In recent debates with those who want us to stay in the EU I have been impressed by their pessimism and amazed at their fears. The most recent pro EU MP I heard told us that the Euro was a bad idea and the Schengen common borders was not working, but we needed to stay on the EU boat as it hit the rocks so we could show solidarity with the others and not be isolated. Yes, that was his image! I myself prefer to get off a boat going to the rocks. We then can rescue ourselves and be in a stronger position to help the others if indeed their boat sinks. By his own image the better European approach for the UK to follow would be to get off to be able to help after any disaster.
Others I have witnessed also agree with me that the Euro is not working well, the common frontiers are in disarray, yet still they want the UK to stay shackled to the EU’s tight legal grip. If this is the best they can do, surely many voters will want to head for the exit? Why don’t the stay in people believe in all the main aspects of the EU, which is now based around the Euro and free movement? Germany thinks the UK should in due course join the Euro. Why don’t the stay in people believe that too? After all some of them used to recommend we did join.
The pro EU lobby try to spread the fear we would be on our own if we leave. That is absurd. The UK will still be much courted by many countries in the world, including EU countries, when they want us to help them, when they want to spend our money, to solicit our assistance in some diplomatic or military activity, of persuade us to back some new treaty or international agreement. With our own voice and our own place at the table, instead of the through the EU, we will have more friends and be in a stronger position to influence others.
The pro EU lobby needs to answer exactly how they think the EU would come to our aid if needed if we stay in. They clearly have not come to assist Mr Cameron as he seeks very modest changes to our welfare system, and proper guarantees for our independence outside the Euro. If they cannot even be very helpful under pressure of the UK voting to leave, how can we expect them to be helpful when there is no such pressure?
The EU did not come to our aid when we had a bad banking crash in 2008. We had to pay our own bills to get out of that. They did not come to the UK’s aid when sterling was dropping out of their Exchange Rate Mechanism. They just watched us drop out and did nothing about the damage their economic policy had caused us. No compensation, no additional financial support.
They do not contribute to the UK financially and are unlikely to do so in future. We contribute to them.
Nor do they get behind the UK when we need diplomatic and military support. They did not back us when Argentina invaded the Falklands, claiming that Iberia’s links with Latin America prevented them from helping.
A person or a country can be more lonely in a relationship which is not working, than free of it and capable of making new friends and revisiting old alliances.
I have every confidence that outside the EU the UK will be less lonely than inside. Our relations with France and Germany will improve, as we will no longer be trying to stop or slow down the changes they want in the EU. meanwhile they will need to seek our support for wider global matters where today they can outvote us or take us for granted.