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Democrat July-August 2013 (Number 136)

What they say

The debate and battle over a referendum is here now

An example of what is being said took place on the BBC Radio 4 Any Questions programme on 19th July. Paddy Ashdown sits in the House of Lords and is currently chairman and a former leader of the Liberal Democrats. They are part of the coalition government which has rammed through austerity policies and is the Party that keeps repeating that Britain must stay in the EU and is opposed to holding a referendum on EU membership.

On the BBC Radio 4 programme he stated several things:

"Britain is not big enough to be outside EU like China and USA."
He forgot to mention a conveniently ignored glaring fact that there are plenty of countries, in fact most , that are smaller than either China or the USA that survive without being inside the EU and do very well thank you.

"The USA wants Britain in the EU."
Former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson talking on the same programme pointed out this position of the USA was for its own self interests. The USA as top dog in the 'special relationship' did everything possible and secretly to persuade France to agree to Britain's entry to the Common Market. Britain is seen as the Trojan horse to pursue USA interests in the EU. The EU has been seen as a wing of NATO which is dominated by the USA.

"We have to be in EU to influence it, not outside."
Conveniently forgotten is that Britain is in a permanent and weak position to influence matters because of the Qualified Majority Voting procedures. QMV is used in the various Councils of Ministers including the EU Summits. Because of the European Constitution ministers are duty bound to take decisions in the interests of the EU and not their national governments. The EU is no longer an intergovernmental arrangement but has a centralised government base in Brussels.

"We need to trade with EU as three million jobs depend on the common market."
The claim for all these jobs started at one million and has grown to three million. Quite what these jobs consist of is never made clear nor why the number keeps getting bigger except for propaganda purposes and instilling fear into the workforce. Since joining the Common Market in 1973 when a prominent promise was to save jobs, Britain has been de-industrialised and the economy changed to one based on the financial sector and service industry.

"Norway may not be in the EU but 75% of trading laws are in Norwegian legislation."
Norway remains a sovereign nation state outside the EU, the Common Fisheries Policy and much else including EU legislation and the European Court of Justice. Britain meanwhile rubber stamps most of the EU's legislation and has to comply with all the common policies including the CFP, steel production and shipbuilding quotas. Norway has a large anti-EU movement (Nei til EU) and the labour and trade union movement is opposed to EU membership.


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