In the past, I was all for the ideals of a united Europe. It seemed like a really good idea to my younger self and to a certain extent, it’s still a loft ideal – it’s just that in practice it’s turning out to be so badly done. Such is usually the case, I suppose; the fantasy is much better than the reality.
Tomorrow I’m voting to Leave the EU. Not Europe, we’ll still be part of the continent (I don’t believe anyone is honestly suggesting we take a hacksaw to the continental shelf and set ourselves adrift, but if they are I’d like to suggest a nice equatorial location as our new home). We need to leave the EU, because the EU is a failed experiment and it won’t admit that unless it’s absolutely forced to do so.
We can be that force – a force for change and improvement, not just at home but across the whole of the failed European Project. We just need them to admit they have a problem first, and they’ve made it abundantly clear that they won’t do that if we stay.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 22, 2016
There have been many arguments from both sides during this debate and, as with most people, a lot of them simply didn’t resonate with me but some did and it’s those arguments that I want to cover here. These are the reasons why I’m voting to Leave tomorrow.
The EU won’t protect workers’ rights
There’s a rehash of the Far Left mantra going on at the moment. At general elections they call Conservatives like me “scum” (and worse than that but I won’t go into it here) and claim we are all out to destroy workers’ rights. Those same Far Left activists are out in force for the Referendum, and they are on the side of Remain. Naturally, they’ve decided that (because they are not for Leave) that means the Vote Leave side are going to destroy your rights.
Leaving the EU will not destroy your rights. The EU won’t protect your rights, either. If you think the EU cares about you, you’re wrong. Right now, the EU is negotiating a trade agreement with the United States called TTIP. You may have heard about it but if you haven’t, don’t worry. It’s a nasty piece of work, however.
Part of the purpose of TTIP is to make America’s jobs market (where worker rights are weaker and fewer than they are here) more viable, and thereby to move jobs to the US. Yes, that’s right – the EU is actively negotiating a treaty that will reduce the number of jobs in Europe.
The only way to maintain a competitive jobs market in the fact of TTIP is to weaken workers’ rights in the EU. When you couple this with rising unemployment and failing economies, what do you think is going to happen to workers’ rights if we remain in the EU? It’s not a gamble I’m prepared to take.
Leaving will not remove minority rights
This is another lie that has been doing the rounds thanks to agitators on the Remain side. The one I hear the most, because I’m part of the Trans community, is that we wouldn’t have the Gender Recognition Act without the EU and that we’ll lose it if we leave. I have news for you: the Gender Recognition Act isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, and Labour destroyed it while we were still in the EU. So much for your rights being protected.
In 2010, the Equality Act was passed during the last gasps of the Labour Government. Under the Equality Act, your Gender Recognition Certificate is essentially worthless because not only can you be excluded from services and openly discriminated against but so can anyone who “looks trans”. Remember those newspaper articles that keep coming up about butch-looking lesbians being barred from female facilities? You’ve got the Equality Act to thank for that, because now it’s totally legal.
All that happened while we were part of the EU. LGBT rights took a step back while we were part of the EU. The EU does not protect minority rights.
Oh, and the Gender Recognition Act isn’t EU legislation. It was forced on us by a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (“the ECHR”), which came about because we didn’t act quickly enough after the UK barely won a previous battle in the ECHR to sort out the problem of widespread legal discrimination against trans people. Why didn’t we move fast enough? We had an election, and Labour won. New Government, new start to everything and trans peoples’ rights went to the back of the queue.
So if the EU won’t protect your rights, who will? The British government, that’s who. The people who are directly answerable to you, whom you can petition en masse, protest against en masse and even go and talk to at regular surgeries of your local MP. Can you name the people you would have to lobby in order to make a change in the European Commission (because it’s the Commissioners who make the laws, not the European Parliament – they are basically glorified accountants)? I can’t – but professional lobbyists can, which is another reason why EU law doesn’t care about you.
The British Government has a track record on implementing legislation that protects minority rights because it’s the right thing to do (although I’ll be the first to admit that it’s painfully slow at actually getting around to it). The only time that Europe pushed minority rights onto our statute books was when they pressured everyone to adopt Sex Discrimination law in the 1970’s, and even then it was to prevent France’s businesses from being too uncompetitive (because France already had equal pay laws, so their goods were more expensive to compensate).
No Government that can be voted out is going to do something monumentally stupid like remove your rights (unless you’re trans, because we are an easy target). The reason is simple: you can get rid of that Government if you’re unhappy with it. Going after minorities also makes no economic or social sense, since it’s essentially a suicide note for both business and the ruling party. It’s not going to happen – and even if it did, you could vote that Government out. You can’t do that with the EU.
Accountability is important
I’ve touched on this extensively already, so I’m going to be brief here. Accountability is important to a modern society. We expect our leaders to be accountable to us, and we expect to be able to remove those who overstep their role. You can’t remove an EU Commissioner and they have absolutely no accountability to you.
I don’t want to live in a country that is ruled by someone I can’t get rid of when they screw up, and that’s why I’m voting to Leave.
And before any smart arses come along and mention the Queen, let me remind you that she does not rule Britain. She reigns, Parliament rules.
Leaving will not make war more likely
I can’t believe I have to say this but the EU has not maintained peace; despite what the Remain crowd have been saying. The purpose of uniting Europe was never to cause Europe to be at peace – just look at what the founder of the European Project, Jean Monet, said was the goal of what is now the EU:
Monet was interested in creating a European superstate. He even went so far as to get Britain and France into talks to unite as one country prior to World War II (France, for its part, decided against this with one of its Parliamentarians going so far as to say they would prefer life under Hitler to life under Churchill). The purpose was never to foster peace, but instead to foster unity. It’s a big difference.
Moreover, the United Kingdom has been at war with someone every year since 1914. Being part of the EU has not stopped Britain picking a fight with people, it’s just stopped us picking a fight with European people. To suggest that the EU has brought us peace is to ignore the rest of the world – and also to ignore the fact that civil wars happen.
Nobody is talking about that possibility of us all becoming one big country but since we are on the subject of fostering peace, let’s just remember the one truth about nation states: when people get pushed to the edge and the bullets start flying, fostering peace through unity will not matter one bit. It’s sad but it’s true and the EU isn’t safe from that because let’s face it, nobody is.
Oh and this fostering of European peace didn’t stop France selling Exocet missiles to Argentina to fire at us during the Falklands War. So much for peace and unity.
Europe’s protectionism ruins countries
Right now tariffs on the import of goods from Africa come in two forms: relatively low costs for the import of raw materials for processing inside the European Union, and indefensibly high for processed goods. Why does Europe prevent processed goods coming in from Africa via shockingly high tariffs? Because Germany makes coffee.
The EU doesn’t want processed foodstuffs coming into its trading bloc, because it means its own businesses and factories will suffer. It happily takes in raw goods that it can process itself, but that means African farmers (and manufacturers from all over the world) are at a significant disadvantage, often to the point where there is little money to be made trading with Europe.
This keeps European companies artificially buoyant in a market where they otherwise would not be able to compete (because importing goods to process is more expensive than growing and processing them yourself).
I am not in favour of making farmers in developing countries suffer just so uncompetitive companies in Europe can be propped up. It’s unethical and it makes no long-term economic sense. That’s why I’m Voting to Leave.
Europe causes migrants to drown
Sticking with stupid protectionist legislation, let’s look at how the EU causes migrants to drown. Right now, Council Directive 2001/51/EC is causing airlines and ferry companies to prevent undocumented travellers entering the EU; which normally means migrants and asylum seekers.
The reason is that if those undocumented people turn out to not have a valid asylum claim, the airline or ferry company is liable for the costs of returning that person (or keeping them in the EU indefinitely, in some cases). Naturally the airlines and ferry companies don’t want that expense, so they just don’t let people onto their ‘planes or ferries. That’s why migrants are drowning trying to get to Europe; they are at the mercy of unscrupulous human traffickers who are overloading boats in order to make as much money as possible.
I’ve spoken about this at length already during this referendum so I won’t go into it any further here. Suffice to say I’m disgusted that the EU would legislate in order to keep its costs down in such a callous and uncaring manner. People are dying, open your bloody chequebooks Europe.
The European Army
The Far Left and the rest of the Remain crowd scream at me that this isn’t going to happen every time I bring it up but here’s the thing: it is going to happen, and the discussions to start the process off have been delayed until after the Referendum, because the EU knows Britain is against this. There will be an EU Army, and it will start to form relatively quickly.
Can you imagine the problems this is going to cause? Not only would it clearly be used for sabre rattling (because EU Commission President Jean Claude Junker has specifically talked about using it as such in the image quote above) and thus bringing us closer to war (since that’s what sabre rattling does – so much for the EU fostering peace) but an EU Army has to juggle the conflicting demands of all EU member states.
Angela Merkel hints at plan for a European Army https://t.co/nLwYAyw0Ci
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) June 22, 2016
Do you remember how problematic it was to get Europe to agree on anything at all? Now add in the highly emotive idea of going to war and you’ve got an even bigger problem. An EU Army is, of course, a necessity if the EU is going to become one big country (which is its end goal) because of course a country in the world we live in is going to need an army (hi, Japan – I’d say you were the exception here but it looks like you don’t want to be).
In 2001, we went to war alongside the US and the rest of Europe wasn’t happy about it. At some point, a united Europe would go to war and our military personnel would be required to fight even if Britain (or whatever vestigial part of Britain is left in a united Europe. Would we be like a State in the US? Probably not, we’d likely have less power) doesn’t agree with whatever reason we have for going to war. We would be requiring our citizens to fight and die for a cause that isn’t ours. I’m not willing to let that happen, so I’m Voting to Leave.
These are the major reasons why I’m voting to Leave. You’ll notice there isn’t an economic argument in here and that’s because there is no clear idea of what economic effect the Referendum result will have. Leave or stay, there will be an effect and nobody can honestly say what that will be (because we are not psychic super-heroes with the ability to accurately predict the future, even though that would be really cool). Instead, I’ve presented the social, political and moral reasons why I think it’s the right choice to Vote Leave.
Your decision may be different to mine. Your reasons for however you vote will undoubtedly be different to mine. Whatever you decide, and whether you agree with me or not, the important thing is to Vote tomorrow. This is the most important decision anyone will be asked to make about the future of our country in this generation, and it’s important we don’t squander it.
So however you vote, please actually do vote.
Thanks for reading. 🙂