By Dr John Sydenham 24/11/2022
The EU Referendum occurred because a large group of MPs were deeply worried about the EU Constitution (2005). The EU Constitution was designed to turn the EU into a single state. This dramatic change was the subject of Referendums in France and Holland. The People rejected it. The EU then proposed the Lisbon Treaty which contained most of the substance of the Constitution but was passed by the governments of member states in 2007. It was not put to the People because the governments knew it would be rejected. The Lisbon Treaty came into effect in 2009. The MPs who opposed the Constitution also opposed Lisbon for the same reasons.
The most serious problem with the Lisbon Treaty is the "Shared Competences". These are powers of government that are delegated to Member States until the EU decides to take control. They cover almost all aspects of government (See Note 1). The EU was also handed eventual power over foreign policy and defence (See Note 2) and the ability to gain control of almost all areas of government without further treaties. Over the next few decades the EU Commission and Parliament will take control of government from the Member States. Had the Constitution been passed this might have taken 10 years but Lisbon will achieve the same effect over a longer time.
The prime advantage of Brexit is that Britain escaped from the EU before becoming fully governed by the EU.
The main purpose of leaving the EU has been achieved. Our independence is essential (see note 3).
Brexit was about avoiding a catastrophe in the near future. It let us escape from the Lisbon Treaty which set the framework for almost total EU governance in the coming few decades. This is why we have not noticed much of a change. No-one who understood the reason for leaving the EU would have expected much change.
If you wish to find out how Brexit has affected the economy see What impact is Brexit having on the UK economy?.
This graph shows that Brexit has had almost no effect on the economy but COVID has been a disaster.
Source: Our World in Data
The graph above illustrates the GDP that matters, not GDP swelled by migration or GDP changed by the value of the pound, inflation etc. . It is the GDP value that matters to you and me, it is our individual share of GDP. As you can see, between 2008 and 2019 we had steady, low growth unperturbed by Referendums and brexit.
However, the International Banks, Multinational Corporations and employers of cheap labour are hopping mad about Brexit. They give the false impression that the UK is totally dependent on them and on international trade and their wealth has given them a loud voice in our national politics. Balanced international trade is a good thing but the UK does not depend on its growth. This can be seen from the fact that 60% of people in the UK work in small businesses and exports only account for 25-30% of UK GDP. That international trade should dominate UK politics and UK political thinking is the tail wagging the dog.How might large Multi-National Corporations, International Banks and Internationalists reverse Brexit? The chief concern of these international bodies is to be able to move people, goods and money around the world without hindrance. How can they reverse Brexit? They are attempting do this by using their media influence to frame the debate in their own terms. Their media tools ask questions such as:
How has Brexit improved the availability of labour for all those businesses suffering from staff shortages?
Of course, this has nothing to do with the prime reason for leaving the EU. Staff shortages are mostly due to illness (esp long covid and a mental health epidemic) and unrelated to Brexit. The demand for foreign labour is actually a demand that the UK is governed for the good of multinational companies and international banks rather than the good of the people of Britain. The unemployment rate in the UK is 3.6% whereas that in the EU is 6%. This gives UK workers the freedom to easily find work and bargain for good conditions and wages. This freedom had disappeared after Maastricht and Lisbon:
The desire of upper middle class commentators to increase the number of foreign workers in the UK is a desire to increase profits at the expense of the workforce that lives here. It has little to do with Brexit but has everything to do with the needs of large, especially multinational, employers.
How has Brexit improved foreign trade?
This is another question that is unrelated to the prime purpose of Brexit. Again it is about the needs of multinational companies and international banks rather than the good of the people of Britain. Any fall in the total volume of international trade is bad for these, largely foreign, corporations. What is important for the people of Britain is not the volume of trade but the balance of trade and balance of payments: the value of our imports should roughly equal the value of our exports. When we were in the EU it was all too easy for foreign companies to buy UK companies and turn them into warehouses and far too easy for all businesses to import parts and people from the EU. The parts expanded the profits of French, German etc. businesses and the imported workers sent cash home. This created a huge balance of payments deficit with the EU:
The scale of the deficit is mind boggling. It would rapidly lead to a collapse of the pound without the sale of assets to foreigners. This is the preferred solution of the Treasury which has removed controls on the foreign ownership of British property and industry and boasts of "openness" to encourage overseas investment (See ONS FDI figures). Low wages encourage foreign investment but another, essential component of ensuring high returns for foreign investors is to rapidly increase the UK population so that demand for rentals and hence house prices are very high:
Most countries have significant barriers to foreign property ownership and hidden barriers to the acquisition of domestic industry but the UK has deliberately removed these. (The UK actually has laws to prevent foreign takeovers but they are not used). In return for the quick fix of foreign ownership we have been sending rents and profits abroad and diverted our enterprises into warehouses and cogs in foreign corporations.
Our trade deficit and overall balance of payments deficit is still far too high. It means that the value of the pound is on a knife edge so that government policy is controlled by "the markets". It also means that the government is under huge pressure from the Treasury to increase the population of the UK to provide demand for property. It encourages the perpetual disposal of profitable UK companies to overseas owners.
Notice that the Balance of Payments Deficit has indeed improved since Brexit. This is excellent news for the people of Britain although upsetting for the internationalists.
Outside of economics the greatest contribution that a free UK has made to the world is in its very early support of the Ukraine. It was British anti-tank missiles that saved Kyiv. Compare this with France or Germany which had to act together on foreign and defence matters and could only offer a distant opportunity for Ukraine to join the EU..
The BBC is the main tool being used by large corporations to open the
possibility of rejoining the EU. Neither the Labour nor the
Conservative parties support rejoining the EU so the BBC campaign is in
clear breach of its Charter. The BBC has never made it clear that the Copenhagen Criteria for rejoining the
EU entail accepting "political, economic and monetary union" with the
EU. This failure to ever mention the terms for rejoining are
another clear violation of the BBC Charter.
Note 1: Lisbon Treaty Shared Competences
(Powers delegated to Member States that can be controlled by the EU)
Artlicle 4: 2. Shared competence between the Union and the Member
States applies in the following principal areas: (a) internal market;
(b) social policy, for the aspects defined in this Treaty; (c) economic,
social and territorial cohesion; (d) agriculture and fisheries,
excluding the conservation of marine biological resources; (e)
environment; (f) consumer protection; (g) transport; (h) trans-European
networks; (i) energy; (j) area of freedom, security and justice; (k)
common safety concerns in public health matters, for the aspects defined
in this Treaty.
Note 2: Lisbon Treaty Foreign Policy and Defence
Article 24 1. The Union’s competence in matters of common foreign and
security policy shall cover all areas of foreign policy and all
questions relating to the Union’s security, including the progressive
framing of a common defence policy that might lead to a common defence.
Note 3: Why does independence matter?
That British people ask this question shows how the education system is failing our country. The British are freeborn with their freedoms curtailed by laws. We are free, most other peoples are servants of the State with some freedoms grudgingly bestowed on them. We have Juries of our peers that can assess our guilt or innocence whereas most Civil Law jurisdictions, such as EU Member States, have trial by state appointed judges who not only try the case but oversee the gathering of evidence. Germany has no juries. Being British is being free and independent. The fact that in the past 100 years Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and other EU Member States fell into tyranny is a reflection of this difference in approach to society.
Our House of Commons is sovereign. No President can limit our
representatives and the Lords can only check legislation. It is
the most agile and flexible system of democratic government in the
world. The desire to limit our democracy by burying it under
layers of foreign control is incomprehensible.
Democracy is linked to locality. All of our schools and hospitals, the roads and railways we use and the industry where we work are generally local. Transferring our representation from our locality to a small part of some megastate means that our representatives will become progressively less accountable. They will become the pets of powerful lobby groups that work for multinational companies and international banks rather than working for the people.
Our forefathers bequeathed Britain to us. It is a unique engine through which free people can do good for their neighbours and themselves. While Britain is independent it is our responsibility. Sadly our irresponsible upper middle class has given up on their neighbours and prefer to take money from anywhere in the world without a care for the country that gave them the freedom to be "anywhere people".
Only a world with a diversity of independent states can discover the
optimum form of government and way of life. If we destroy this
diversity we are destroying the possibility of human social and