Monday , June 17 2024

British Democracy or European Oligarchy: You Decide.

This week is it. Your decision time has arrived Britannia. Leave or Stay: what’ll it be?

Most Britons have made up their mind by now which way they are going to vote. The polls (if they are to be believed following their poor performance ahead of the 2015 General Election) show the race is neck and neck. This article is written to undecided voters.

A lot of people are perplexed by undecided voters, especially those during late stages of elections. I’m not. Those of us who follow politics for a living and who are (for lack of a better word) obsessed with it, obviously made up our minds a long time ago. But most people aren’t obsessed with politics. Therefore, I understand the undecided’s conundrum. The undecided voter wants to make an informed practical decision that is best for his country or her family but hears so many different voices and conflicting claims. There are claims made about immigration, trade, the economy, being “stronger in” or “taking control” it is hard to know what to think. Will a vote to Leave lead to a recession? Will staying in cause immigration to continue to spiral out of control? How much does the UK actually give to the EU? Is it NATO or the EU more responsible for continental peace? What will sterling do upon Brexit? How is trade affected by the EU? Who protects workers rights?….And I could go on and on. All of those are very legitimate issues and I am proud to say that the Daily Globe has written to address all of those concerns and show how, to us, Brexit is clearly the better option. However, I think that concentrating exclusively on certain issues misses the forest for the trees.

What I ask the undecided voter to decide on June 23rd is a question as simple as “Vote or Leave.” The question is: who do you want to run your country? Do you want the United Kingdom to be run from an undemocratic Brussels based bureaucracy or a democratic United Kingdom? It’s really that simple. It is a fact that EU law takes precedence over British law under the European Communities Act of 1972.  Currently, the EU is responsible for nearly 60% of the laws and regulations in the United Kingdom- a figure that will only continue to rise if Great Britain decides to “Remain” and the EU continues to assume more power. How you answer the question of who you want ruling Britain answers all your other concerns in my opinion. For example:

Q. How much will the United Kingdom contribute to the EU? A. Under Leave, possibly nothing like most non-EU countries do, possibly something, like Norway does for certain single market access- either way the British elected representatives decide. The British parliament has sole responsibility of how to spend British taxpayers money. Under Remain the UK will contribute as much as they are told by the EU. Maybe the EU will be nice and give a little bit of a rebate every once in a while to UK taxpayers but ultimate authority rests with the EU.

Q. How many immigrants should the UK accept? A. Under Leave, as much as Parliament decides. Two opposing parties would argue it out and win on a platform contained in a manifesto. Under Remain, there can be no limit. The UK cannot stop freedom of movement of people from EU citizens and their right to move to the UK.

Q. Who should the UK make trade deals with? A. Under Leave, as many or as few nations as she feels like. The UK can make trade deals with whatever country she feels like as a sovereign country outside of the EU. She will have her own seat on international bodies like the World Trade Organisation or the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO– that facilitates fishing and agricultural agreements) among others. Under Remain trade deals are made by the EU and Britain is represented by the EU in international trading bodies.

Q. Do you want a capitalist or socialist country? A. Under Leave, the UK can decide that for herself. She could theoretically nationalise industries such as steel on the left or make a very lightly regulated economy on the right. The choice rests with the British people through its elected representatives in Parliament. Under Remain, standards are set by the EU. There are heavy regulations, unilaterally imposed but at the same time, nation states cannot violate EU law and act in a socialist manner either, such as nationalising the steel industry.

Q. Which court do you want to have the final say on British criminal matters? A. Under Leave, British courts have the final say on British legal matters. Under Remain, the United Kingdom has to accept the primacy of the European Court of Justice over the British courts and over British law.

The list could go on for pages. But the point is, if you believe the European Commission and the European Court of Justice makes better rulers for Britain than the British people’s elected representatives vote Remain. If you prefer Great Britain to be free to rule herself than vote Leave.

To me personally, I desperately hope Leave wins. I believe in freedom and democracy and I abhor the idea of bureaucrats, whether in Brussels, Washington or wherever, making laws over millions of people accountable to no one. Furthermore, I believe in the British people.

Remain has thrown everything they have to bully the British people into voting their way. Every establishment grandee the world over- from (most of) the UK political leaders, European leaders, Big Banks and multi-national corporations, religious leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the President of the United States, universities and international organisations- have all told the British people how they should vote for Remain. These are the people that don’t trust you to vote to make laws, and like I said earlier, if oligarchy is what you believe in by all means vote Remain. But amazingly, Leave has hung in there, and may win. If Leave wins it will be a truly British story. Like Henry V at Agincourt or Elizabeth I against the Armada or Nelson at Trafalgar or Churchill against the Nazis when everything and everyone is stacked against the British they have stood up, fought and come out victorious. Great Britain became the nation that conquered a quarter of the world, that invented capitalism, free trade and parliamentary democracy, and ended the slave trade because she thought against the establishment wisdom and stood up for what she believed in.

Do you still trust the British people to run your country or would you prefer someone else took over? That is the choice you are being asked on June 23, 2016. All other issues are secondary. Answer wisely because you are not likely to get another chance to answer again.

About Ted Yarbrough

Ted is the co-founder and editor of the Daily Globe. He is a long-time blogger on British politics and has written a thesis on Thatcherism.

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