Influence is the ability of a country to work with others to move world policy in its preferred direction, and to gain advantage from the actions of others.
Power is a country’s ability on its own to do things or to make others do things because it has authority, leads world bodies, has military power, has a large economy with plenty of financial clout and by other means.
Sovereignty means a country has the right to make all its own decisions, limited only by international law and by its own relative power in the world.
An individual can have all three. I am sovereign to make any decision I wish for my life, subject to the law, limited by my obligations to others and limited by my personal resources. I have not pooled my sovereignty with my neighbours, so I do not have to ask their permission to spend money or change job. If we clubbed together to buy things we would have more buying power, but I would have less influence over what we bought than buying my own things with my own money. That is why people do not usually pool their budget with the neighbours nor come to joint decisions about spending.
As an individual I may have influence by speaking, writing, voting, talking and working with people. I do not have power over them, as I cannot make them do things in the way the EU can make a member state do things.
Individuals also have some power. We have power to buy goods and services with our money, power to decide how to spend our time and what causes to assist, power to choose and develop our jobs. We can decide who we wish to invite into our home, and who we would like as guests in our house. The UK has lost this power by joining the free movement area of the EU.
People in favour of staying in the EU deliberately or inadvertently confuse these 3. They say we pool sovereignty to have more power, but there is no evidence we have pooled sovereignty – we have simply given it away. Nor is there any evidence we have more power, as so rarely does the EU back a UK wish. The UK is nearly always in disagreement over the direction of travel, and busily trying to opt out of the main parts of the project.We have just seen how we cannot even decide how much tax money to spend on welfare as our neighbours disagree with our decision.
They say we have more influence inside than out. That is a simple lie. Were we out the UK’s views on big issues would be taken much more seriously within the EU where they wished to work with us. They would no longer be able to vote us down or ignore our voice. If they wanted us on side each negotiation would be one of equals. At one stroke we would restore the UK’s veto over whatever they wanted to do, as we would no longer have to agree or do it if we did not want to.
The UK will have more power outside the EU, as we will regain our seat on many international bodies and be able to speak with its own voice to move world policy.
The membership of the EU is quite unlike NATO. In NATO we retain our veto over joining any joint NATO action. In the EU we are instructed to do things under pain of court cases and fines.
If the UK wants to restore its sovereignty it needs to leave the EU. EU TReaty law and the European court will be able to overrule us all the time we are in.
If the UK wishes to have more power to act we must leave the EU.We do not even gave the power to decide our own taxes or our own spending inside the EU.
If the UK wishes to have more influence in the world we must leave the EU. Inside it we do not even have a seat on many world bodies, so our voice is muffled or silenced.