LeaveHQ, 12/01/2016  

Proponents of the EU are often unaware of what the EU is. Tell them that it is supranational in nature and you'll be met with a blank stare. There are those who have a vague idea what it is but have only a dim idea of what the ramifications are. Most people see the EU as merely a trade bloc. It's far more than that. It is an entity designed to gradually erase the member state. Even the term "member state" transforms the meaning of the word state - to mean something more akin with the American definition.

It is said that our membership of it increases our influence. Such an assertion couldn't be further from the truth. As we have outlined at length, the trend is toward global governance where international organisations hold primacy in the development of standards, conventions and regulations - which the EU then adopts.

That means that if we want to initiate change, our best shot is waiting for our turn in the merry-go-round of the EU rotating presidency in order to set the agenda. Otherwise, we must ask nicely rather than dealing direct with the top tables. To get our agenda on the EU agenda requires a good deal of horse trading and delay. And that's only if other member states support our goals.

Only if there is sufficient consensus within the EU for top level reform is a measure taken up with the respective international body. And there, we increasingly find the EU attempting to insert and assert itself in place of member states - telling us how to vote and overriding our veto. In short, we have an ever diminishing voice at the global level and we find it increasingly difficult to make ourselves heard within the EU.

It is said that membership of the EU allows us to punch above our weight. It is far more accurate to say that it allows the EU to punch above its weight. And that is not a good thing. How the EU behaves on the global stage and what the net result of its involvement is should be a matter for serious debate.

The initial stated intent of the EU -downplaying its supranational nature, was to create a free trade area - eradicating not only tariffs but technical barriers to trade. Decoupling it from the supranational aspect, it wasn't a bad idea then and it isn't a bad idea now. Removal of barriers and increasing freedoms is hardly ever bad. But the world has moved on since the inception of the EU.

This century will see more and more nations arriving at the status of "developed" where their industries will face the same modernisation ours did, replacing old standards with global standards. This is the foundation of what will be a global single market of zero tariffs and as few technical barriers to trade as possible. That is the central concern of the WTO.

There is, however, a fly in the ointment. The EU. The net result of the EU is that when a global standard is established, the global standard is then corrupted by the EU law making process. It is mangled and delayed by the EU so that the end result is often a major deviation from the standard.

In having a regional hegemon we see the EU moving further away from global standards, erecting more barriers to trade from outside. This makes it harder for African countries to export to the EU as they are really getting to grips with the basics of regulation and good governance. The result is that Africa must either seek markets elsewhere or stay poor.

If anything stands in the way of a transparent and uniform global marketplace, it is the EU - with multiple lines of accountability, a mind-boggling degree of complexity and competing agendas in what has become an indecipherable mess. If lawmaking were as simple as is made out by europhiles, we wouldn't perhaps be so hostile to it.

It is the size and scope of the EU that gives it unprecedented influence on the global stage with little in the way of a counterbalance. If we want a global marketplace where the rules respect the human needs of regulation then we need more voices, not less. We need more representation and more democracy.

That is why we see Brexit as not only the start of something bigger and better than the EU, it is also the means by which Britain does get a full say in global agreements. In leaving the EU, we weaken the EU, but join strengthen Efta, so that there are two culturally aligned powers that are better able to get the best for their own members according to their needs.

This prevents the EU steamrollering its way onto the global stage and setting the agenda, and allows for a more cooperative global discussion. From there, with our own foreign, aid and trade policy, we can set about assisting our non-EU trade partners in meeting regulations and standards - facilitating better and more trade for Europe rather than excluding others. Creating different regional EU rules can lead to a loss of competitiveness in the global market. Brexit puts an end to that. A veto is leverage.

What we are talking about here is something more akin with what proponents of the EEC thought they were getting - but on a global scale. We are talking about reform that global governance chain that is long overdue reform. We are taking about building a global community of equals we no voice is stifled. We are talking about shaking the EU out of its complacency and forcing it to behave respectfully.

It is little wonder that we see ever more aggressive moves by Russia when we see an EU that is still, in light of numerous stresses, pushing for expansion and enlargement. The EU, one at a time is carving nations out of the Russian sphere of influence, while never having made any real effort to embrace and include Russia. Ukraine could have been a bridge rather than a wall. Instead, Russia has been shunned and is now moving in the opposite direction to Europe - in every respect.

Far from being an isolationist vision, Brexit is the exact opposite. It's about re-engaging in the world, it's about inclusion and it's about global leadership. Joining and establishing global forums based on true cooperation rather than subordination is in the true spirit of what people wrongly assume the EU to be. It's as much about global democracy as it is about domestic democracy, allowing our own to reach beyond our shores, but also to protect that which is sacred. It is about transitioning from benign managerialism to participation.

By removing our veto and our voice, Britain is a passenger in the lawmaking process, with our own politics becoming ever more hollow. This is what drives political disengagement and disillusionment. Without politics there is only administration - where we do as we are told, laws change customs change - and nobody we know how it happened or how to stop it. That is when decay sets in.

Brexit is about re-energising politics, re-booting our diplomatic and foreign policy and breaking out of our political and spiritual stasis. If anyone is isolationist, it is the europhiles and their quasi-imperialist corner of the world, going a different way to everyone else. We are all the weaker for it.

Europe is made stronger by nations perusing their own cultural and historical relationships around the world, trading at their own pace rather than filtering everything through a giant, bureaucratic tortoise-paced central entity.

When we hear of TTIP we are talking about one conversation between two parties. Why can't we have many conversations all at once, each making their own incremental progressions? Why does there have to be losers who go without a voice? Isn't that a better vision than a retreating old Europe fighting to preserve the paradigm of the last centrality? We think so. Democracy, free choice and liberty is always better. Why settle for less?

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