Thursday, November 05, 2009

Imagine a future without the European Union...

NB I am not the Devil (but I am offering you a free book).

Part of the problem for eurosceptics has been that we have too often only engaged in one half of the argument. To be fair, we've all made a pretty good case that the EU is a costly, harmful, antidemocratic monstrosity - so much so that the public are in great majority convinced of that.

It is the second half of the argument which has been somewhat lacking - what is the positive alternative? Convincing people there is a problem with the current situation is not enough; we need to lay out what life would be like without the EU, how things could be better and, crucially, how it is perfectly feasible to get there.

To that end, the TaxPayers' Alliance is publishing a new book, Ten Years On: Britain without the European Union which lays out a vision of what Britain could be like in 2020, governing ourselves and with the freedom to cooperate and trade with whomsoever we like.


The book, by Dr Lee Rotherham, also features a foreword by legendary Sun political editor Trevor Kavanagh and an epilogue by bestselling author Frederick Forsyth. As well as a fictionalised "history" of the next ten years, it also explores how life could change for real people, from MPs and city boys to fishermen, farmers and small business owners.

Enjoy!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've just bumped into a good mate of mine who called me a eurosceptic.
I had to correct him.
I'm not seceptical anymore,all my questions have been answered.
I'm now hard-line on let's get out.
What should people like me be called?

Kevyn Bodman

George said...

@ Kevyn, the word you are looking for is sane.

Gareth said...

Kevyn Bodman - Euro-denier!

Courtesy of Guido's 'Seen Elsewhere' bit: Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the EU is a Reincarnation of the Former Soviet Union

The West didn't win the Cold War did it. Communism crept eastwards.

Budgie said...

Thank you, Mark. I am signed up to get a copy of 'Ten Years On'. It will be on my shelves next to the identical treaties that promise to destroy us.

John Pickworth said...

Strangely, I've been mulling over the same question: What would it be like?

Having just returned from a trip to the far-east (brag brag) I'm amazed how well our poor Asian cousins are doing. Frankly, I think we've forgotten we are perfectly able to make our own way in the World as others seem to be doing quite successfully.

Before Lisbon, I was happy to dump the bad bits of the EU and keep the good parts... Now? I'm content to see the lot go; lock, stock and barrel. Open up to the Common Wealth and erect a big fence along the English Channel. Seriously. Out east, many people look fondly upon the British, instead we cold shoulder them to play footsy with the "Oh so, superior" Frogs and the Hun.

Jeeze, get me out of here!

Leg-iron said...

Free - my favourite price! Well, I have lived in Scotland for a long time so I've integrated into local culture.

I look forward to reading the book.

Anonymous said...

I just ,I just ,oh dear,
I swear the first stripey shirted sailor and tart dance I see ,
I bloody well swear.
I will. oh damn it .
Fuck of you greasy hook nosed garlic crunching shitbags !
Archery practice on Sunday anyone ?

Grimy Miner said...

It has confused me for some time, and maybe, just maybe, the erudite posters on this blog could supply the answer.

the question is, Just WHAT could the EU do to us if we simply told them to go and shove their 'treaties', 'constitution' and stupid fucking laws up their pouch and fuck off back to their own pox-ridden hell-holes? What COULD they do?

Would they invade us? - not been done for a thousand years, so I think they may be a little out of practice.
Ignore us? - well whoop-de-doo - thats just what we want.
Not let us trade with them? - cutting their own noses off to spite their faces - possible but not likely.
Fine us? - well - we just refuse to pay - will they try to imprison us all? not likely.

So, my question again. Just WHAT could they do to us that is worse than we are already experiencing?

chris said...

Thanks to Tony Blair the EU is going to get its own army so technically they could invade, its not likely though. What would actually happen is what happens to France when they ignore the bits of the EU they don't like. The top commission would put out a nasty press release and then ten years later sue them in the European Court of Justice (which always rules in the way that best serves 'ever closer union'). This imposes a fine, which they then ignore as well. So basically nothing for the country except the political elite gets called nasty things. Hence why our political elite will never do it although it is the only way of making our relationship with the EU work.

John B said...

the question is, Just WHAT could the EU do to us if we simply told them to go and shove their 'treaties', 'constitution' and stupid fucking laws up their pouch and fuck off back to their own pox-ridden hell-holes? What COULD they do?

Nothing, obviously. The only people who believe otherwise are deranged right-wing conspiracy theorists. That's precisely why Lisbon contains a simple exit route for any state wishing to leave the EU (which it'd be polite to follow, although simply repealing the European Communities Act would be sufficient).

We'd then be in the same position regarding the EU as the US or Australia - ie we'd mostly be able to trade with them, although our goods would be subject to (mostly small) tariffs and customs delays, and trading in agricultural produce would be very difficult.

(if we ensured that domestic regulations on labelling, goods quality, etc, were the same as EU regulations, then exporting to the EU would be much more straightforward - however, since 'not being bound by filthy foreign regulations' is half the anti-EU case, I'm not sure this works very well. And we wouldn't get the major say in *setting* regulations that we currently have).

Moving on to people, we'd have to queue up forever at the 'filthy foreigners' counter whenever we went to the continent. The million-ish Brits living elsewhere in the EU would have to sell their retirement flats, go home and apply for migration visas - again, Brits would be in the same position as Americans or Australians looking to settle in the EU.

(if we signed up to EFTA, or to a proxy-EFTA like Switzerland, then we wouldn't face these problems. However, since 'not being bound by filthy foreign regulations' is half the anti-EU case, I'm not sure this works very well. And we wouldn't get the major say in *setting* regulations that we currently have).

Devil's Kitchen said...

John,

"(if we ensured that domestic regulations on labelling, goods quality, etc, were the same as EU regulations, then exporting to the EU would be much more straightforward - however, since 'not being bound by filthy foreign regulations' is half the anti-EU case, I'm not sure this works very well. And we wouldn't get the major say in *setting* regulations that we currently have)."

I think that we need to do a little separation here...

Something like 80% of our economy is internal trading; 10% is with the EU and 10% is with the rest of the world.

Currently, EU regulations apply to all businesses within the UK, whether they trade with the EU or not.

Now, I think that we accept that anyone wanting to trade with the EU would have to follow EU regulations (just as anyone wanting to trade with the US would have to comply with US regulations).

The saving comes in not having to apply those expensive regulations to the 80% of our economy that does not trade outwith the UK.

DK

John B said...

@DK, which is fine, except that the right measure is trad*able* goods, not trad*ed* goods,

Using the dairy industry as an example for no particular reason (except that packaged food is an area where regulations are substantial and UK exports to the EU are fairly high) if I'm a yogurt-maker who exports 10% of each of my yogurt ranges within the EU, then 100% of my yogurts need to meet EU regulations or the logistics become a nightmare.

If the UK government were to set *no regulations at all*, that'd be OK, since I could then just produce to EU regulations - but since we've had weights/measures/quality rules since the 1200s, I'm pretty sceptical this would happen. So any UK regulations that *do* exist need to be the same as EU ones, or we lose the export trade.

(I guess you're thinking of small cheesemakers who don't export at all and who're busted by EU regulations on pasteurisation etc. Fair enough, but a far larger chunk of the industry by revenue and employment is made up of MNCs who do export.)

Anonymous said...

Oh sod the EU-SSR-Land.... I think that I will go back to being a part-time Virgin, Pox Doctors Clerk and Temple Hooeer...!!

Fred Tidlypop. Of the County of Kernow, and the Village of Port St Wenn & Gaverne, on this day in the Year of Hope, 9th November 2009 that the curse of Neues Liarbore be raised from this fair land of the UK.

SJB said...

"... we've all made a pretty good case that the EU is a costly, harmful, antidemocratic monstrosity - so much so that the public are in great majority convinced of that."

But not to the extent that the "great majority" could be arsed to take 15mins to go and vote for anti-EU parties in the 2009 European Election.