Lord Lawson was right to say in the Times on Monday that the Euro means an ever closer union in the EU, with ever more government from Brussels. He is right that the UK does not want that and cannot accept that. Some of us thought the EU bossed us around too much before the Euro. The Euro has clearly made it a lot worse.
The EU Trade Commissioner decided that made it a good day to launch an attack on Europsceptic MPs in the UK for not understanding the EU. I suspect our problem from his point of view is we read too much and understand too much, not the other way round. There is no point in Commissioners trying to threaten the UK with the tired old lie that we will lose 3.5 million jobs dependent on EU trade if we pull out. As they well know, the rest of theEU, especially Germany, sells us much more than we sell them. They will need to carry on with that trade, so they will be asking the UK for arrangements that allow that to happen.
If the EU was indeed a friendly partner and supporter of the UK , it would now be asking us what we need to allow us to trade and be friends with them. It would not be lecturing us, but would be listening sympathetically to what it is about the EU that we do not like. The fact that they do not do this, shows some of them do not think it is our club as well, and shows they have little wish for us to improve its performance and alter its masively over intrusive rules.
The big problem for business with all the single market rules, is they apply to everything we do at home and everything we sell to non EU countries, as well as applying to our exports to the EU. If we were a free country again, the EU rules would only apply to things we sold to them, making it easier for us to compete in the rest of the world’s growing markets.
I was asked to make my own position clearer. I cannot see how I can make it clearer. I have repeatedly said that I voted against continued membership in 1975, and that if we had a referendum today on In/Out on current terms I would vote for Out. I also want us to negotiate a relationship based on trade and political co-operation. Many of you tell me that cannot be achieved, in which case I would vote for Out on any referendum that followed such a negotiation. Those who just wish to leave need to accept there has to be a negotiation over which common rules will still apply so ferries can run, planes can fly etc. I have always thought the costs and legal impositions of membership were too high, and that it was always a political union in the making which we did not wish to join. That is why I voted against Rome in 1975, and opposed all subsequent treaties one way or another, as being incompatible with UK democracy and sovereignty. The whole Conservative party rightly voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, which is why we cannot accept the current arrangements.