On Friday, UKIP St. Ives and the Isle of Scilly branch hosted a public meeting at the Lugger Hotel in Penzance. Present was the Member of Parliament for the constituency, Mr Derek Thomas, MP. The meeting was held to discuss the forthcoming EU referendum on whether the UK should remain in or leave the EU.
Such events obviously have to be organised well in advance and this one was. Notwithstanding that the meeting took place one week after the Paris outrage this was not mentioned, not because those attending were not concerned but for the simple reason of the subject being discussed and the ever present pressures of time that always accompany such events.
Events in Brussels of the weekend however has only served to put this campaign – set to last until May 2017 the most likely date to coincide with the local elections and before the German federal elections in September 2017 – into it’s wider context.
Elections campaigns are not conducted in isolation, and two year long campaigns especially so. They are shaped by the events surrounding them and in this, this EU Referendum campaign will be no different. Leave.EU should be aware of this but they don’t appear to be.
At the moment Leave.EU and UKIP have been focusing on the free movement of people issue and immigration suggesting that this is a problem that leaving the EU will solve or go some way to solving. This organ itself has made mention of the problems (the free movement of people) inherent in what has been described as “the Norway Option” which is for those who don’t know is EFTA membership combined with EEA membership. Such an option can and should be regarded as a FIRST STAGE for the UK withdrawing from the EU as it is practical and achievable and most important of all: CREDIBLE.
Remember that you are at the opera Dear Reader!
You living room might not resemble the dress circle at her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket but never the less, when you switch on your TV for the Brussels Brainwashing Commissariat’s nightly serving of news the opera is where you are at!
What do you do at the opera?
Apart from fall asleep? – Ed
Look at the programme!
Well look at the calendar! The referendum will be held on Thursday 4th May, 2017 along with the local elections of that year. Why? Because Frau Doktor Merkel has an appointment with her electorate on a date between August and October – September is the usual month the Germans choose.
Counting on a “victory” (UK remaining in) she will have something positive to show to her electorate. It is then of course that the fig leaf nature of the wonderful deal Mr Chameleon will have negotiated will be made clear!
Thus having examined the calendar, British Gazette readers will already have grasped something that unfortunately, nay, tragically the Unfortunate Cummings of Leave.EU has not!
That Mr Chameleon is going to come back with nothing more than a promissory note! You see, the “British Model” he will be offered as described in our article http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2015/11/16/la-grande-illusion-act-1-scene-2-the-sunday-times-article/ we showed that the “British Model” was most important as it will indeed contain significant proposals. However, such would require treaty change and therefore cannot be delivered until after the referendum!
This means that Mr Chameleon will not only have to convince the British People of his bona fides but also those of the other twenty seven member states, the European Commission and the European Court of Justice “delivering on their commitments!”
Words like, “order” “very” and “tall” come to mind!
At this point those such as our friend Mr Cummings will mistakenly cry Hooray! And assume it is in the bag!
Our problem is that we need a credible exit plan. And that is one thing that Leave.EU have not got.
By not having a credible exit plan, Leave.EU will only succeed in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And that we think you will agree Dear Reader that that would be a shame.
Were it just that Leave.EU did not have a properly worked out exit strategy things would be bad enough, but our friend Mr Cummings is not a man to do a thing by halves! No, this gentleman’s attitude appears to be that if you are going to screw something up, screw it up completely!
Thus it is that Mr Cummings is happy to bang on about immigration. This appears to be a right move as the public are naturally and correctly extremely concerned about this! However Rome was not built in a day and neither will the UK be able to restore is sovereign competences in a single stroke. This is because the ONLY practical exit strategy lies in the Norway Option. Now, as pointed out above, the Norway Option means membership of the Single Market at that means the free movement of people.
However there are TWO things the reader has to note about the Norway Option.
1. The issue of free movement of people can be addressed and the relative merits of being in the Single Market (EEA) reassessed after we have left the clutches of the EU.
2. IF (and at present it is a big “if”) the British People vote to leave the EU on Thursday 4th May 2017, our withdrawal from the EU and re-entry into EFTA along with our continuing membership of the EEA is unlikely to take place before 1st January 2020. By this time the situation regarding the free movement of people is likely to be very different. For an analysis of this see the second of today’s articles: http://www.british-gazette.co.uk/2015/11/22/est-ce-le-debut/
Thus Leave.EU must do FOUR things:
1. Adopt Flexcit as an exit strategy.
2. Make it clear that this does not tackle the free movement of people but this is an issue that can be looked at subsequently.
3. Stop stressing immigration as part of the campaign.
4. Point out that Mr Chameleon CANNOT GUARANTEE DELIVERY of a “British Option” THAT INVOLVES RETURN OF COMPETENCES ALREADY CEDED as this is dependent upon the following:
- ALL 27 other member states agreeing and ratifying the relevant treaty.
- that the European Commission will play ball.
- that the European Court of Justice will interpret the wording of the treaty along the lines that the Unfortunate Mr Hammond our Dearly Beloved Foreign Secretary would wish!
As they say in the cartoons: That’s all folks!