Boris Johnson, in expressing confidence that Britain will strike a ‘deal with Europe’ that combines free trade with ‘slashing immigration’ and ‘the curtailing of migration’ – if accurately reported in the Sunday Express (24th June) – is missing a number of points.
Firstly, the EU. Boris may well be involved in discussions with European nations but ultimately he is not negotiating with ‘Europe’ which is a geographical region. He is negotiating with the EU.
The EU is not fit for purpose because power in the EU is in the hands of people who are influenced more by corporate lobbyists than EU voters who cannot directly vote them out of office. This is the nub of the matter. The EU’s problem is its structure, not the people running it. The small matter that some of these people appear to be less than ideal is a distraction, a red herring.
Free trade is only free if it does not infringe on our national sovereignty. As a nation we need to avoid wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing trade deals that in reality are political deals, especially any of the kind that bind the next parliament.
As for ‘slashing’ immigration, if the UK is to take its place in the world as an independent, free, sovereign country rather than just an EU colony, we should, like almost every other country in the world, be in full control of our borders and our territorial waters. We should accept nothing less than full and complete control not only of how many but who is allowed to cross them.
It’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. But it is much more than that. Ultimately it is about the UK’s sovereign right to make the decision on each and every new immigrant to the UK.
In short it is the UK that should be ‘slashing numbers’ not the EU!
The UK Parliament is accountable to UK voters. The EU is not.
Of course certain of our politicians might well seek to avoid this responsibility and prefer to leave effective control of migration in EU hands, by simply negotiating numbers, numbers which would then become the subject of future ‘negotiations’ as this involves less work. This is work UK taxpayers are paying the UK government through their taxes to do for them.
Ironically, in arguing against democracy and national sovereignty proponents of this soft option are inclined to use the word ‘isolationism’ when the exact opposite is true. When were we least isolated? Prior to the start of the First World war as the richest, most powerful country on the planet in command of an empire upon which the Sun never set – or now, shackled to the moribund EU?
Of course here I’m simply making a point to highlight just how silly it is to try to label those who voted to leave the EU as isolationists. This is about our future, our way forward. I’m not suggesting we go backwards! However, it does explain why we not only were, but still are, a powerful country that punches well above its weight. We have more than half the world behind us. A world that is watching and waiting. A world that expects us to do this right. With power comes responsibility.
Once we are independent the EU should have no authority over us and we should be free to accept or reject any deal they offer and to change it later on should the need arise.
Control of immigration is a social justice issue of vital importance to the UK. Every immigrant to the UK in excess of our economy’s requirements will result in a cost to our benefits system and hence to the taxpayer. This is true whether the immigrant goes straight onto benefits or instead displaces a UK citizen who then goes onto benefits. Of course corporations that benefit from an oversupply of labour couldn’t care less about the compression of wages and the lowering of living standards that this brings. They are likely to use their influence to promote the soft ‘slashing numbers’ option, with ultimate control of immigration remaining in the hands of the EU.
Little mention has been made of the return of our territorial waters in reports on the discussion so far. I’m hoping that is because it is accepted as a ‘given’ on both sides of the English Channel.
I consider this to be crucial because with control of our Territorial Waters we also gain control over our fish. This in turn will allow us to rebuild our fishing industry and create employment. I believe this in turn to be highly significant in the maintenance of the Union. Give the Scots back their fishing and they would then be unlikely to vote to have the EU take it away from them again. Small wonder that Nicola Sturgeon has been so rowdy of late. Believe it or not, I think she gets it.
It has also been suggested elsewhere that even Eire might consider in some way or another some kind of rapprochement or, dare I say it, perhaps even re-joining the Union! The mistakes of our ancestors put right: what a welcome day that would be!
On a practical note: with the return of our territorial waters we could see control of fish stocks centred on co-operation amongst the nations that rely directly on this valuable resource. After June 23rd, all of this no longer has to be just a fond dream.
Even the best salesman in the world is not necessarily the best negotiator. Perhaps the denizens of the EU should be warned: listen to Boris! If you don’t you might get Gove …`