Thursday, 24 December 2015

Feeble arguments for staying in the EU.

Baldilocks, in The Telegraph:

For me, there will be two other major factors, which have not yet featured much in the early jousting ahead of the referendum, but which cannot be ignored.

One is that, amid all the clumsy bureaucracy and failed ideas, the EU has provided the structure and the standards for new democracies across central Europe to establish themselves after their many decades of tyranny and tragedy... We still need the EU to provide the safe harbour for the docking of fragile democracies, and it would be strange to champion that idea but abandon it ourselves.

This is true actually, if we gloss over the time lag between independence from the USSR (1991) and joining the EU (2004 or 2007) which suggests there is little or no link at all. Leaders of 'new' democracies in eastern Europe seemed to be pretty keen for their countries to become member states of the EU, and the EU in turn demanded certain reforms vis a vis corruption before they were allowed in, and so on. See also Turkey.

All good stuff, but those countries could not give a hoot whether the UK remains a member state or not, and it appears unlikely that the people in the UK are keen for the UK to open its borders to them. So on balance, that's still an argument for leaving.

The second factor is a related one: whatever the shortcomings of the European “project” it is manifestly not in our interests for either it or the United Kingdom to fall apart. Such will be the challenges to the western world in the coming years, from a turbulent Middle East and a volatile world economy, that the dismembering of our own country by nationalists or the breaking up of Europe into uncontrolled rivalry would make many dangers more threatening still.

What 'uncontrolled rivalry'? He is hallucinating. Each country's interests are what they are (although Merkel seems to have lost the plot and is acting counter to the interests of the German general public) whether they are member states of the EU or not.

If this 'uncontrolled rivalry' is fought out between large countries at EU level, it can then be imposed on all the other member states. Without the EU, would one country be able to force another country to set maximum working hours, to grant asylum to terroristsrefugees or pay welfare benefits to foreigners? Methinks not.

And by and large, western European countries have many more common interests than ones which divide them, in particular security. Which is why most are members of NATO, for example. Or free trade, which is perfectly possible without the EU.

So again, that's more of an argument for leaving.

There is no doubt that without the United Kingdom, the EU would be weaker. It would lose the fifth largest economy of the world, the continent’s greatest centre of finance, and one of its only two respected military powers. We will have to ask, disliking so many aspects of it as we do, whether we really want to weaken it…

Wot? It is highly unlikely that the other member states would dissolve the EU if we left, so he's talking crap. And if us leaving somehow triggered its dissolution, then that means we did the right thing. Yet another argument for leaving.

… and at the same time increase the chances, if the UK left the EU, of Scotland leaving the UK. Scottish nationalists would jump at the chance to reverse the argument of last year’s referendum – now it would be them saying they would stay in Europe without us. They would have the pretext for their second referendum, and the result of it could well be too close to call.

I see no harm in Scotland having another independence referendum every ten or twenty years, fair's fair, and personally I am not bothered whether the Scots want to remain members of the UK or not. I live in England and it is none of my business. But Scotland is an entirely separate topic so a non-argument in this context.

To end up destroying the United Kingdom and gravely weakening the European Union would not be a very clever day’s work.

He sure talks some shit. The UK would be no more 'destroyed' if Scotland, barely one-tenth of the whole, became independent than it was 'destroyed' when the most of Ireland become a separate country, or Czechoslovakia was 'destroyed' when it was demerged into Czech Republic and Slovakia, two countries which are doing fine and still co-operate quite closely in many ways.

Would the epically corrupt Hague really spend the rest of his life campaigning for Scotland to rejoin the UK? Has he ever pleaded with Ireland to rejoin the UK or with the two Czechoslovak successor countries to merge again, and can he explain why they should? Would he campaign for the UK to become a member state of the EU if it wasn't one already? More epic fails and non-arguments.

Crass exaggeration and hyperbole does not amount to an argument, you self-pitying bald fucker. Having thought about your arguments while writing this post, I now look upon Brexit even more favourably than I did this morning.


Lola said...

W Hague. Excellent after dinner speaker. Totally crap, biased, self interested, deceitful, gravy train rider, rent seeking git.

Random said...

Why does the SNP want to become independent? Nothing to do with better deals for the Scots. Because then they are straight into the EU like the Irish are.

Why did Nick Clegg do the deals he did? Not because he was thinking of the students.

Tony Blair clearly wanted to be president of Europe (if not the world!).

The reason politicos want to be part of the EU is because that is where they end up next - either as politicians or advisors, etc.

It's all about little people wanting to be on a bigger stage.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, that was the impression I got.

R, "It's all about little people wanting to be on a bigger stage."

A good point well made.

Ralph Musgrave said...

I'm baffled as to why newspapers employ journalists or politicians to write articles. Having a chimpanzee pick words at random out of a dictionary would be cheaper, plus the quality of articles wouldn't be diminished one iota.