By Jane Edwards.
At the Brit Dems AGM/Conference in Leicester, on November 23, members have the opportunity to decide whether or not to accept the following new paragraph to the end of the policy section on the European Union:
In line with the modern nationalist thinking particularly in France, The Netherlands and Austria, we would support the replacement of the European Union with a cooperative of sovereign European states.
It is being proposed by John Bean, who says that our potential voters see that mass immigration’s threat to our identity is now a common European phenomenon that can only be tackled on a European-wide basis. He adds:
“Importantly, part of the residual support for the EU that still exists in the UK is down to people’s inbred reluctance for change. They may not like the dominance that the EU has over our national affairs but fear that if we withdrew all manner of economic calamities would hit us. We could consider informing our voters that, although we would strip away the federal powers that the EU has given itself, we would convert the system, under entirely ‘new management’, to put into practice the new co-operative of sovereign states for mutual trade benefit and a common immigration policy.”
Another point we could make is that this is a new line of thinking for nationalism in Britain.
Interestingly, there is an article by Richard North in EUReferendum.com of 18/11/2013 which centres on the fact that YouGov and other polls have shown that support for staying in the EU is now on a par with those who believe we should leave. Furthermore, he says it represents a continuous year-long decline in support for leaving. This led to Peter Kellner, husband of Baroness Ashton, (she earns £750,000 p.a. including perks as the EU ‘foreign ambassador’) putting the heading to a Telegraph report: “Britain is learning to put up with Europe”.
A key point to come out of the YouGov polls over the past year, according to Kellner, is that when people were asked about the immigration issue and EU, by far the biggest group, 42 per cent, wanted Britain to break EU laws and restrict immigration, 22 per cent were happy with the present EU system, while 20 per cent would put up with them even though we don’t like them.
The message here would suggest that even though UKIP is likely to still win most UK regional seats for the EU next year it will not be as many as expected. Its anti-European image will now begin to shrink its support, whilst the pro-European but anti-federal dictatorship image of the British Democrats can only aid its long-term growth.
We need to continue stressing that two thirds of immigration to Britain is from outside Europe, which must be virtually halted. Immigrants from Continental Europe will be welcome where they have the skills required which are not sufficiently available among the British-born. We can pacify those who are frightened of economic mayhem if we leave the EU by stressing that along with fellow member nations of the European co-operative we are going to dismantle it. Anything we retain – which will certainly not include the Euro – could be run at less than one-tenth of present EU costs.
At present the net cost of the EU Budget to Britain was £10.8b in 2011 and rising, according to the Office for National Statistics “Pink Book”. The gross cost to the UK is believed to be £65,000,000,000 and was calculated by the Bruges Group in 2008 (www.brugesgroup.com/CostOfTheEU2008pdf). It included £28 bn for business to comply with EU regulations, £17bn of additional food costs resulting from the Common Agricultural Policy and the £14.6 bn gross paid into the EU budget (now over £20bn).