A Post From David Reardon Of Brexit: Speak Your Mind

David Reardon has kindly allowed me to reproduce another of his thorough and informative Brexit: Speak Your Mind posts. Though he does not support UKIP, it would be folly to dismiss his work as he has a wealth of knowledge. I must remind readers that Brexit: Speak Your Mind is a cross-party Facebook group, so please don’t post party politics on its page.

Why did you vote to leave the EU? What do you hope to gain from it?

These are the two questions that I am most frequently asked whenever Brexit is the topic of conversation. But to answer these questions, it is not as simple as repeating the mantra of “taking back control” because it is a question of far more than an issue of national sovereignty.

However, in order to find out what I hope to gain from Brexit, it might be useful to briefly start with why the UK is in the EU in the first place.

In 1972, when the Heath government decided to take Britain into the “Common Market”, the British people were told that it was merely a free trade association. However, it is a little known fact that nowhere in the European Communities Act 1972 (the document that paved the way for the UK’s membership) does it actually mention UK trade with Europe.

And it is a fact that the Foreign Office received legal guidance, which the Heath government were fully aware of, that signing up to the Treaty of Rome would mean the end of British parliamentary sovereignty.

So in order to push through the UK’s membership, Heath used Parliament’s legal sovereignty and status as representative of the electorate to simply go ahead and sign the accession documents and permanently limit the political sovereignty of the British electorate – in complete contravention of both British law and the Constitution.

And we, the British people, who never voted to join what is now the EU, have been living with the consequences ever since.

As to what I hope to gain from Brexit, yes, there is the question of “taking back control” but there are many areas that this “control” applies to. For instance, who makes the laws that apply in the UK.

Under British law and the Constitution, the only body that has the legal authority to create and pass laws in the UK is still the Parliament at Westminster because the 1689 Bill of Rights (which has never been repealed and is therefore still in force) states that:

“No foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate has or ought to have jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority within this Realm.”

However, since various UK governments have signed up to the various EU treaties over the past 44 years, the UK has had to ‘adopt’ into British law all laws that are made under the competence of the EU, principally in the form of EU Directives and Regulations.

And while it cannot be doubted that some of these laws and regulations have had a positive effect, such as the Working Time Directive, it cannot be denied that most of these regulations actually do not apply to the circumstances that obtain in the UK.

This is particularly true for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of which there are approximately 5.5 million in the UK private sector. But just 8% of them actually directly export to the EU.

So while the UK is still a member state of the EU, these SMEs must comply with Single Market regulations. But what about the other 5.1 million? Do they also have to comply with EU regulations?

Well, the simple answer is YES, even if it puts them at a competitive disadvantage. But just how many local shops on our high streets need to go bust before the British people realise that it is too late to undo the damage done by cheap EU imports?

Another interesting fact about EU laws and regulations is that House of Commons Information Office Factsheet L11 2010 on ‘EU Legislation and Scrutiny Procedures’ clearly states that the great majority of EU legislation is made directly by the [unelected and unaccountable] EU Commission, and is not subject to EU parliamentary scrutiny.

It is also a little known fact that, under the terms of the various EU Treaties, the EU Commission alone has the power to legislate in various areas on its own account without reference to the EU Council or EU or national parliamentary scrutiny – for example, in certain areas related to state aid (e.g. financial support from public funds for commercial enterprises).

My expectation from Brexit in respect of laws therefore is that we – and only we -, the British people through our elected MPs, will regain the right to make the laws that apply in the UK.

Issues such as Britain’s need for immigrant European workers has also been repeatedly mentioned by Remainers as being essential for the UK economy but this ignores the fact that the Leave Campaign never said a vote to leave the EU would mean an end to immigration.

However, when the UK leaves the EU we will be able to use our own judgment to decide immigration criteria and quotas based solely on the economic needs of the UK without being forced to allow people to enter the country purely because of the passport they hold.

And if we want European citizens to come and live and work in Britain, as hundreds of thousands of them did prior to the UK joining the EEC, we will be able to act and legislate accordingly without being forced to accept migrant labourers that we either do not need or who are prepared to accept wages that drive down those of our own people in similar occupations.

I do not doubt that immigration has had positive benefits, especially in the NHS.

However, it must be remembered that the overwhelming number of immigrants that were originally employed in the NHS came either from the Commonwealth or the British Overseas Territories. But opening up jobs to EU immigrants has done much to persuade citizens from these countries that the UK no longer welcomes them, preferring instead to employ people from the near Continent.

To my mind this is outrageous and no thanks for all that this country owes the people of countries such as India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, not just for all the British goods they bought over the years before we joined the “Common Market” but for all they did for this country in two world wars!

And it must be pointed out that House of Commons Briefing Paper Number 7783 dated 10 April 2017 shows that the NHS employs just over 1.1 million people, but only 5.5% come from the EU with just 6.7% coming from other non-UK countries. Therefore, UK staff make up almost 90% of the total number of NHS employees. So the Remainer claim that the NHS will suddenly collapse should EU employees leave is patent nonsense.

Another issue that greatly concerns me about the NHS is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), secretly negotiated and signed on behalf of all EU member states by the EU’s Foreign Affairs and Trade High Representatives.

My concern is the inbuilt right under the terms of the CETA for non-Canadian parent companies, especially those based in the USA, to challenge EU governments in court to at least prevent the loss of private finance input into areas such as the NHS but also the direct forced privatisation of state-owned enterprises, which has been denied by the EU Commission (but is there for all to read), and is probably the reason why the CETA was negotiated in secret.

In the area of trade itself, the reason why we were supposed to have joined the EEC in the first place, it is a fact that the UK’s exports to Europe are now lower than they were before the UK joined the bloc.

In the 13 years before the UK joined the EEC, our exports to the 11 core states saw growth of 131%, which grew to 136% between 1973 and 1993 as the union worked together on the  creation of a Common Market system. However, the value of UK exports to the same 11 economies has only risen by 2.8% in the years since the creation of the Single Market.

While the EU’s economy hasn’t shrunk in size since the creation of the Single Market, the rest of the world has grown faster. That’s why the EU’s GDP (and by implication – as a member state – the UK’s GDP) makes up a smaller proportion of the total of world purchasing power parity than it did in 1973.

This has had a particularly devastating effect on the UK’s agricultural sector. For instance, in 1972, the UK produced almost 96% of the beef it ate but this has recently fallen to just below 70% due to EU imports. Not only has this resulted in many farms going bust but it has also been the major contributory factor for the rise in the cost of beef products to British shoppers – principally through making imports from countries like New Zealand ever more expensive.

Sadly, in May of this year (2017) a House of Lords committee published a report looking at the impact of Brexit on agriculture which set out the challenges that the producer lobbies in British agriculture and food sectors will face when we leave the EU but nowhere did they recognise that French-driven protectionism has driven both UK and EU food prices above world prices.

However, the report does briefly quote evidence from Lord Forsyth and Professor Alan Swinbank (a former professor at the University of Reading) which argues that, after Brexit, there will be opportunities to open agriculture to international competition and to lower British food prices, which will benefit all consumers, especially those on lower incomes.

But the real damage as far as trade is concerned is the fact that since the UK joined the EEC, we have no longer been responsible for who we trade with nor under what those arrangements are. Of course, the UK (and any other member state) could have vetoed any such agreement but none has – and shame on various UK governments for not doing so.

We have also had to allow cheap imports from the EU to enter the British market which, in itself, has done immeasurable damage to UK producers, forcing up their prices which has then forced overall prices to rise.

And it must be noted that were the UK to trade under WTO rules, tariffs would range at somewhere around 3.8% compared to an average EU external tariff of some 7.5%. This alone has driven the cost of non-EU imports to levels far above those that would have applied were we not now in the EU.

My expectation (not just hope) is that, free from the constraints of the Single Market, the UK will be able to negotiate reciprocal bilateral trade deals with countries like Canada and Australia and, where necessary, trading blocs such as the EU because this would not only allow for cheaper imports but also boost British exports because there will be no need for external tariffs to be applied by the importing country or trading bloc – as there is currently with the Single Market.

These, for me at least, were the three main reasons why I voted for the UK to leave the EU. But they are not the only ones.

But perhaps THE main reason why I voted for the UK to leave the EU is that I believe that our own government and the British people, for better or worse, should be the only ones making the decisions for our own society and economy as they were for hundreds of years before the EU was formed or even thought of.

It should not be those whose interests lie in the creation of a European superstate ruled by unelected bureaucrats.

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4 Responses

  1. Stanley Cutts says:

    This is really good stuff Merv. As not every UKIP member reads (or even knows about) Kipper Central, would it be a good idea to email both of David Reardon’s posts to all members? Failing that, maybe you could just send members the links to the relevant pages on this site. In any event, and mindful of the political health warning, it would be promotional for both Reardon’s Facebook group and Kipper Central.

  2. forthurst says:

    “However, when the UK leaves the EU we will be able to use our own judgment to decide immigration criteria and quotas based solely on the economic needs of the UK”

    This in essence is why people outside UKIP simply don’t get it; we are a people not a multinational corporation. That being the case, just like the Japanese or any other country that has not been despoiled by malignant multiculturisers, we should manage on our own native talent and no one else. This means, for example, that those people who in the past have been responsible for deliberately constraining the availabilty of places in medical schools in order to create a need artificially to import doctors, need to have their behaviour criminalised.

    As we are a people not a multinational corporation, then the welfare of the people not the profits of business become paramount: this means that not GDP but GDP (PPP) per capita should be the economic criterion by which the prosperity of the nation is judged and we as a nation despite importing a million people every two years do not seem to increase our relatve rating. Quelle Surprise, non! All we have actually achieved by overpopulating our country is to quadruple the relative cost of housing, created chronic overcrowding in the South East and unremitting pressure on public services whilst increasing the current account deficit.


  3. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    Again my Thanks to David Reardon for a well thought out observation, that even I can follow and understand.
    Back in the 1970s with the referendum on the Common Market, and the forked tongue lies from Ted Heath. Did we not have a Legal Industry, of Solicitors and Barristers ? How was it that an old, but in force law, was not used to stop any such action by Government ? Knowledge of the 1689 Bill of Rights, was (obviously) not known to me, but it should have been known to Legal Professionals. Maybe they did know about it and probably mentioned it in low tones. Their duty would have been to shout it out loud, but then if nobody was paying the hundreds of pounds per hour for their time, they probably thought better of it !
    So, David asks why did I vote Leave at the recent referendum ? I made my mind up, that if given the chance, I would correct my vote that I gave in the 70s, and I came to that decision in the 80s. As you can see, it did not take long for me to recognise my error. I am no historian, but I am entertained by it. Over the centuries, power was taken from the Crown, to the people, until power was owned by Parliament, and eventually all the people could vote for the Party of their choice. Power was indeed in the hands of the people, but our representatives had to seek our approval on a regular basis, and if too many mistakes were made by them, the people could get shot of them. A near perfect situation existed, with the Crown as Head of State, and permanent without power, but Parliament with the power but requiring the people’s consent every five years. (All we need now is PR instead of FPTP, for full on Democracy).
    The alternative to this excellent system of National administration, was handing everything over to The European Union. A vote is given for the EU Parliament, in EU inspired block areas. The big problem is that it is no Parliament at all, and the members of this gathering just vote on what the un-elected Commission wishes to give action to. This is in effect a nonsense, called a Parliament to keep people like me happy ! Well it doesn’t, and it is clear that our governance has taken a huge backward step. So David, that is the core reason for wanting out of the EU. There are many other reasons, but they are all noted in the media, and they have become very boring, so I leave it at that.

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