An Introduction To David Reardon And Brexit: Speak Your Mind
I would like to raise awareness of a Facebook group named Brexit: Speak Your Mind. It is cross-party pro-Brexit group administered by David Reardon. David is not a UKIP supporter, but he is an excellent online Brexiteer. He posts informed and comprehensive monologues that explain things such as the benefits of Brexit and the illegality of our entry into the European bloc. I have included one of his posts, with his permission, as an example of his work. Feel free to get involved with Brexit: Speak Your Mind, but please do not post party politics on the page.
What if the UK HADN’T joined the EEC/EU?
Although most of our MPs and almost half of the British public, especially the younger ones, are totally wedded to our membership of the EU project, it is a fact that the EU’s own polls (you can find them online) have consistently shown that the people of the UK are less happy to be part of it than those of any other country in Europe.
So now with the Brexit talks under way, perhaps it may be timely to ask what the UK would be like today if, all those decades ago, the British people had not been lied to by the likes of Harold Macmillan and Edward Heath, and had never been taken into the EEC in the first place.
If we had never entered the “Common Market” back in 1973, would we now, as Remainers keep telling us, be a poverty-stricken group of little islands standing on the edge of Europe, green with envy at the apparent success of the great project we were so foolish not to join.
But could it have been possible that we might, in 2017, be living in a UK significantly richer, happier, freer, more democratic, more self-respecting and more at ease with itself than it is today?
Well, to imagine how the UK might have fared if we had never been drawn into Europe but remained on the outside as an independent nation, we must consider both what we are meant to have gained and also what we have lost.
But here we immediately come up against a massive paradox because it has become increasingly clear that the most obvious thing we didn’t gain from entering the “Common Market” was the one benefit we were told was our main reason for joining – an increase in trade with the rest of Europe.
When Macmillan first decided to take us in back in the early Sixties, it was because the UK was suffering from a severe loss of self-confidence due to the fact that we were practically bankrupt from the cost of World War II and the empire was slipping away from us.
So politically and economically we seemed to be a nation spiralling downwards just when we could see the original six “Common Market” countries enjoying a miraculous recovery since World War II.
The promise was then given to the British people that, by going into partnership with them, we might learn the secret of their new-found success and for this we turned our back on so much of what over the centuries had actually given the UK her unique place in the world.
In particular, by throwing in our destiny with Europe, we turned away from the English-speaking world and abandoned our close historic and economic ties with the US and the Commonwealth, with which we conducted nearly half our overseas trade.
And when we finally discovered some of the secret of our former economic success, this had nothing whatsoever to do with our membership of what had by then become the European Community but was entirely home-grown. And by the end of the 20th century the original reason that had drawn us into ‘Europe’ in the first place had been almost entirely reversed.
It was now those Continental countries whose economies were suffocating under all the problems the UK had solved by her own efforts in the 1980s while most of the countries across the world whose economies have in the past couple of decades been bounding ahead are part of that English-speaking world and the Commonwealth on which we had blithely turned our backs.
In hindsight, we can now see that, had we remained outside the “European project”, we almost certainly would have remained a natural part of what has become the most dynamic sector of the global economy. And in taking that mighty gamble back in 1973, we can now see that we backed the wrong horse – and in simple economic terms we have paid a colossal price for it.
Switching the main focus of our trade away from the English-speaking world to Europe, has turned out to be a very one-sided deal indeed because our European “partners” now sell far more to us than we sell to them. So much so that we have run up a staggering trade deficit of over £75 billion (mostly with Germany).
And it is fact that without our trade with America and the rest of the world – for which we do not need to apply all those EU directives and regulations estimated to cost us a £120 billion a year – we should long since have gone bankrupt.
But the ultimate proof of how well we might have survived outside the EU is that, even today, Norway and Switzerland, two countries who have repeatedly refused to join the EU (and two of the richest countries in Europe), export a higher percentage of their products to the EU than we do, without having had to join it or apply all those regulations.
But this is only a small part of what we have given up as the price for belonging to the EU because, if we look at how much else we have lost, we can see just how different the UK might have looked today because:
1. If we had never joined, we would still have the right to decide far more of our own laws and policies;
2. If we had never joined, we would still have the right to decide our own immigration policy and who should have the right to settle and work in the United Kingdom;
If we had never joined, we would still have the most efficient and prosperous agricultural sector in Europe – as we did before we had to submit to the cock-eyed rules of a Common Agricultural Policy drawn up primarily to serve the interests of France;
4. If we had never joined, we might still have the most successful fishing industry in Europe, as we did before we had to hand over our fishing waters, once the richest and most efficiently managed in the world, to a Common Fisheries Policy which has seen the destruction of our fishing fleet and produced an ecological disaster;
5. If we had never joined, we would have retained the right to choose our own weights and measures and it would not have become a criminal offence to sell a pound of bananas. And we would have been free to retain the system we shared with the most dynamic economy in the world – the U.S.A;
6. If we had never joined, our Armed Forces would not be facing collapse through our wasting tens of billions of pounds on grandiose ‘European’ projects such as the Eurofighter and giant aircraft carriers, supposedly equipping them to play their part in some fantasy EU force of the future when this means starving them of the much smaller sums needed to equip them for the international commitments they are actually involved in today;
7. If we had never joined, we would still be able to decide who we trade with around the world, and on our own terms. And we would not be forced to accept crazily protectionist policies, decided in Brussels, which inflict enormous damage on the economies of scores of other countries, notably in Africa and Asia;
8. If we had never joined, we would still be able to decide for ourselves on those huge areas of foreign policy which are now dictated on an EU-wide basis, increasingly supported by the EU’s own “diplomatic service” and “embassies” which have replaced those of member states.
But perhaps the greatest prize we might have retained if we had not joined is that we would have avoided our parliament and politicians handing over so much of the power they once exercised on our behalf to faceless armies of technocrats (like Juncker and Barnier) that we cannot call to account.
When we consider the countless ways in which our country’s life and institutions have been damaged by our membership of the EU, it is hard not to conclude that the decision to join it may have been the greatest political blunder in the UK’s history.
Unfortunately, the fact is that the thinking of our leaders in the late 1960s and early 1970s was so warped by our political and economic decline, they conned the British people into taking a colossal gamble, one which we can now see, 44 years later, has spectacularly failed.
So if we had refused to shackle ourselves to the European dream, it is hard to imagine any way in which our country might not today be in a very much better and happier state than it is.
And we can see the proof of that in Norway and Switzerland (the countries which stayed out) who are today not only the two richest countries in Europe but have fiercely held on to their national identity and self-respect.
But arguably the biggest single problem the UK faces today is that, having made that political error back in 1973, we are now living with the consequences.
And it seems we are going to have to live with them for a bit longer than we thought.
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