Wednesday, 22 June 2016
Freedom for Britain: Make Thursday Independence Day - Vote Leave
It was Emma Thompson, luvvie extraordinaire, who best summed up the smug, truculent, almost Pavlovian response of the usual suspects to the prospect of Britain leaving the EU. Leaving, she said, would be 'mad.' She described her homeland as a tiny little, cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled, misery-laden grey old island. She was, of course, quoted approvingly by the Guardian.
But doesn't this typify the supposed argument of Remainers. It's not that far off from what David Cameron has been arguing, despite telling us earlier this year, before he had concluded his sham negotiation, that he might well recommend that we leave. He was then reduced to a Thompson style approach to arguing the opposite. Having told the nation that we must reform the EU because it was broken, hapless and unresponsive to our needs, he then told us that we must Remain or subject ourselves to being grey, rain soaked and incapable of affording even cake.
His latest argument, if it can be adequately described as such, is that Brits don't quit. This is actually a tacit acknowledgement that the EU is everything that we on the Leave side have been arguing. So what the prime minister is reduced to arguing is that yes it's broke, no we can't fix it, but we mustn't walk away because Brits don't do that sort of thing. Maybe it's all of the cake and rain that makes us that way.
The fact is that pro Eu-ers, the Remain side, have been utterly incapable of composing and enunciating a positive case for our remaining in the EU. And so they have been reduced to made up numbers, quoting supposed experts and running down Britain as if we are nothing but the grey little island that Thompson describes.
But as Cameron has accidentally acknowledged, we Brits are made of sterner stuff. If we vote to leave we will do very well because the world is a big place and Europe is a diminishing part of it while Britain has always been outward looking and more ambitious. The reason that Europe is a diminishing part of the world economy, the reason its economy is performing worse than any other continent on the planet other than Antarctica is because of the EU. The EU's instincts are towards protectionism, regulation and French style dirigisme. That is why the French economy is doing nearly as badly as the Italian. It's part of why the euro has been such a disaster. Why would we want to be shackled to this ongoing car crash?
There is nothing noble about staying in the EU and fighting to reform it when we know we will fail. This was our best chance of achieving lasting reform and Cameron came away with nothing. They had this referendum hanging over them and still the EU would give nothing away. Still, despite the very clear antagonism towards the project that is being displayed right across the continent and not just on this cake loving island, they refuse to change, refuse to dilute their ambitions.
And that is the real danger if we vote to remain. Forget about the dangers of leaving, those are short term and probably illusory. At worst we might suffer a short period of market instability, although even then it should give a welcome boost to our exporters, an advantage we would not have had if we had joined the euro as many recommended.
But if we vote to remain we are tied in. We will not have this opportunity again. Politicians will see to that. They made the mistake of granting us this referendum and there is quiet fury at Cameron.
If we vote to remain the Commission will take out its bulging file of projects marked 'wait until after the referendum' and we will complain and challenge as usual and then be outvoted once again. There will be more interference, more pointless regulation all designed to make us increasingly governed from Brussels - tied in to it irreversibly. There are plans for a European army, a fantastically dangerous proposal with no rationale other than the drive to make Europe into a state. This homogenising impulse, entirely at odds with the history of this diverse continent, is anathema to it. Yet for reasons that defy imagination, our fellow European nations, save for a few more sceptical fellow travellers, are enthusiastic about further integration - more Europe.
And this is why it will not be quitting if we leave, it will be deploying a different strategy to get change. We have tried being in the room. We have also successfully shown that our more sceptical approach is the more sensible one - just look at the euro. Britain has prospered outside of it, has greater economic flexibility and creates more jobs than the rest of Europe put together. Now we have to take this to its logical conclusion.
If Britain votes to leave on Thursday then it is entirely possible that, far from being locked out of Europe, we will bring the whole thing crashing down and then be able to build something more sustainable, less grandiose, more sensible and more efficient and cheap in its place. Others may well follow us and help us start this process.
Those of us who want to leave have adopted this stance after trying and failing to reform the EU from within. This blog advocated waiting to see what David Cameron managed to achieve in his renegotiation. Remember, the plan that Cameron had for this referendum was to have his sham renegotiation, then emerge from a marathon session with a new deal that he would then sell to the British people and emerge with a huge majority and hero status.
But then they gave him nothing. His deal was not worth the paper it was written on. Indeed much of it was noticeably unwritten, just nebulous promises for some far off future. Tony Blair did a similar kind of deal in return for giving up part of our rebate. They pocketed the cash and the reform to the CAP never came. That's what happens when you are in the room. Dave found that out.
Cameron achieved nothing and proved that the best and only way is to get out, to leave the room. Europe is constitutionally incapable of change and reform despite its manifest failings. Far from being the engine of growth and jobs, it is holding us and the entire continent back. Our success in recent years has been despite the EU, not because of it. It is why we are so confident that we will do well outside, trading with our current European partners but forging new bespoke trading partnerships we are currently prevented from creating because of our membership of this cartel.
Remain tell us that we need to cooperate with international partners. And so we do. But there is a world of difference between cooperation and subjugation and surrender. We will be voting to leave, not to quit. We will be voting to go forward confidently into the future, free to do what suits us best, an independent, proud nation with a proud history of cooperation but also of standing up for ourselves and refusing to be pushed around. It is this part of our national character that the prime minister chooses to ignore.
This is a vote that, according to the polls, is going to be tight. The polls could of course be wrong, I suspect they probably are. But don't take the risk. Turn out to vote and vote for a great British future. Vote Leave tomorrow. Make it our Independence Day.