WGPlus (Archive)

Editorial Commentary:
Time for balanced facts, not just more fatuous statements

3 more L – O – N – G months of ‘Fear’ to go – Will we stay sane enough to come to a balanced decision?  What we need is Office of EU Referendum Facts (ODF) that could publish a SWOT analysisStrengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - on all the aspects on both staying in the EU and leaving it.  What we don’t need is the equivalent of the ScotGov White Paper; Scotland’s Future (and yes, I did read it).

The ‘Fear of the Unknown’ is a phrase much being bandied about.  We don’t know what our relationship would be like if we decide to leave the EU, but then neither do we know when the next Euro crisis will implode or how many refugees will find their way into the EU this summer (or if ‘peace’ will come to Syria and they mostly return home. 

Basically;

*There are too many ‘We would have to …’ not backed up by Why’s

*There are too many ‘We wouldn’t have to …’ not supported by Why’s

Taking one step back, we should remember that we ‘pay in’ more than we get out of the EU, so all the talk of our farmers going bankrupt from the withdrawal of CAP payments is nonsense.  It is our own money that funds them now so, in the short term, surely we could just go on paying the equivalent subsidies until we design a different system.  This also applies to all other EU ‘Grants / Investments’ in the UK.

We might have to pay tariffs, BUT a double digit tariff on Whiskey would no doubt see reciprocal measures put in place by the UK against German, French, Italian, etc. wines & spirits.  Welsh Lamb & British Beef tariffed? Danish bacon, French cheeses, plus Italian, German, Polish, etc. cured meats would get the same treatment.  Let’s face it that’s why trade agreements HAD to be developed in the past, so let’s stop pretending they wouldn’t be in the event of our leaving the EU.

In addition, NATO will not collapse if we leave the EU; It was formed in April 1949 and we didn’t join the EEC/EU until 1973, so one membership is not dependent of the other.  Added to which it is more than likely that the UK & France will continue their defence alliance (Defence Secretary secures progress on Brimstone sales as unmanned aircraft project moves forward).

What many of us would like to know are things such as:

*What impact would leaving have on our GDP?

*What would be the impact on the UK’s fishing industry – Would we get the 200 mile exclusion zone back?

*Would it cost or save money to do away with the EHIC card and just make it a legal requirement to have medical insurance to travel (included in the cost of the transport ticket perhaps)?

*Is it right that all expats could continue to live in the UK and the EU?

*Why would we still have to contribute to the EU, when many other countries (large & small) don’t?  If they want to export more to us than we do to them, they could pay us for access to our market!

*Would leaving the EU mean we would be free to ‘save’ our steel industry?

*If we left the EU, could we insist on UK-based suppliers for UK infrastructure projects?

*What would be the nett negative impact on not being able to bid for work advertised in the EU Journal? – (How many voters even know what that implies?)

Hopefully both sides will soon stop ‘ranting’ and start putting forward reasoned arguments backed up by detailed facts.  It is not a case that ‘Ignorance is Bliss’.  The future of the UK depends on voters considering a whole range of issues and deciding (on balance) what would be best for the UK.

Fishing & the EU - Hansard Online ~ The Telegraph:  Did the OBR really warn against Brexit? ~ Why the Government cannot just simply ‘Do Something’ about UK Steel Plants ~ Open Europe:  What if...? The consequences, challenges & opportunities facing Britain outside the EU

However, currently the only certainty is that the whole process will be dominated by the migration crisis as, by late June, the ‘invasion’ (which is what Eastern EU countries regard it as) will be in full flow with the better weather.  Even if the arrangement with Turkey is still actually working (it may even not be legal), one hears there are over 500,000 (probably mostly economic migrants) waiting to be ‘shipped over’ the Mediterranean to southern Italy by ISIL (with their terrorists mixed in no doubt). This will mean that voters are unlikely to take a ’calm & collected’ view of the pros & cons of Brexit, and just ask such questions as:

*After how many years will migrants, ‘settled’ in other EU countries, be free to move to the UK?

*What plans does the EU have for imposing the distribution of migrants?

EU News:  MEPs propose a centralised EU system for asylum claims with national quotas ~ MEPs want EU embassies & consulates to grant asylum seekers humanitarian visas ~ 6 Principles for further developing EU-Turkey Cooperation in tackling the Migration Crisis ~ Refugee crisis: the EC sets up emergency support ~ Syria Crisis: EC announces €445m in humanitarian aid ~ Relocation & Resettlement: EU Member States urgently need to deliver ~ EESC report reveals true extent of migrant crisis ~ So ‘Tens of Thousands’ is the right policy!

So, by June, it is quite possible the EU will be facing an even bigger migrant problem than in 2015 and that the mood will be; ‘Stop the migration into the UK at any cost’ as Fear of the Unknown, becomes Fear of the Known!

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