The great EU referendum debate is underway even if the so-called re-negotiation has not been completed or the starting gun for the campaign fired. Brexit is the new political word we will all be getting used to over the next few months.
But what is Brexit and should we fear it? My answer to that is no, we should not fear it; in fact, we should embrace it, as soon and as enthusiastically as possible. Brexit would see the people of the United Kingdom vote to leave the political organisation that is the European Union (EU).There are those, including most of the British Government, the Civil Service and the two main political parties who will campaign for us to stay in the EU and will use all kinds of blackmail, fear and propaganda to ensure we do. But looking closer at, and deeper into the arguments for and against Brexit it becomes clear, in my view, that leaving the EU would be the best choice for United Kingdom.
Those who believe we should remain in the EU say that trade and jobs, our national security and the future of the United Kingdom would be catastrophically affected if Brexit were to occur. I want to take each of these on, starting here with the future of the UK. There is no credible evidence to support this position. It is merely an attempt by the establishment to put the fear in us when we finally make the walk to the ballot box.
Myth One: Brexit will break-up the United Kingdom
This is a new argument being rolled by those campaigning to stay in the EU. Last night William Hague, now Lord Hague, was wheeled out to peddle this myth. Hague it seems has fallen victim to the Foreign Office curse. With the exception of Lord David Owen every single UK foreign secretary who has started out as a Eurosceptic has gone native within a couple of years of being exposed to the civil service machine inside the Foreign Office.
Hague argues that we should avoid Brexit even though he instinctively supports it. Don’t believe a word of it from him, Hague is now firmly part of the establishment’s stich up policy and with his new position has come an extra role as cheerleader for the politics of fear. Hague fears for the break-up of the United Kingdom if we vote to leave the EU. He is basing this on nothing more than the rants of the disgruntled Scottish Nationalists who claim if Scotland votes against Brexit then they should be entitled to a veto over the rest of us. They also say if their veto is denied they will demand a second referendum on independence. Presumably Mr Hague believes the SNP will win otherwise what other argument has he for Brexit advancing the break-up of the UK?
This argument is fundamentally flawed and I suspect Hague and those campaigning to remain in the EU know this but still, it provides them with a stick to beat the Brexit camp with.
On closer inspection this argument falls away. The idea that the Scottish Nationalists can argue that three million Scots can hold the rest of the UK to ransom over the result of a countrywide referendum is again an absurd argument. There are more people in Yorkshire than in Scotland, if a majority of my fellow Tykes vote to stay in the EU does that mean the rest of the country should say well ok then? Of course not.
However, most importantly, and Hague will know this well from his time as Foreign Secretary, the argument put forward by Scottish Nationalists about Brexit and EU membership is just perverse and flawed. They state that if the UK votes to leave the EU, Scotland would then vote to leave the Union and become a member of the EU in its own right. Fantasy. Scotland would have to apply for membership and as made clear during the 2014 campaign Spain would veto any application. Spain would see Scotland’s membership as a dangerous precedent that would fuel separatist movements in their own country and perhaps even in some other regions across Europe.
Next time, I’ll look at the arguments around trade and jobs, which will be a crucial battleground and one of the centre platforms for the ‘Stronger In’ campaign.