LeaveHQ, 21/11/2015  

This campaign is not going to respond to every utterance of europhiles or Business mandarins. In the final analysis, their words will not be all that influential. But it's worth noting that when chairman of the Remains, Stuart Rose speaks, he often conflates the EU with the single market. That then forces us to ask if it is ignorance or dishonesty. In either case, both are good enough reasons to discount their assertions. 

Writing in the Financial Times, Rose asserts "no credible alternative has been articulated. Following the path of Norway and Switzerland — who pay for access to the single market but have no influence over the regulations they must accept — would weaken our control over our economic affairs."

This is the classic mantra of the europhile, and readers of this site will know just how risible we regard these assertions. He refers to the Norway option as a destination, not as a transitional mechanism as we propose in Flexcit, which is in our estimation as credible as you're going to get. 

Of course, such does not exist in the eyes of such lofty individuals who would never bother to read sources outside of the bubble. It is born of a wilful desire to keep the many global organisations that shape the rules of the single market out of the frame completely. To acknowledge their existence is to admit that the EU is not the top table. 

Much of modern law is made at an international level, along with tradings rules. They are made by UNECE, Codex Alimentarius, WTO, ILO, IMO, UNEP and a whole host of bodies few have ever heard of, where the EU takes our seat and negotiates on our behalf. Norway is fully engaged in the process before it gets anywhere near the EU. They are at the top tables with full rights of veto. 

Much of this is already spelled out in the Bruges Group pamphlet "The Norway Option" which is as fascinating as it is essential. Rose will not have read this, nor will many of his ilk. Put bluntly, most of these high level mandarins speak entirely from a position of ignorance and rely on their prestigious titles as a means to get by.

Rose's message is nothing but a simplistic mantra. "I have one clear message to them: speak up about Britain’s place in Europe. As someone with four decades of business experience — from the shop floor to the boardroom — I refuse to accept that British business should be a silent partner." 

Frankly, we are tired of hearing about "our place in Europe". Where is the vision? Where is the ambition? Why are we wrapped up in this ongoing debate out our diminishing voice in a stifling relationship when there is a global single market emerging? What about our place in that?

We should also wonder about his use of the word "partner". A partnership is one of mutual agreement, mutual respect and mutual advantage. Political subordination is not cooperation and supranationalism is nothing even approaching a partnership. When the EU speaks on our behalf in all matters of trade we are the "silent partner". We are the muzzled dog, chained in the kennel.

To have a partnership with the EU we must sit along side it as equals at the top tables, choosing our alliances in accordance with out interests, being mindful of our own emerging industries. A partnership where only one in the relationship speaks for both is more akin with an abusive relationship. We'd rather have the Norway Option than Stockholm Syndrome. 

Moreover, why should we put so much stock in the words of a man who has spent much of his career selling underpants to old ladies? Who are these people to tell us who should govern us? If other businesses wish to take Rose up on his suggestion to speak up, we should also speak up and tell them that this is our decision, not theirs - and while Britain as a brand will prosper, we can see to it that theirs do not.  

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