Thanks to our wonderful and prolific correspondents, we have a stack of interesting letters which demand publication, so on this Bank Holiday Monday we’re happy to publish a second lot of letters. They address issues which are important to the country, not just us inside UKIP, and which ought not to fall by the wayside because of our internal strife during this Leadership contest. The first letter is from our correspondent Septimus Octavius, on the ECJ and Brexit:
as the Silly Season slowly draws to a close, the Government has, in my view wisely, released some fairly detailed papers relating to the resumption of the Article 50 negotiations at the beginning of September. Unfortunately, all the politicians, civil servants and journalists in the UK continue to spout inanities, utterly disregarding what Article 50 actually does. As ever, it is only Monsieur Barnier who seems to be conscious of the “clock ticking”, and the cold binary logic of Article 50.
It is helpful, then, first to repeat what that binary logic does. Article 50 provides only two possibilities, one of which will definitely happen, but only one.
The first possibility is that Agreement is reached by a deadline; the relevant time limit expires when midnight strikes in Brussels on 28 March 2019. The other possibility is that no agreement is reached by that moment. However, the result in either case is exactly the same: the UK is released from the Treaties (of the European Union). As I have observed previously, this is comparable with being released from prison; it is in no way comparable with a divorce.
The ECJ is a creature of the Treaties and is made thereby the supreme legal authority in all the countries of the European Union. Immediately upon the Release, the ECJ ceases to have any relevance at all in the UK (other than a limited historical one), and the supreme legal authority in the UK becomes the Supreme Court. In the “no agreement” scenario, it is as simple as that.
One of the Government’s said papers has raised some relatively rational suggestions about the ECJ, the main one of which is the correct analysis of the effect of the Release; no more ECJ. However, the entirely predictable immediate civil service response was to attempt to throw buckets of cold water on this truth, saying that the ECJ would be supreme in the UK for years after it departs the EU because of the “transition period”. There will of course be no “transition period” unless there is a clause to that effect in an Agreement.
As Monsieur Barnier well knows, the UK holds all the aces in the negotiations, although of course he would never admit that. The “no agreement” scenario would be disastrous for the EU, not least of course because there would be no “divorce bill”, and German car exports to the UK would suddenly have WTO tariffs slapped on them.
It is precisely because the UK calls the shots that it can achieve a sensible deal.
Before leaving the issue of the ECJ, however, there is one “red line” which the Government has set out entirely correctly. This relates to the suggestion that has been bandied about that the ECJ should regulate any Article 50 Agreement. Such an arrangement would be illegal under the rules of “natural law”, of which there are only two: “audi alteram partem” meaning both sides of a dispute must be heard, and “nemo iudex in causa sua”, nobody can be a judge in his own case. It is that latter rule which the arrangement would offend, as an instrument of the EU would be the arbiter of a contract between the EU and the UK. Quite apart from that, it would be a recipe for certain catastrophe in the UK.
One of the worst aspects of the EU prison from which we eagerly await release is indeed the ECJ; the sooner we are rid of this wretched institution the better.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
Also on the issue of the ECJ, our correspondent Roger Arthur writes:
Based on DT reports, the EU wants to keep us under ECJ jurisdiction. But the UK invoked Article 50 so that we might trade across the globe without the burden of EU regulations, as do around 160 other countries, which are not in the EU.
Since over 90% of UK companies don’t even export to the single market, they will be free after Brexit to innovate when exporting to markets beyond the EU. They will then be able to compete in emerging markets, without being stifled by regulations designed to protect large EU companies.
Of course the EU fears that the UK may become the Hong Kong of Europe, but that is not a good reason to allow UK companies to be hamstrung as at present.
A 2015 Treasury Paper estimated that the cost of compliance with those regulations (for UK companies) was around 6% of GDP. That now equates to around £110 billion pa, a burden that can only be jettisoned, if the UK is removed from ECJ jurisdiction.
There is clearly no case for the Government to capitulate to the wishes of EU rulers.
Respectfully, Roger J. Arthur.
Next, our contributor and correspondent Liberas addresses the issue of Freedom and Speech and “Hate Crime”:
Brendan O’Neill wrote about the horrors of the British Criminal Prosecution Service’s statement of cracking down even more on social media insults.
Not only are they to treat words on the screen as being as much of a threat as someone screaming abuse in your face (which it obviously isn’t as one can instantly lead to a punch and the other cannot), but in addition the CPS is suggesting that just being unfriendly could be treated as a crime now.
I am deeply concerned about our loss of freedom which makes any comment in any public space a risk and makes discussion of any important political issues a probable crime.
This is why I believe that UKIP should take up freedom of speech and the exposure, ridicule and quarantining of cultural Marxism (postmodernist Marxism) as a major part of party policy.
Finally, staying with the theme of film and culture, our contributor and correspondent Comrade Keith sent us this observation:
I note Arron Banks proudly tells us in his Leave.EU newsletter that there are plans in Hollywood to dramatise his book ‘The Bad Boys of Brexit’ and that Benedict Cumberbatch may be cast in the leading role as Nigel Farage.
This is an actor who has been outspoken in his support for Britain staying in the EU and taking many more supposed refuges. He also starred in the film ‘The Fifth Estate’, which was a essentially a character assassination of Julian Assange commissioned by a smarting establishment.
What could possibly go wrong?
Respectfully, Comrade Keith