind us to other European nations. That will continue, and we will be uniquely placed to
  • Maintain free trade with other European nations as key trade partners; though our trade with the rest of the world has now overtaken our trade with an increasingly impoverished EU, the Eurozone will continue as a major market for British goods and services
  • Provide Europe's financial services hub; as Frankfurt is killed by the EU, London's unique time-zone advantage and unparalleled expertise across a range of financial services including insurance and reinsurance, commodities, FX, shipping and marine, together with a reformed banking system will make the UK a hub of choice for Europe's business
  • With the UK holding its own UN Security Council seat it can maintain a critical balance between the US seat and the Eurozone seat (formerly France's)
  • In an increasingly Anglophone world, the UK can link and span a polyglot Eurozone with a global network; our superlative international reputation as a  legal and contractual jurisdiction of choice will be even stronger once our Common Law system reasserts prominence over a creeping Code Napoleon
  • With strong trade and historic links to both the Commonwealth and the Eurozone the UK enjoys a position of economic advantage unknown to any other nation. Freedom to exploit those links for the benefit of global trade and economic growth will sustain Britain and enrich her peoples
  • BAE's links to Australian and Indian defence firms, and with those in the US particularly in the field of cyber security, together with a naval and military capability second to none for a nation of our size will give us the independent deterrent 'teeth' a strong nation needs in an era of change and uncertainty
There are many more exclusively British advantages in the areas of culture, cinema, music and key global competencies, all of them of mutual advantage to both the UK and Europe. It's time to shop whining about the EU banning jam-jars - the point's been made, and we all know the sclerotic effect of the EU - and get positive about the real boost to Britain that Independence will bring. 


G. Tingey said...

Imitate two other very prosperous European countries, Norway & Switzerland...
Shengen IN


Anonymous said...

Splendid in isolation we always were, a seafaring nation and a conduit to the New World and the old one, trade is what we do. We are more important to Europe than the other way round - and they know it.

It is time to throw off self doubt, grow a pair again and reset the compass and look to the sea.

Anonymous said...

You don't appear to have noticed just how tiny and badly-equipped our armed forces now are.

It will become increasingly difficult to justify our place on the Security Council.


Anonymous said...

"It's time to shop whining about the EU banning jam-jars - the point's been made, and we all know the sclerotic effect of the EU - and get positive about the real boost to Britain that Independence will bring. "

This seems like a veiled attack on UKIP Raedwald... I thought that you were broadly speaking, a supporter of the only (near) conservative party in the UK.

However, the advice is good, so "keep calm and carry on"...

Raedwald said...

no no not an attack on UKIP - just a reminder that voters are turned off by negative messages and 'anti' rhetoric and turned on by strong positive visioning - that hopey changey thing

Demetrius said...

I find the whole notion about "being at the heart of" quite barmy. It suggests some kind of single being or is an allusion to power plays. What if the EU is a sloth, or a poodle or something. If there are any kind of functioning active economies etc. we will interact as we did in the days of the Hanseatic League and for that matter the Vikings.

Dave_G said...

Freedom from the EU is freedom to trade elsewhere in the world and the Commonwealth would benefit enormously from increased trade with us - as would we with them.

Anonymous said...

Time to get out..
If Scotland can have an in/ out referendum why can't we?

Anonymous said...

There are those who suggest that Britain will fail economically as a result of leaving the EU. The suggestion is that EU nations will trade elsewhere than with Britain, which they consider needs the EU more than the other way around. How can we test if these fears are justified? Has it ever happened before?
Well, as it happens, a very similar circumstance once did engulf Britain and Continental Europe, and the results which are historically well documented. The period is of course during the reign of Napoleon. The generally perceived view is that for the 14 years of that period the continent and Britain shared an mutual antipathy, which was actually mostly trade and finance related, but from time to time erupted, as is well known, very serious rough stuff.
Now no one will for one second advocate a return to the rough stuff, (especially those who lived through the recent version), that is quite out of the question, after all the EU started out as a mutual admiration society of the major Western European nations specifically to prevent further rough stuff, and long may it remain so.
However the perceived view of Britain and Europe in those Napoleon Empire days days is not quite correct. In fact many of the countries of the Empire went through periods during which they wanted out, and the Empire wanted to keep them in. On the outside the devious British beavered away at trying to loosen the bonds still more, to entice waverers out into the sunshine. On the inside the Empire, until close to the end, made sure that these efforts were thwarted, people would enjoy being part of the empire whether they wanted to or not.
The result was in effect a 14 year economic war period. Britain was, don’t forget, still reeling from the loss of the American colonies and the huge trade losses resulting from that.The British Empire had not yet been formed. Access to world trade was a sort of free for all between the Empire nations and Britain. Any merchant ship might expect to be captured at any time by the next ship they met, depending upon the flag. Quite probably the only aspect of the struggle in which Britain had an edge was the seas and oceans, with the fleets, and even this was a moot point. Only 15 years earlier, such an idea would have been laughable.
So Britain started the match very much in an inferior position, second favourite in a two horse race. Coupled to that the republican and revolutionary ideas rampant across the continent had many admirers in Britain.
Yet Britain resolutely stayed outside, and in the end British ideas prevailed.
At the end, the Empire was bankrupt, British coffers were doing quite well thank you.

Nick Drew said...

uniquely placed to ...

agreed on almost every issue, but ... the effort involved to achieve (or maintain) some of those will be herculean

- Europe's financial services hub: should be, for sure, but several countries (most importantly Germany) don't understand how markets work, and yet are big enough to mess with them; and the Yanks resent the City too

- seat on Security Council: there is a simple nightmare scenario that goes (a) USA temporarily miffed with us (b) India greases enough palms ...

- BAe: could crater through lack of US demand

It needs focused, strategically-minded leadership of Churchillian dimensions to execute your plan, R - and even then, remember how much ground Churchill gave to USA and USSR

I don't see that leadership just now: and advantages in cinema may not be quite enough to compensate

Europe may very well be going down, and we may be able to jump ship - but I think we will do well to survive, let alone thrive

cascadian said...

Sounds good, too bad you won't have enough electricity to keep the lights on, and your tax rates will continually discourage investment due to too much government spending. Tourism your last viable means of foreign currency earning will be destroyed by stupid green taxes.

Stupidity in government will continue to keep you poor and perhaps cold and hungry.

Edward Spalton said...

The ad hominem (or ad feminam) attack on euro sceptics has been traditional for years - " you are only saying that because you are a nasty person, who hates foreigners. Therefore nobody should take any notice of you"
It worked very well to start with but is now less effective in the mainstream media (apart from the BBC and the Guardian) than it used to be.

We are cut off from the controversies going on in other EU countries by our ignorance of foreign languages and rely on the inadequate, superficial reporting of the MSM.
There are now eminently respectable people in Germany getting a public hearing on the de-democratisation resulting from EU membership and attacking the "one party style consensus" between the main party leaderships - which is just the same here. They point out that this was the state of affairs in communist East Germany, where Angela Merkel grew up.

In pre Internet days this news black out was practically total. I can remember Edward Heath telling a reporter that Norway was facing imminent economic collapse because of its people's rejection of the EEC and the reporter agreeing sagely!

G. Tingey said...

E Spalton
Not even the Beeb any more.
It is quite noticeable that they are starting to "trim" - which should be an interesting straw in the wind....

anon 2 said...

When the lights go out, the computers will go off too. And the printing presses, goggle machines, and radios.

The euSSR won't need any more censorship than that, will they?