Could the Dutch follow us out of the EU door?

A new poll about attitudes to the EU in Holland, undertaken for the Bruges Group, by Maurice de Hond shortly before the country’s General Election, shows the Dutch prefer alternatives to the EU rather than EU membership. Support for Nexit (i.e., the total of  EFTA and FTA supporters) stood at 56% as opposed to 44% EU supporting continued EU membership. This compares to an IPSOS poll last year showing 64% preferred to remain in the EU. With the Netherlands going to the polls on 15th March, this poll could help pro-sovereignty parties. The poll gave respondents two choices for leaving the EU, the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) option and the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) option, which also included controlling immigration. The results show the Dutch are open to a working alternative, such as EFTA.

The full results were as follows:

39% = EU/Single Market
23% = EFTA/Single market (European Free Trade Association)
27% = FTA (Free Trade Association)
11% = Don’t Know

When Don’t Knows are excluded, this equates to:
56% = Nexit (EFTA+FTA)
44% = EU

The detailed results showed equally men and women supported Nexit options.

The national media on the continent is even more censored than the UK media, so the EFTA option may well be the easiest route to self-government and restoring democracy.

If the Dutch were to have a successful Nexit referendum, it would help our own Brexit negotiations if there was another country looking for a similar simple free trade agreement, with full immigration control. There is also the option of the other EFTA countries looking to renegotiate their terms and joining the UK and other European countries looking for self-government.

Interestingly, a similar poll for the UK, commissioned before last year’s referendum for the Bruges Group and undertaken by Opinium, showed 61% would support an EFTA+FTA option.

In summary, this poll shows that there is a real possibility the Netherlands may hold a Nexit referendum, with good chances of winning if the EFTA option is selected along with, maybe, a more phased approach to immigration control –  e.g. new Eastern Europeans having a 1 year working working visa, with a points system for staying longer. Since European relations have been in flux for hundreds of years, new ideas for trade agreements that benefit the majority of people, including the EFTA option, are showing in this poll.

The Bruges Group press release can be found here, with results tables

The Daily Express has published the poll results:

There are a number of options for EFTA membership:
– Full membership
– Associate membership

There are also a number of ways EFTA countries can trade with the EU
– EFTA/Single Market (Norway, Iceland)
– EFTA/Single Market, with immigration control (Liechtenstein)
– EFTA/bilateral (Switzerland)
– EFTA/FTA (Free Trade Agreement) (e.g. South Korea)
– EFTA/WTO rules (World Trade Organisation) (similar to China, which exports €300bn to the EU a year)

For regular updates about EFTA and the UK and Europe see here
For EFTA seminar powerpoints see here.
For a list of EFTA worldwide free trade agreements, see here

Hugo van Randwyck has been suggesting the EFTA option as a stepping stone for full self-government, starting with a transition to EFTA/Single Market, and using the articles 112 and 113 for phasing restoring self-government from the Single Market, e.g. immigration control . With the a simple FTA as the aim. In addition, looking at the option of northern Europe becoming an EFTA zone, with new members, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria ,Ireland, joining Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. He has written for the Bruges Group and also CIB.

The benefits of Brexit via the EFTA Route

A fast track two-step Brexit, starting with EFTA Single Market + Opt Outs and then negotiation a Free Trade Agreement could accelerate the UK economy and living standards within 12 months. The European Free Trade Association (www.efta.int) , including Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein enjoy standards of living almost 40% higher than the UK, and also have an economic arrangement with the EU. The Single Market countries have an opportunity to use article 112 and 113 to control immigration, for example:

  • New Eastern European immigrants only get a 1 year working visa, no children, and a points skills system for staying longer ( so reducing downward pressure on wages)
  • Any other Single Market country, has free movement, unless their unemployment rate is 7% or more, in which case, new immigrants only get a 1 year working visa, no children, and a points skills system for staying longer ( so reducing downward pressure on wages)
  • Anyone with a non-UK passport wishing to buy a residential property needs to have lived in the UK for over 5 years ( so reducing rent and house price rises)

Increasing prosperity for the many by:

Ensuring wages rise faster than rents and house prices, so increasing disposable income and spending in the economy

This could be implemented now.

Q: What are other hidden benefits from upgrading to democracy, from our current EU membership?

A: The hidden costs of EU membership can be reduced and realized with self-government, including:

Business – better business cash-flow, since with economies controlled by large cartels, who can pay suppliers late and cash flow problems, then with easier entry into markets, smaller companies can also gain profits in the supply chain, enabling more investment and more even spread of pay, so reducing government benefit spending and so lower taxes

– The EU poor role model will be eliminated, of endless meetings, duplication (e.g. another Parliament in Strasbourg), poor communication, interfering without expertise (e.g. landlocked countries having influence in fishing industry countries), long decision making time, only top down ideas instead of listening to ideas at all levels, wasting public money on big projects that cost more than benefit, groupthink with censorship of other ideas and other problems

– decentralizing of power, could help to also have less large cartel companies – maybe demergers – and more smaller/medium size companies, so helping innovation and productivity increases, and so pay

– incomes rising faster than rents and house prices – so more disposable income, including lowest paid people, instead of current policy of rents and house prices rising faster than pay

Helping low income countries – low income countries could benefit as EU the is protectionist, for example only allowing raw coffee beans into the EU from Africa, to protect EU coffee roasters, so preventing African countries moving up the value chain by adding value and raising standards of living

– easier ability for Eastern European countries economies to grow as controlling new immigration will help keep skills in their countries, including management skills, engineering, legal, building, scientists, health, entrepreneurs, businesspeople

– shift world centre of gravity to democracy and people’s vote makes a difference, in making, amending and repealing any laws

– less interference and distortion in elections in countries, since with less aid money, those politicians in power can get credit at elections for money that came from outside, so deluding people into thinking policies are working, so less aid can help with better policies and less corruption

– better human rights, since respecting boundaries leads to better human rights, for example after the end of communism, people found that those countries that did not respect private property rights (Communism) had a loss of life in the 10 millions, while those that did respect private property rights (military dictatorships) had a loss of life in the 10,000s – all terrible losses – a significant difference

Better government – less corruption in government, with lack of accountability with some EU spending, thus being a poor role model in countries, where public prefer honest government, and no corruption

– better value for taxpayers money, with more competition, as the EU public procurement directive results in lots of new paperwork that small companies cannot afford, so don’t bid anymore

– better global regulations, as individual countries can lobby for regulations which make sense for the UK economic sectors

– higher morale in public sector organisations with regulations that suit the service being provided and less people are promoted with political connections –like the EU system – and more with merit

-less government debt and lower taxes, as less money is used for big projects that are wasteful experiments

– public can look up to their leaders, instead of now, where people look down on leaders – as the EU Parliament is more important than national Parliaments, so restoring self-government could alos help with better people going into politics

– simpler regulations, since the regulations made are only relevant to each country, and not a one-size-fits-all

– maybe help with children’s attention in schools, as countries have noticed a fall in education standards and respect for teachers and adults, since joining the EU. EFTA countries haven’t had many such problems

– less vote buying by politicians, since the EU has signs saying ‘funded by the EU’ when in fact, the money either comes from the country itself or from another country, who does not currently get recognition for aid

– new ideas looked at, since the ‘one party state’ thinking is gone and the ‘EU mind guards’ are gone, so simple questions like ‘what did we change?, what did we used to do?, what do other countries do?, what off-the-shelf alternatives are there? How are we evaluating the positives and negatives of any changes? Who benefits from the previous changes, who loses?’ can be asked.

– with the top-down thinking from the EU gone, people could feel free to suggest ideas again to managers and team members – instead of thinking it would be  a waste of time – so helping improve service, quality, productivity and morale

– better chance of politicians listening to people’s opinions including the majority opinion, since the EU role model is poor with, for example, the UK only having 10% of seats, so 90% have other interests – so with self-government, 100% of politicians make the laws, and avoid special interest groups/cartels overruling majority opinions

– ability to have direct democracy, petition/referendum, since the results cannot be overruled by the EU

– each country is a unique ecosystem, with unique history, culture written and unwritten rules, evolving in its own way

As we can see from government actions, that spending on ‘white elephants’ to give contracts to cartels is still happening even after

In short, liberty is something that cartels of power, economic size and wealth do not easily release, so taking the initiative with promoting an alternative, EFTA, and a step-by-step approach to local MPs and media, can help the Brexit process speed up and realise benefits soon for all income groups, and the people who voted Brexit.

A suggested framework for the exit negotiations

Some thoughts on how to upgrade from current EU membership to a Self-Governing Democracy with option of EFTA/Single Market + Opt Outs

There could be an easy and fast track way of switching from EU membership to a win-win agreement with EU countries, perhaps using the EFTA + Opt Outs approach? This would keep our access ot the single market and could help business confidence and also ease the strain on public services.

There could be 3 tracks for the negotiations:

  • Carrying out the negotiations
  • Using article 112 and 113 of the Single Market (EEA + European Economic Area) agreement to take ‘unilateral measures’ while negotiations are ongoing.
  • And simplifying the regulations in the UK

Firstly, having an idea of what the win-win agreement looks like is essential.  This could include membership of EFTA (European Free Trade Association www.efta.int) and keeping free access to the Single Market with goods, services and capital – with all the rest with UK control, including movement of people.

– EFTA already exists, and EFTA member Liechtenstein has ‘special provisions’ for controlling immigration

– So, arranging a meeting with EU countries and say that the is UK looking for a win-win economic agreement, not a lose-win political/economic agreement, in order of preference EFTA/Single Market + Opt Outs (Norway, Liechtenstein), or EFTA/Bi-lateral (Switzerland), then FTA (South Korea), then WTO (China). Indeed, the former is the only seamless route through the Brexit door

– Apply to EFTA countries for membership, using article 56, of EFTA Convention

– UK apply for membership of world organisations for speaking and voting, e.g. WTO

– Approach existing countries with Free Trade Agreements with EFTA-e.g. Canada – for implementing Free Trade Agreements

Secondly, using article 112 and 113 of the EEA agreement, for unilateral actions, for a win-win approach, i.e. that UK citizens could get in other countries, including standard of living, while carrying out negotiations with the EU.

This could be used in a number of areas, to get immediate benefits for the economy

  • All new Eastern European immigrants get only a 1 year working visa, no children, no access to benefits, and a points skills system for staying longer
  • All other new EU immigrants have free movement, unless their unemployment is 7% or more, then they only get a 1 year working visa, no children, no access to benefits, and a points system for staying longer. Things that may help reduce their unemployment rate, could include restoring their original currencies.
  • If the UK unemployment rate is 7% or more, then all new EU immigrants only get a 1 year working visa, no children, no access to benefits, points skills system for staying longer.
  • Any new immigrant with an EU passport, from any EU country, who was not born in an EU country to EU parents does not get any free movement or automatic working visa, and needs to apply, using a point system, no children, no access to benefits. I.e. people who have bought their passport sin other EU countries, do not get automatic entry to work and live in the UK.
  • Optional: anyone who has already arrived in the last 5 years from Eastern Europe, is not entitled to benefits, including access to council housing. Anyone who has arrived from other EU countries, with unemployment rate 7% or over, in the last 5 years, does is not entitled to benefits
  • Any EU citizen with a previous serious crime criminal record – crime against property, financial crime, crimes against the person across any age group – is deported. Any EU citizen convicted in the UK for a crime – property, financial or person – is deported and serves sentence in EU country of origin.
  • Anyone from an EU country wishing to buy a residential property, can only buy after living 5 years in the UK and paying tax – similar to Denmark.

 Thirdly, simplifying regulations.

Setting up an online system for easily accessing, searching, sorting and finding regulations, their source and use, for all areas in the UK, including national, county and local government, so working groups can review all existing regulations and simplify. For example:

UK law

  • UK law number, relevant Ministry, topic
  • text of law, any paperwork used for implementation
  • who affects, numbers of people and businesses, cost/benefits, usage

EEA/Single Market law

  • EEA law number
  • UK law number, relevant Ministry, topic
  • text of law and listing of any UK additions, any paperwork used for implementation
  • who affects, numbers of people and businesses, cost/benefits, usage

EU law

  • EU law number
  • UK law number, relevant Ministry, topic
  • text of law and listing of any UK additions, any paperwork used for implementation
  • who affects, numbers of people and businesses, cost/benefits, usage

World laws

  • World body law number
  • UK law number, relevant Ministry, topic
  • text of law and listing of any UK additions, any paperwork used for implementation
  • who affects, numbers of people and businesses, cost/benefits, usage

Process: Select Committee, consulting all relevant parties, for ideas and any ‘quick wins’

  • -Ask for advice from expertise in existing EFTA countries, for simplifying
  • Ask for advice from expertise in other successful countries

Listing of all articles and regulations from current treaty that are to be run by Parliament, including:

  • Movement of people
  • Environment
  • Social chapter
  • European Convention of Human Rights

For setting up  cross party groups, to look at:

  • What works for the UK
  • what has had unintended side affects
  • incorporating ‘net benefit’ articles and regulations, in whole or part into UK law
  • repealing ‘net cost’ articles and regulations

In addition, for fast track simplifying:

  • Ask industry groups – small, medium and large – for listing of regulations and laws that hinder job creation and productivity, including ’gold-plating’ that add costs that prevent small businesses competing with larger businesses
  • Include a listing of which regulations make it difficult for small businesses to tender for public sector contracts and also compete with larger companies in the wider economy, e.g. excessive paperwork
  • Ask union groups for listing, as above, and also areas where health and safety is an issue
  • Listing also from charities and public sector of regulations unnecessary, since they do not export to the EU
  • e. since only 9% of the economy is involved with EU trade, eliminating unnecessary regulations for the other 91% of the economy
  • Listing of adverse rulings from the European Convention of Human Rights, that reward criminals, overrule other laws passed by Parliament, lead to loss of public faith in the legal system, are no benefit and merely create jobs in the legal profession. Listing also good rulings from the ECHR. Then look to simplify the ECHR, to be aligned with values of UK legal system and evolution.
  • Use the 80/20 rule for prioritizing, i.e. which 20% of suggestions, would give 80% of the benefits listed

Use article 112 and 113 for implementing the above and evaluate ongoing. It is also possible to start with trails in certain parts of the country, if this makes sense, before going for a nationwide implementation of unnecessary regulations

This is an easier way to accelerate the benefits for implementing prosperity, keeping it transparent, for the public to have faith, and not have big cartels, special interest groups and vote buying politicians, decide the outcomes. So restoring government of the people, by the people, for the people, prosperity for the many and also making it easier for other countries in the EU, to see benefits of voting leaving the EU and upgrading to democracy.

Hugo van Randwyck

Scrapping student fees on withdrawal – an appeal to younger voters?

We need to engage younger voters in the referendum on leaving the EU. One argument which may appeal is that taking the EFTA option would allow us to scrap student fees.

Firstly, for the benefit of those who are not aware of EFTA, is is the European Free Trade Association (See  www.efta.int.)  Norway is a member of EFTA and is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe.  The majority of its electorate do not want to join the EU.

EFTA countries have an economic agreement with the EU, allowing for free movement of goods, services, people and capital. However Liechtenstein has ‘special provisions’ for controlling immigration, far more powerful than the feeble “Emergency Brake” which David Cameron needs to ask permission to apply.

But what are the issues for younger people and students?

Lower income – poor job opportunities and downward pressure on wages from immigration

Middle income – high rents and house prices, making it difficult to save for a deposit, due to immigration demand on housing, also downward pressure on wages from immigration and also student loans to pay off.

In 2014, the UK paid a net £11 billion to the EU. Norway does not pay to be part of the Single Market, it diverts some of its foreign aid to the EU – something the UK could also do, and use the £11 billion savings for getting rid of student tuition fees and also outstanding student tuition fees.

At the end of 2014-15 there were 4.6m borrowers with outstanding student loans, with a total debt of £64.7 billion. So with £11 billion to spend in the UK, that would allow, all loans to be paid off in 7 years.

Maintenance loans could be worked out using the minimum wage for the weeks studying and not working. For example £7.20 per hour * 35 hours in a week = £252 per week

Average weeks studying, winter 10 weeks, Spring 10 weeks, summer 8 weeks = 28 weeks

28 weeks * £252 = £7056

For 3 years is, £7056 * 3 = £21168

Perhaps the after tax amount could be calculated and also an expectation that students have some sort of part time job during studying time. I.e. working out the amount using 25 or 30 hours a week.

There are other ways to speed up the paying off of all outstanding student loans, by reviewing how easy it is for new immigrant to access benefits, for example needing to contribute for 5 years, or only receiving the amounts they would get in their own country.

Current benefits to EU immigrants include: Housing benefit, tax credits and unemployment benefit of £2.5 billion – a significant amount. With more immigration, this amount could increase even more. If other people in other EU countries avoid paying their taxes and vote for corrupt, irresponsible and incompetent politicians, there is no reason for the UK taxpayer to be held financially responsible.

Some studies have shown that every person unemployed costs the taxpayers around £10,000 in benefits and lost tax revenue. So if the UK had Norway’s and Switzerland’s average unemployment rate of around 4% instead of 5.1%, that would be around 1.36 million, instead of 1.7 million, an extra 340,000 paying tax, or another £3.4 bn. If the UK had 3% unemployment, this could add another £6.8bn.

All helping pay off outstanding student debt faster.

Free Student tuition and maintenance grants, calculation

250,000 students with £35,000 debt = approx £9 bn

Current outstanding student loans = £64.7 bn

Savings from leaving the EU and switching to a win-win EFTA Single Market + Opt Outs agreement

Current net EU contribution = £11bn a year

Cost of projects due to higher population HS2 = £42.6bn

Cost of projects due to higher population, Hinkley point nuclear power subsidy potential = £20bn

Since the foreign aid budget is set to increase from £11bn to £16bn by 2020, this extra money could be used for any aid projects in Eastern Europe.

Likely the fastest way to increase the paying off loans is by having a trade balance, and so an increase in tax revenues. Leaving the EU and joining EFTA is the easiest and fastest way. Increasing average income to Norway’s level would also help i.e. £ 36,000 compared to the UK of £24,000. Younger voters and undecideds voting to Leave the EU would be voicing their emancipation proclamation, freeing themselves from financial serfdom.

Since the UK also has a trade deficit with the EU, which means loss of jobs and loss of company sales, then a trade balance will help in increasing government revenues from more: income tax, corporation tax, VAT, council tax, fuel duty, business rates and other taxes. So allowing the student loans to be paid off, and restore free higher education, as before the UK switched to the EU, from the EEC. The reduction in regulations would also be like a tax cut for businesses, helping making it easier to grow their businesses. In addition the hidden cost affecting the public sector of the EU style of top down ideas, centralisation/mergers, poor communication, and low morale would also be lifted allowing better decisions, communication and higher morale.

EU vs EFTA:- Are you an Extremist or a Moderate?

With the EU referendum coming up, there is a potential for Britain to rebalance towards democracy and prosperity for the many. Currently the UK is a member of the EU Single Market, a political and economic agreement, while there is also an off-the-shelf alternative, the EFTA Single Market, like Norway, who is a member of the European Free Trade Association.

People should ask themselves questions to ascertain whether they are extremist or moderate.

  1. Jobs

Do you want to be part of a union that has cost the cumulative £130 billion and a cumulative trade deficit over £400 billion, resulting in loss of jobs, loss of company sales and also loss of tax revenue for public services. A lose-win agreement?

Or would you prefer to have an agreement that would cost no more than £3 billion a year, and a trade balance, more jobs. A win-win agreement?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Student loans, elderly

Do you feel it is right for the UK to give billions of pounds in aid to EU countries where people avoid paying their taxes and corruption leads to increase in the cost of government spending in EU countries, allowed people in Greece to retire at 50 in sunny weather, pay for new roads and high speed railway lines in EU countries, while in the UK some elderly people cannot afford heating in their homes, and UK students now need to pay tuition fees and now have debts?

Or do you feel the £ billions money used for EU aid is better given to UK elderly people for more winter fuel allowance, and students have tuition fees reduced from £9,000 a year to £500 a year?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Human Rights

Do you feel it is right for the UK to have the European Arrest Warrant, allowing UK citizens to be arrested and sent abroad, with little evidence, that wouldn’t stand up in a UK court of law?

Or do you feel a normal extradition agreement, as before, is better, requiring full evidence, that could stand up in a UK court of law, used for any extradition of a British citizen?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Fisheries sustainability

Do you feel it is right for the EU to dictate UK fishing policy, including by countries that have no fishing industry, like Austria, Luxembourg, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and tell UK fishermen to throw fish overboard if they have caught too much of their quota – meanwhile over 200,000 people in the UK use food banks to feed their families?

Or do you feel the UK is better to run it’s own fishing policy

Are you Pro-EU or Pro-EFTA?

  1. More even spread of economic wealth and power

Do you feel is better to have more and more political power centralised in the EU, which has also led to more and more wealth being held by fewer people, i.e. increasing of centralisation of power has led to increasing centralisation of wealth, with the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor getting poorer?

Or would you prefer self-government for the UK, with less political power centralised and thus leading to less wealth being centralised?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Safe streets

Do you support known criminals from EU countries freely being able to move to the UK?

Or do you support preventing EU criminals coming to the UK?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Lower living costs

Do you support uncontrolled mass immigration from EU countries into the UK, with side effects of rising living costs and lower wages, especially for low income people?

Or do you support controlling immigration that suits the UK and is based on skills needed and is more of a win-win system?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.  Pro-Democracy

Do you support the EU overriding the British Parliament and elected MPs, and people you vote for cannot change laws, and the UK turning into a one-party state run by the EU and other countries, UK being outvoted in EU institutions and forced to take regulations which aren’t suited to the UK economy or justice system?

Or do you support  the UK upgrading to democracy and self-government and having the ability to veto EU laws, and also the UK once again to sit on world organisations and have a voice and vote on regulations? and also being abel to negotiate Free Trade Agreements with other countries, independent of the EU?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Human Rights, Free Enterprise

Do you support the UK being a poor role for democracy in the world for dictatorships, being a member of the EU, whose accounts haven’t been signed off by auditors for over 15 years due to fraud, media censorship of pro-democracy activists, centralisation of power and wealth, media/banking/business cartels lobby government for preferential regulations making it costly for competitors to compete and lower prices, people arrested with EAW on flimsy evidence, the rich getting richer while the poor getting poorer, no matter who you vote for – nothing changes.

Or do you feel the UK is better to upgrade to democracy and be better role model, showing dictatorships, people’s voice in elections is heard and reflected in polices that benefit the majority, full reporting on political opinions – including pro-democracy parties, decentralisation of power, a more even spread of wealth, people can only be arrested with sufficient evidence of any crime – or released immediately, more opportunity for new businesses to start and offer services and compete with current cartels, be a member of an association that has it’s accounts signed off every year?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Pro-Democracy in other countries

Do you ignore Britain’s role in Europe in the last 200+ years, helping many countries in restoring self-government, after self-government has been taken away in the areas of: political decision making, economic policy, taxation, currency control, legal system, movement of people, media freedom – by a larger power in Europe? Do you ignore Britain’s role in the last 200+ years in Europe, helping ensure there is no one dominant power bullying other countries in Europe – so helping countries keep their self-government?

Or do you support Britain being an example of democracy, with the ability to make, amend and repeal laws, and the people who are elected can make the laws in the UK? Do you support Britain being a country that supports and aids countries upgrade to democracy and allow the voice of the people to be heard in making the laws of their country?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1. Human Rights and Animal Rights

Do you ignore the lessons from previous dictatorships and totalitarian regimes, that showed after the fall of communism and military dictatorships, that in socialist/communist countries the state did not protect property rights and 10 millions died, in military dictatorships which protected property rights and 10,000s died – that defending property rights, leads to better protection of human rights, and lower cost in human lives – even though each one lost is a tragedy?  Do you ignore that defending boundaries is a lead to defending human rights? Do you ignore that protecting boundaries has led to also improved animal rights? Do you ignore that a system is as strong as it’s weakest link? Do you support the EU weakening the defending of UK boundaries and UK immigration controls?

Or do you support each country defending boundaries and protecting it’s borders and deciding who and how many people come in to their own country, for how long? and so improve respect for human rights and also animal rights? And also an example for other countries in the world? Improving weakest links leads to overall improvements. Do you support controlling immigration to suit the UK economy and residents?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1. Democracy in Europe

Do you support the EU Parliament – having only 10% of MEPs voted by the UK – being able to override the British Parliament? Do you support the UK being a member of the EU, where it can be outvoted and forced to take laws thet don’t suit the UK and/or were not voted for by the public in a party manifesto? Do you support the UK MEPs outvoting other countries in the EU, to force them to accept laws they feel do not fit their country?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Competitiveness, productivity and pay

Do you support 100% of the economy being subject to EU laws and regulations, even though only 9% of the economy trades with the EU? Do you support the ‘hidden tax’ of EU regulations that add a cost to British industry, and reduce competitiveness?

Or do you support only the 9% of the economy that trades with the EU, being subject to EU Single Market laws and regulations? So making the rest of the economy more competitive? And easier to create jobs and increase productivity and pay?

Are you pro-EU or pro-EFTA?

  1.   Prosperity, domocracy

If the UK was in EFTA Single Market + Opt Outs (immigration) now, instead of the EU Single Market, would you vote in a referendum to join EU Single Market with no Opt Outs? Would you increase EU contributions from £3 billion a year to £11 billion a year and remove free student education and maintenance grants and impose tuition fees of £9,000 a year, leaving students in £35,000 debt? Would you give up UK control of 100% of it’s economy, run a trade deficit, exporting jobs and giving tax revenues to other countries, allow uncontrolled immigration, wages kept down, living costs rising faster than wages rises?

Or would you prefer to stay in EFTA Single Market + Opt Outs (immigration), with free higher education, with students having no debts, giving new Eastern Europeans a 1 year working visa, after which they return or have a points skills system allowing them to stay longer. Have real wages rise by over 2% a year, above inflation, similar to the 1980s. Smaller class sizes, shorter waiting lists at hospitals. Control of fisheries, agriculture, home affairs, justice, asylum and more. Single Market regulations only affect 9% of the economy allowing lower business costs.

If you feel EFTA Single Market is more for you, then you are with the majority opinion, according to polls, with one poll showing:

71% = EFTA Single Market

29% =EU Single Market

The switch to the off-the-shelf EFTA, can quickly revitalise the UK economy and allow the UK to be a role model of democracy – be the change in the world, by setting an example of liberty, prosperity and representative democracy.

For more information on EFTA see www.efta.int

In the upcoming referendum there is also an opportunity for the UK to be a moderate country once again and also a role model for other countries and transforming dictatorships, leading by example. This is with choosing to Leave the EU, and upgrading to democracy, the fastest way is by switching from EU Single Market to joining EFTA and remaining in the Single Market, with Opt Outs for immigration control. A win-win agreement with self-government.

EU Referendum – Brexit £10 billion windfall – how would you spend it?

The UK switching from EU membership to an economic free trade style agreement with EU countries could save annually net contributions up to £10 billion a year, with an EFTA membership of up to £8 billion a year savings. Since joining the EEC/EU, the UK has made net cumulative financial contributions of over £130 billion, and also had a cumulative trade deficit of over £400 billion – hardly a win-win agreement. In fact a trade deficit is more than an export of jobs; it involves less jobs paying income tax, lower government tax revenues in VAT, council tax, corporation tax and more. So a win-win agreement could result in a more even trade balance and more tax revenues for public services.

How would you spend it? If we said the current money returned is spent similarly to now, then the net contributions have an opportunity for used in a different way.

Here are a number of options:

1) Not borrow the money in the first place, to give to the EU, so reducing the national debt and interest. An obvious choice. It seems giving money to other EU countries, where people avoid paying taxes, and corruption in government spending, is not a good reason for UK taxpayers to make up the shortfall, since the solution in better behaviour is already within the EU country if they wish to improve.

2) Evenly spread the money across all government spending departments, e.g. education, health, environment, defence, pensions etc. It doesn’t seem right that the UK has been paying £ billions to the EU, including to Greece, where people have been retiring at 50 in sunny weather, while in the UK the government has not had enough money to give elderly extra winter fuel benefits to keep warm.

3) Give aid to Eastern European countries – continuing as now

4) Give aid to Southern European countries – continuing as now

5) Increase foreign aid budget – give money to the rest of the world

6) Or more focused use of the money e.g.

6.1 Reducing student tuition fees and outstanding loans

6.2 Increasing winter fuel payments to the elderly

6.3 Increase thresholds before people pay tax

Looking at this option in more detail:-

6.1) Currently there are around 250,000 new graduates a year in the UK ,with on average £35,000 debt, from tuition fees and maintenance grants. Before political union, i.e. moving from EEC (only economic relationship with European countries) to EU, there were no tuition fees. Tuition fees started in the 1990s. The amount of annual student debt is around £8.75 billion. If tuition fees were halved and outstanding loans gradually paid off in half, this could be done with the ‘Leave EU’ savings. In the summer of 2015, there was around £73.5 billion outstanding student loans. Since half could be paid off, i.e. around £4 billion a year, then it could take 10 years to pay off half outstanding loans, of £37 billion.

6.2) There are around 12 million elderly people who receive the winter fuel allowance, varying between £100 to £300. So an extra £50 could mean another £600 million a year. Easy to afford with the ‘Leave EU’ savings.

6.3) Increase threshold before people pay tax by £500 costs the Treasury around £2 billion a year. So this is also feasible with the ‘Leave EU’ savings.

It is also worth being aware that a reduction in regulations across the economy could be like a tax cut for business, and help the economy grow. Similar to a cut in fuel prices or reduction in interest rates. Since estimates of the cost of regulations have a range from 3% to 10% of the economy, the benefits could be considerable. This could lead to more tax revenue, so allowing even bigger reductions in student fees and outstanding loans, so freeing up younger workers purchasing power to be spent in the economy and not paying off debt, so helping create more jobs.

In conclusion, the windfall of around £10 billion savings from ‘Leave EU’ options is an opportunity, that can improve lives across all age groups in the UK, and help create better standard of living for millions.

TEMP Referendum leaflet-page-001

For more information on the EFTA, European Free Trade Association option, see www.efta.int

For EFTA powerpoints, see: here or here

For the Bruges group.s polling showing 71% support for re-joing EFTA as opposed to 29% for stayting in the EU, see here

 

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