Friday, 26 May 2017

Brexit: handy doorstep quide for canvassers

Sadly the "pro-staying-in-the- EU from the 48%"  which was expected  to prduce a Liberal Democrat surge does not yet seem to have taken off.  There's still time.

Here's a simple guide  to enable canvassers to respond if the Brexit topic is raised, or to introduce it if it isn't.

Be it hard, soft or middling, if Btitain leaves the EU we shall be:

  1. Economically poorer.
  2. Politically less significant.
  3. Scientifically and culturally more isolated.
  4. Socially less secure.
  5. and, if we trade with anybody at all, still subject to international jurisdiction, including the European Court of Justice (ECJ)
That's it.

or, more poetically:

Of that there is no manner of doubt,no possible, probably shadow of doubt,
No possible doubt whatever.  (W S Gilbert, The Mikado)

Supporting material.

I.  Economically poorer.  Even though we haven't yet left the EU we already are.  The 14% fall in the value of the £ means that we have to export more of our "stuff" in order to buy the same amount of "stuff" from other countries. This is already showing through in dearer foreign holiday, less foreign currency for your spending money £s, and higher food prices.  It will get worse as our trading relations with the EU and other counties become less advantageous.
2.  Politically less significant. In my childhood and youth (1937 onwards) we still regarded ourselves as a "Great Power,"  with Churchill sitting at the same table as Stalin and Roosevelt and planning the shape of the post-war World.  This was probably a delusion even then, and was blown out of the water with Suez in 1956. But we remained, as a government study put it, "a leading power of the second rank "  Our membership of the EU helps is to stay in the "big league" in relation to the US Russia, the growing significance of China and India, and South American counties.  On our own, despite the bluster of Boris Johnson, we fall to the third or fourth rank.
3.  Scientifically and culturally more isolated. Along with the BBC, our universities are still among the World's leaders.  This is recognised by the EU, and our universities receive in research grants about double our contribution.  Yet many researchers are already finding that access to research funds,  less welcoming.  And scientific research in particular is very dependent on international collaboration, and the free movement of personnel between universities.  At the moment we really do play a leading role, but if we leave the EU we shall gradually move to the periphery.
4.  Socially less secure.  Whilst it is true that most of the so-called Red Tape which the Brexiteers claim inhibits British enterprise, actually comes from the British Government, that from Europe is particularly concerned with protection of the environment (eg clean beaches), health and safety at work, employment rights and, yes, human rights.  Protection in these areas is unlikely to be as strong if a Tory government is left to its own devices.
5. International jurisdiction. Almost all international treaties, and particularly those regarding trade, have some "shared" mechanism between the partners for deciding on whether the provisions of the treaty are being observed.  For trade with EU this is the ECJ, on which we are represented and for which  we shared in making the rules.  If we leave the EU but still want to trade with it (and at present it takes about half our exports) we shall still have to obey the rules (even though we no longer have a say in changing  them and making new ones) and be subject to its decisions, (even though we are no long represented on it.)  New trade deals, with for example the US, will likely be subject to the corporate courts  made infamous in the TTIP proposals.  These courts meet in secret and tend to act in the interest of the multi-national conglomerates rather than the consumers.

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