What are you not telling us, that we really should know about?
After recently hearing former top diplomat Sir Colin Budd KCMG defending our continuing membership of the European Union (at a public meeting in Andover), it became obvious that much important information was missing. Whilst Sir Colin piled on the agony about leaving (our EU partners are capable of being a really nasty bunch if we leave, apparently), there was correspondingly nothing about the risks, consequences or even positive vision of staying. Or how any risks incurred in leaving could be effectively managed or mitigated. Ah yes, being economical with the ‘truth’, in true top civil service tradition, which naturally begs the question, what else important is being withheld from us, glossed over or outright denied?
The following, therefore, considers some of the possible consequences of voting to stay in the EU inferred from Sir Colin’s words or silence. Certainly a lasting impression from the meeting is of a feeling of both entitlement and condescension by our rulers, operating within a rarefied atmosphere far removed from the world of ordinary people. This will inevitably affect their attitude to the exercise of power over us should we vote to stay, and effectively give them carte blanche (or a blank cheque) to continue as they see fit. Perhaps more worrying still is the apparent lack of a vision of a better future for us and, therefore, any idea of how to achieve it.
Should we vote to stay, our EU partners will be absolutely beastly to us for the temerity to even consider leaving and will set an example to others. Being inside the EU they can do exactly that by outvoting us – we are one voice amongst 28 current member states. So why not increase our contribution to their coffers ‘until the pips squeak’? Or pile on the open borders, regulations, control of our taxes and economy, takeover of the armed forces, police, legal system, education etc.? Obviously some of this is standard stuff as they pursue their EU superstate ideology, but why not bribe or pressurise our acquiescent politicians to be ahead of the pack and therefore demonstrably ‘good Europeans’? After all it can be interpreted by the ruling class that this is exactly what the British electorate voted for because they accepted that the EU is essentially ‘a good thing’ and their administration of us is an even better ‘good thing’.
Should we vote to stay, the significant gulf between the ruling establishment and ordinary people, particularly in their perceptions, understanding and aspirations, can be expected to continue and widen. Our politicians and bureaucrats will feel less inhibited by democratic accountability, patriotism and a sense of responsibility towards the British people. The unelected EU bureaucrats are making most of the decisions anyway. Behaviour can, therefore, become even more bizarre (following lofty ideals far removed from the reality faced by ordinary people), deceitful, EU-focused, control-freakish and out of touch.
Should we vote to stay, corporatism (namely being government of the privileged few for the privileged few who have the money and the lobbying influence in Brussels and Westminster) can be expected to continue. Inevitably big business will get bigger or more powerful (protected by non-tariff EU barriers or regulations), and small business weaker or non-existent, and prices rise compared to if there was more competition and innovation. British industry and jobs can be sacrificed to suit EU goals. A repeat, many times over, of what is already happening.
Recent events in the steel industry (especially at Port Talbot) and the closure of Ferrybridge C coal fired power station show that we are being led towards an EU with a politically-motivated low carbon economy. Inevitably this means de-industrialisation of energy-intensive industries and consolidation as industries are priced out of the market. If we vote to stay on an EU wide basis, where choices have to be made, German or French preferences will win and ours will lose.
If we vote to stay, EU problems or disasters are ours too. We would be expected to help reduce the effects of chaos elsewhere. And why not since the very essence of a superstate is that it is all one (happy or unhappy) country? We are already seeing these effects but having voted to stay our EU partners could be expecting us to really ‘pull our EU weight’, especially if we are perceived as ‘thriving’. More generally we could be part of a great levelling down as the more successful economies share their ‘success’ with the failures or less advanced.
If we vote to stay, the EU will remain fundamentally unreformed and therefore in a time warp of bureaucratic centralised control. Whilst there is some recognition that the EU is not yet perfect, there doesn’t seem to be any coherent plan to reform the EU to overcome its obvious shortcomings. Further, there does not appear to be any will to introduce change and therefore no mechanism for making it happen, even in dire situations.
It was a useful experience listening to the Remain campaign in action with its deafening silence about our future inside the EU and constant fear messaging about leaving. It is somewhat disingenuous to talk about initial or apparent risks of leaving the EU in the absence of any plans to manage or mitigate them. However, it does seem likely that Sir Colin and his former senior colleagues possess the diplomatic and other skills, and contacts to ensure a smooth transition should we vote to leave the failing EU.