Wednesday, 28 October 2015

We don't want to be globalisation's bitch

I am going to put this as simply as I possibly can. We need to leave the EU. Europhiles say we'd have to obey all the rules even outside of the EU. That's true we do have to obey quite a lot of rules - but the rules are global because there is an emerging global single market. The rules are the product of working groups, lobbyists, corporate trade associations NGOs and to a lesser extent governments.

Only when the rules are decided in the consultation process are they ever put to governments and blocs like the EU, which time most of the negotiating has already been done. When it gets as far as the EU parliament all they can really do is tinker round the edges.

To get the best for our own industries in forging the rules that will be obeyed by Australia, Canada, USA and the EU (to name a few), we need to be in at the top global tables with our own right of veto and an independent vote. The EU is not the top table.

This is a process that has been going on for decades and in the last twenty years has grown massively in size and scope, governing just about everything imaginable. In all the major global forums the EU has observer status and through a process of majority voting decides what the EU position is, and because we are in the EU we are forced to vote for the common EU position with no opt outs or right of reservation.

Supposedly Norway is the country that had no say in the rules, but on every single global forum we find Norway in at the top securing opt outs and negotiating better rules long before they get anywhere near the EU. Norway has a massive energy sector which gives it certain clout, backed by a large academic and industrial pool of expertise. Because it is not aligned with the EU in all matters it has its own agreements that the EU could not secure, not least cooperation agreements with Russia on energy and the environment. If Norway can, so can we.

As members of the EEA, (the single market) Norway has the best of both worlds, having full access to the market while having a much more potent voice at the top table in deciding which rules it will follow. For sure it doesn't have commissioners or MEPs, but really, it has no need of them. It protects its own interests by being fully engaged at the top tables.

Meanwhile, Britain has a muted voice being subjugated by the EU. The EU is very often a major cause of delay in implementing global conventions which means the rest of the world is already enjoying the benefits of global trade accords while the EU drags its heels. As bad as that is, the nso called reformed EU creates a two tier EU where non-Euro member states are pushed into a second tier of the EU and so we are in essence pushed away from the top table within the EU as well as all the global forums making us a third rate power.

They say we need to be part of a large bloc and pool our sovereignty in order to get the best, but in reality pooling our sovereignty translates into procrastination and delay as well as bureaucratic inertia. We don't get the best for Britain and the EU doesn't get the best for Europe as everything is compromised according to the lowest common denominator. Moreover, a bloc that makes majority decisions for nearly half a billion people, often excluding the wishes of entire nations cannot by any measure be considered a democracy even if it notionally has a voting process. Voting rituals do not necessarily constitute democracy.

Moreover, there are other ways to use leverage on the global stage, not least through the use of WTO coalitions and alliances - and when nations with common interests work together they provide a necessary counterweight to the EU's hegemony. There can be little worse than a world where one bloc holds most of the cards.

If we are to secure a global single market then we must be in at the top, shaping it so that everybody is heard and ensuring that those global institutions are transparent and democratic in ways there are presently not. We need a global community of equals cooperating rather than entire blocs being dictated to by a supranational elite. We need nations to be able to freely pick and choose who they cooperate with in whichever sector they please. Nobody benefits from building an iron wall around Europe.

This is the future of global trade and this is what we are presently missing out on. The EU is just a middleman that obscures all this from view, as this blog has gone to considerable lengths to demonstrate, and while we remain subjugated by the EU, an institution with every intention of replacing member states on all international forums, we will gradually be erased from the global stage. We will be globalisation's bitch and completely impotent on the world stage - and then we really will be "obeying all the rules without having a say".

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