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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Brexit, or Remain - some misconceptions.

On a website in which I am involved in France, one of the other contributors commented that, as far as the forthcoming Referendum is concerned "we will just have to wait and see"!!  The problem with that attitude is, in my opinion, that by that time it will be too late to do anything about it!  In this post, therefore, I want to share some information that will, I hope, clear up some misunderstandings.
The first of these is that we are being asked about our continuing membership of the European Union; we are not being asked about our connection with Europe!  The first of those is a political entity that is, in the eyes of many of us, dictatorial, undemocratic, disingenuous, and discredited.  The second is a geographical landmass from which, for as long as records have been kept, we have been separated by the stretch of water known as The English Channel (in the English language), or La Manche (in the French language).  Regardless of the result of the Referendum, that physical, geographical, situation will not change!  We will still be an 'offshore' part of the Continent of Europe!
Nor has the Referendum anything to do with the United Nations, G8, or G20.  This means that, even if we do leave the EU, we will still have a major voice on the world stage.  Indeed, the only problem there is the weakness of our so-called "leadership" - with a PM who has less backbone than a dead jellyfish!
The Referendum has nothing to do with travel in Europe.  Contrary to the statements made by some of those in the "Remain" camp - who not only should know better, but who also do know better - travel around Europe will not be stopped.  It is certainly possible that we would have to have our passports stamped, as in the pre-EU days but, speaking personally, I would welcome that.  Indeed, for as long as I was able, after the "barriers" were opened, I requested the person at the Border Post to stamp my passport, as it was part of my personal "souvenir collection"!  One commenter has even suggested that post-Brexit UK travellers would be able to avoid long queues at, e.g., airports, by being able to go through the "non-EU" gates!  Britain will not be “drifting off into the mid-Atlantic” if it leaves the EU, as Nick Clegg likes to say.
Our national security will not be diminished! We will not be voting on our membership of NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) which is the real reason that there has been relative peace in Europe - not merely since the inception of the EU, but since the end of the Second World War! If the UK should become the target of hostile action from a non-NATO member, then other NATO member-countries are obliged to come to our assistance.  This would not change in the event of a Brexit result on June 23rd.
We will not be voting to leave either the European Economic Area (EEA), or the World Trade Organisation (WTO).  The EEA Agreement specifies that membership is open to member states of either the European Union or European Free Trade Association (EFTA). EFTA states which are party to the EEA Agreement participate in the EU's internal market without being members of the EU. They adopt most EU legislation concerning the single market, however with notable exclusions including laws regarding agriculture and fisheries. The EEA's "decision-shaping" processes enable them to influence and contribute to new EEA policy and legislation from an early stage.  All of the UK's trade and benefit agreements will remain unchanged should we leave, until such a time that the UK decides to renegotiate them for any reason.
Well, that's probably sufficient for now.  However, I shall endeavour to post some further information before the end of the week. 

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