Saturday , May 25 2024

EU Talks – Time to walk?

I think it’s time we end the EU transition talks and get on with life outside the EU.  Read on.

How would you define a nation?

I guess, I’d start with ‘a land enclosed by internationally agreed borders’.  Then if it’s a coastal nation or an island, I’d extend those borders out to the agreed territorial limits.

But a nation is about more that territory.  Fundamentally, it’s about people.  In the case of this post, it’s about the people of the United Kingdom – those in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the land that we call home.

A nation is also about how those peoples organize their lives.  How they live together.  That doesn’t just mean about the laws that have developed over centuries, it includes how we have shared sacrifices and victories and resources, over time.  How we have developed a national identity based on shared values – values such as democracy, respect for the law and tolerance.

The common thread to all this talk about the nation that is the United Kingdom, is that we, the people of the UK have done this.  Of course, over the centuries we have taken on-board external ideas and indeed absorbed foreign refugees into our midst.  However, all the time, it is we, the people, who have decided.  Not foreign bodies or governments – we, the people of the United Kingdom.

Since 1973, the UK has been a member of what has morphed into the European Union.  Our time of membership has always been a strained relationship – the people of the UK simply don’t like being told what to do by other peoples – and in 2016, the people of the UK voted to Leave the EU.  I won’t rehash all the false arguments about Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t vote to Leave – simply to say, we went in as a United Kingdom, we come out as a United Kingdom and today, we remain, the United Kingdom.

Following the historic June 2016 vote to Leave, apparatchiks in the UK Civil Service and politicians, who had forgotten that they represent the people of the UK, sought to thwart the declared will of the people of the UK.  They used every possible means and, frankly, some conspired with foreigners to do-down the UK.  There’s a word for that!

All that though, is now in the past, those people who sought to betray the democratic wishes of the people of the UK have mostly been consigned to the political scrapheap or the C or D list of ‘celebrities’ called upon by an anti-UK/Pro-EU media to pontificate on a train that’s left the station.

That ‘train’ left the station on January 31, 2020 when the UK finally left the EU.  We are now in a ‘transition period’ until December 31, 2020.  The transition period was designed to allow for negotiations to take place to achieve an orderly transfer from EU dominated legislation designed for member states, to legislation fitting a sovereign nation.

These transition talks have been ongoing and you’d probably be shocked to know that they really only gained any momentum after we actually left the EU, at the end of January.

That said, a lot of progress has been made and agreement reached in many areas.  I suppose that’s a strong indicator of how ‘globalist’ many areas of legislation have become.

They remaining areas of contention are what is being called LPF and fishing rights.

LPF – this means Level Playing Field – it’s a short-hand term used by EU politicians.  In brief it means that the UK would agree to be subject to EU laws, set by the EU member states and subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (sic).

The ECJ is a political court, not a court that fits in with the traditions of the UK.  Their decisions reflect a far more interventionist role for the judiciary than, prior to the recent UK Supreme Court decisions, we are used to in the UK.  In the UK, judges don’t make law, they interpret it.  The ECJ seeks to set the pace in law making.  They may though have just met their match in the recent decision of the German Constitutional Court which places themselves and the German Constitution as paramount and the ECJ subordinate.  Since Germany now pays the bulk of the EU Budget, maybe that’ll prompt less legal militancy.  We’ll see but frankly, it’s their business now, not ours.

This LPF seeks to stop a newly freed UK from setting our own tax rates, from setting our own standards for the environment and safety at work, indeed from running our sovereign nation.

Some EU nations have benefitted hugely from former PM Edward Heath’s foolish decision to simply throw open UK territorial waters to the EU, not long after the UK joined the then EEC, back in 1973.  These waters have been plundered – there’s no other word for it.  This has resulted in an almost complete wiping-out of the once-thriving independent UK fishing industry.  I say independent because the CFP quota system has allowed large scale cartel-like organisations owned and run by EU nationals to ‘hoover-up’ quotas and take fish from UK waters, at will.

Fishing, in the UK’s rich North Sea, English Channel and Atlantic waters  is lucrative but not as important to all EU nations.  Spain, France and Netherlands are particularly benefitting from Ted Heath’s largesse.  Not sure that the EU Paymaster – Germany – will be too exercised and supportive on this issue.

So, Fishing and LPF are the barriers to achieving a Free Trade Agreement.

On LPF we simply cannot concede – the UK must return to being a free sovereign nation.  We, through elections to the parliament in Westminster, must decide on the laws that govern our lives.  We/Westminster must set our own rates of tax on individuals and companies.  We/Westminster must decide on our environmental laws and our working regulations.

We’ve been setting our own laws for more than 1,000 years, far, far longer than many of these countries, who would seek to rule over us, have ever existed!

And fishing?  What I said at the outset still applies – the waters that surround our country are part of the territory of the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom. – we decide who exploits them – we, the United Kingdom.

Time then, since these issues are so fundamental to the interests of the UK, to put an offer to the EU.

  1. Barnier

“We won’t be conceding on LPF or giving up our territorial waters so if you want a Free Trade Agreement, similar to those you have with other ‘third’ countries, then let’s proceed.  If you instead, seek a different arrangement, and want to impose some kind of anti-democratic strait-jacket on the sovereign UK, then that’s fine, we’ll move to WTO regulations.  Frankly, that will disadvantage Covid19-hit EU economies far, far harder than the UK but, that’s your choice.  Maybe though, have a word with Angela, first.

Do get back to us, soonest, as we are out, one way or another, FTA or WTO, by December 31, 2020”

 Oh, and Happy Syttende Mai to all in Norway!  Gratulerer med dagen!

This post was originally published by the author on his personal blog:

About Tom O'Brien

Tom is an English Conservative Christian currently working as a Finance Manager in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. When not in Iraq, his home is in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom; also the hometown of Margaret Thatcher.

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One comment

  1. Well said! I admire your spirit of adventure. I haven’t been to Kurdish lands since 1971: dusty streets, the call to prayer, kind people, the father cleaning his rifle in the corner of the room. Even then they had no peace.