Brexit means…..?

We now have less than three months to wait until Mrs May will invoke Article 50 and we formally begin the process of leaving the EU.  This means we will finally see her “Brexit means Brexit ” statement fleshed out, although it is doubtful if we will know all the detail by the end of March, especially as there are likely to be a good few twists and turns between the invocation of Article 50 and Independence Day.

During 2017 the Campaign for an Independent Britain will continue to fight for the best possible Brexit deal, working alongside other like-minded individuals and organisations. We will let you more as our plans develop, but here are a few guidelines which we believe will help ensure Brexit is successful.

Firstly, Brexit DOES NOT mean a trade-off between single market access and free movement of people from the EU. If the Government is considering remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA) – possibly by re-joining EFTA, the European Free Trade Area – as an interim position, the “four freedoms” of the Single Market are not indivisible for a non-EU country, in spite of claims to the contrary by the likes of Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister.

Iceland suspended free movement of capital following its banking crisis and, as has been pointed out on this website and elsewhere, Liechtenstein imposed restrictions on free movement of people over 20 years ago. Readers may remember that David Cameron’s “deal”  included a so-called “emergency brake”  – an agreement with the other 27 member states that if we voted to remain in the EU, we could restrict the in-work benefits paid to migrants for four years.

All Mr Cameron was doing was asking permission to apply Article 112 of the EEA agreement. Outside the EU, if we took the EFTA route, we wouldn’t have to ask the 27 member states and could impose far tougher restrictions than merely restricting benefits. Like Liechtenstein, we could drastically limit the numbers too. Liechtenstein has done nothing more than making use of an article in an existing agreement. We could do the same if the government chooses to go down the EFTA route.

Of course, we do not know if this is Mrs May’s plan, but it is inconceivable, given the number of on-line articles and research papers which have addressed this subject, that she and her advisers are not aware of Article 112 and Liechtenstein’s use of it. It is high time that the canard of the indivisibility of the “four freedoms” was laid to rest once and for all.

So what else does Brexit mean?

Firstly, freedom from the European Court of Justice. UK law and its courts must be the final arbiter of British justice.  We should pull out of participation in the European Arrest Warrant, which has resulted in UK residents being sent for trial abroad on hearsay evidence.  Furthermore, Brexit must lead to the return of trial by jury and other features of our historic legal system which have gradually been eroded by our membership of the EU.

Next, Freedom from any involvement with the European Defence Agency and an independent foreign policy. We should obviously work together with the EU where it is mutually beneficial so to do, but we should  not be involved with the EU’s empire building in the Balkans or former soviet republics such as the Ukraine.

Brexit must mean an end to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). As John Ashworth has argued, the concept of “Community waters”, the quota system, and the ridiculous amount of fish caught by boats from other EU member states in what are our national waters by right is a disgrace that has cost thousands of jobs in the fishing industry. The opportunity to revive our coastal communities through a well-designed fishing policy on similar lines to the Faroese scheme must not be passed over.

A replacement to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must also be designed. Unlike the CFP, which hardly benefits any UK fishermen at all (apart from those who have bought quota and then re-sell for profit), the CAP’s single farm payment is a lifeline for many in the agricultural sector. As an interim measure, a single payment system managed in Westminster rather than Brussels may be the answer, but looking further ahead, something more imaginative is essential as the CAP, initially designed to support small French farmers, has never been a good way to manage farming in the UK.

Finally, Brexit means not only taking the UK out of the EU but taking the EU out of the hearts of UK citizens. Schoolchildren and students have suffered years of indoctrination through pro-EU propaganda.  They will be the biggest beneficiaries of Brexit, but as anyone who has taken part in debates on the EU in schools and universities has discovered,  most of them don’t realise it at the moment.

So there will be much to keep us in the Campaign for an Independent Britain busy as 2017 approaches. On that note, may we wish all our members and supporters a Happy New Year.

 

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John Petley

John Petley

John Petley is Operations Manager for Campaign for an Independent Britain

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8 comments

  1. Faye LowleyReply

    It is heartening to know that we have these organisations working on our behalf, especially as it seems the government are stalling. I don’t like to lose hope or faith, however with so much opposition and roadblocks it feels precarious. I predicted Brexit, based on the comments and views on Facebook and in person when campaigning locally. I know the feeling of the British public who voted to leave and let nobody underestimate how strong that feeling is. If Mrs May is not aware of this someone should bring it to her attention, especially if she wishes to gain notoriety as a PM. The Tories as a party can benefit from a hard Brexit, anything less and UKIP will rise to the fore. The Cameron Brexit paper said we would leave the single market-that is what we are expecting-a clean break from the EU.

    • John Petley
      John PetleyReply

      Thanks for your comments. I remain hopeful and as you can see from other articles, one strong basis for that hope is that failure for the Tories is just not an option. It is frustrating to have to wait all this long but at least we should shortly know more of what the government’s plans are.

      • Jason BarkerReply

        We no longer have a ‘cut and run’ untrustworthy Cameron as PM. We have, I believe, an intelliegent shrewd planner at the top currently holding her cards tight. She needs to be proved. Cameron tried the tactic that the year 2017 was the more likely but swung an early hoping to outwit the leave camps. Fortunately the streets were well pounded by many UKIP sympathisers due to the foresight of Nigel Farage. I am not a UKIP member, (how far they will exceed in the political arena is open to question) but joined in with the local UKIP and leave camps using additional good leaflets produced from the CIB. The wonderful result left all parties and the government unprepared, and the EU. We fortunately have Richard North with his daily and very worthy contributions, as a light to the way out of the maze, that leaves them no excuse. As mentioned we wait for shrewd May to make an official statement.

  2. Phil JonesReply

    For me, John, total removal of free movement is the key issue, and non-negotiable. Unless a territory completely controls who has the right to cross its borders, it’s not a country. This is the reason that the EU will go to any lengths in its bargaining to retain some – even a small amount of – free movement and nominally thereby maintain the UK as ‘an EU province with special rights’. If even a small amount of free movement remains, a subsequent Labour government would be able to slowly lever it upwards. If no free movement remains, it would be much more problematic for a subsequent pro-EU UK government to reverse that policy. The UK has to start its negotiations with ‘no free movement’. Other countries negotiate free trade agreements without free movement inter se of their citizens being part of things. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows for free trade between the US and Canada and Mexico — but has no bearing on Canadians or Mexicans being allowed to walk into the US, or vice versa. The fact is that no ‘countries’ have ever agreed to include free movement of their people as a trade-off for free trade. This is the reason that, since the EU was formed in 1992, I have always considered its free movement provision as changing the UK, Germany, France, etc. at that time from countries into provinces of a new federal system of government. The UK now has the most wonderful opportunity to return itself to being a separate independent country — but that won’t happen if even a small amount of free movement of EU citizens to move across its borders remains. Brexit to me, and I think most others, meant an end to free movement!!

  3. Ian HolmesReply

    We all know what ‘free movement of people’ really means. It means simply transferring the no-hopers, the unskilled, those who will not work and live on the margins of a country’s society, and those people a country’s government would rather not have living there anymore, to another far more wealthy country, for that wealthy country to look after and support these people. The rest are mainly economic migrants, lured here for the (in our eyes) low wage, unskilled work which is still far more in excess than what they could earn in their own country, with the education, skills and intelligence they possess, especially when the UK government then tops up these low wages with government handouts.
    That’s a fact, because you don’t see reported in our newspapers evidence of busloads of Brits, shipping out to Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Moldova Ukraine, Herzegovina, Serbia or Bosnia (apologies if I’ve missed any of the poorer countries of the eussr or included some which should not be there) to take advantage of the free movement of people act.
    It’s all been a massive con trick by the eu, to shift the burden of the unemployed from the many poorer countries of the eu, even after the massive eu subsidies they’ve had chucked at them, onto the shoulders of the richer countries, notable the UK whose doors were thrown wide open by Tony Bliar, and no other UK PM has ever had the nerve to close them again.
    Why our UK local councils, such as in Page Hall, Sheffield, should be hunting round for homes to house thousands of unemployable Roma is utter madness, and shows the stupidity of the free movement of people act, imposed upon us by the prancing peacocks who sit at the top of the ponzi scheme which what the eu ‘superstate’ really amounts to.

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