Like Ukip, Leave.EU is going to spend the entire campaign making work for Brexit campaigners, robbing us of time better spent on other things. Still, since this post is infinitely reusable it’s worth doing. The above meme is doing the rounds and it’s worth debunking claim by claim.
The first claim that freedom of movement is at risk is untrue. There is no practical possibility that we could disengage from the single market. Politically, we couldn’t even if we wanted to. That consequently means freedom of movement stays. The EU wouldn’t allow it any other way, and nor would business.
The claim that millions of jobs rely entirely on EU membership is the oldest and most boring meme in the book. the jobs depend on trade – and as per the previous point, our membership of the single market is not affected by leaving the EU.
The peace in Europe meme is also a myth. If anything has kept the peace it is NATO, largely propped up by the USA. The EU’s meddling in Ukraine is certainly a contributory factor to the low grade civil war happening there now, and the EU’s failure to deal with the asylum crisis may reignite tensions in the Balkans.
Claim four is completely out there. As I have discussed on my blog at length, regulation is not written by the EU. It’s made by Codex, ILO, UNECE, UNEF, WHO and a whole host of other bodies, largely influenced by corporates and alliances such as the Cairns Group. The EU talking shop does little more than rubber stamp regulations and by the time they reach the middleman there is little hope of editing them – and when we are structurally outnumbered, there is no chance of unilaterally vetoing them. What that means is that we cannot refuse a regulation which could wipe out entire industry sectors, much like small slaughterhouses in the 1990’s. That’s why the EU is not a democracy.
The fifth claim that the EU promotes tough environmental regulation is an interesting one. Again, the EU is not the author of such regulation and these are mainly the concern of the UNEP, WHO and various climate accords that are made internationally. If anything, the EU is a means of watering them down. That said, it is not a given that the promotion of tough environmental regulation is necessarily a good thing. There are many examples of bad and counter productive environmental regulations that could have been averted had we had a veto at the top table.
The claim that all member states abide by the same rules again ignores where most of the rules come from. Australia complies with the same rules for a number of industries, yet they are not obliged to surrender their veto at the top table like Britain has. Regulatory convergence is central to the concept of a single market, but the EU is not the single market. The single market of uniform regulations actually depends on which industry to which you are referring. The single market in automotive regulations extends far beyond the EU’s own internal market and is set to go global in the next decade – with other industries to follow.
As to farming subsidies helping agriculture, indeed they do. But we are the second largest contributor to the EU budget and by leaving the EU we would repatriate what we pay in subsidy and pay it directly, possibly reducing some red tape in the process. We would maintain subsidies and there is no rational case that suggest we would not. Moreover, running our own subsidy system means a withdrawal of the CAP, which even the most hardened europhile will admit has a pretty damning history in terms of environmental protections and food production.
The claim that Brexit will lead to big business leaving Britain is a nonsense. It’s a wholly empty threat. We know this because Brexit would not involve trade tariffs since the WTO rules out discriminatory tariffs and we would remain members of the EEA single market anyway. It’s a non issue and it doesn’t affect business. Both Airbus and Vauxhall have said they would stay in the EU. Some notable ones have hinted they might, but have made no definite declarations. All we see is idle threats, mostly from companies who depend entirely upon corporate welfare.
The suggestion that we would be a maverick state is somewhat peculiar. By not being in the EU is Norway an isolated rogue state? Australia even? No? It’s absurd. And since we’re not going to leave the single market, isolation is so risible it’s not even worth another sentence.
Finally, the employment legislation is largely the product of the International Labour Organisation. We would keep most, if not all of it – and we would still adopt ILO conventions in the future. Australia does and so does Canada. Where extradition is concerned, it’s always best if our own courts have the final say – though there is no objection in principle to reciprocal agreements. Most of this is detailed in EUReferndum’s comprehensive Brexit plan.
We are used to seeing this kind of low grade tat and if it didn’t come from Leave.EU it would likely be produced elsewhere. I’ve seen similar before and thoroughly debunked it. The irritation here is that it takes less than ten minutes for the “Remains” to concoct a nasty piece of propaganda like the above, but we have to de-construct the entire edifice of EU lies from the last forty years and explain to people the reality of the power structures.
It takes more than a cheapshot tweet to get to the core of the issue. Just as well the final battle is not whether we’re right or they are. The final question is whether we trust the word of our PM. I sure as hell don’t and I have no idea why SLATUKIP would either