Why Vote Leave
Why Vote Leave

Why Vote Leave

The EU question comes down, in the end, to legal supremacy. Who, ultimately, runs Britain? Can we make our own laws, or must we recognize EU primacy? Are we an independent country, co-operating with our neighbours, or a sub-unit within a larger European polity? (Location 226)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit leavers want more control over laws and less regulation from the eu

Fully 79 per cent of business activity in the United Kingdom is in this category: wholly internal. Most firms, indeed, trade only within a ten-mile radius of where they are sited. Of the 21 per cent of our GDP that depends on overseas commerce, 10 per cent is accounted for by trade with the EU, and 11 per cent by trade with the rest of the world. (Location 236)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit 10% of gdp is accounted for by trade with eu states

Britain is the third-largest investor in India, and many of the British firms that operate there, such as JCB, see no point in being in the EU. India, for its part, is the third-largest investor in the UK, owning more here than in the other twenty-seven members of the EU combined. (Location 332)

Tags: india

Note: .india

Of all the twenty-eight EU states, Britain is by far the hardest hit by the Common Commercial Policy. Twenty-six of the other twenty-seven members sell the majority of their exports to the rest of the EU. Britain and Greece are the only two EU nations that trade more overseas than in Europe and, in Britain’s case, the gap is starting to widen seriously. (Location 349)

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The reason that the debt crisis was so much more serious in the eurozone than anywhere else is that monetary union forced a number of states to pursue policies that exacerbated their economic woes. During the boom years, to the alarm of observers, the peripheral eurozone states were obliged to cut interest rates at a time when every orthodox economist of Left or Right would have decreed a rate rise to prevent a bubble. Then, when the crash came, these same states were unable to cushion the blow with a temporary devaluation, and so had to raise taxes during the downturn. (Location 377)

Tags: euro

Note: .euro eurozone countries were unable to devalue currency an had to raise taxes

one of the favourite claims of British ‘Remain’ campaigners is false. Supporters of the EU like to tell anyone who’ll listen that ‘around half our exports’ go to the EU. Of course, ‘around’ is a flexible word. In 2006, 54.7 per cent of Britain’s exports went to the EU. In 2015, it was 44.6 per cent. Where will it be ten years from now? Where twenty years from now? At what point will we drop the bizarre argument that, for the sake of a dwindling minority of our commerce, we must merge our political institutions with those of some other countries? (Location 387)

The QWERTY keyboard was designed in the 1870s to space out letters that were frequently used together, and so prevent jams at the ribbon. Now that keyboards are electronic, it would make more sense to lay the letters out in alphabetical order – making typing both easier to learn and quicker to perform. What keeps QWERTY in business? Inertia. Too many of us are used to the existing keyboards and can’t easily retrain our fingers. As the great eighteenth-century philosopher and MP Edmund Burke used to argue, it is not enough to show that you are proposing something better; it must be better by a sufficient margin to justify the upheaval of getting there. (Location 395)

Tags: qwerty

Note: .qwerty the keyboard was designed to space out frequently used keys to prevent jams

because, as I have tried to show in this chapter, the world, too, is changing. The assumption that underpinned the UK’s accession in the 1970s has been falsified: instead of joining a vibrant and growing free trade area, we have shackled ourselves to the only trade bloc on the planet that is experiencing no significant growth. (Location 403)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit

You see how the system works? The EU sets up and funds an interest group. That group duly demands that Eurocrats seize more powers. Eurocrats then announce that, in response to popular demand, they are extending their jurisdiction. (Location 483)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit

The EU is run, extraordinarily, by a body that combines legislative and executive power. The European Commission is not only the EU’s ‘government’; it is also, in most fields of policy, the only body that can propose legislation. Such a concentration of power is itself objectionable enough; but what is truly extraordinary is that the twenty-eight commissioners are unelected. (Location 593)

Let’s summarize what happened. The EU, lobbied by a vested interest, adopted rules that killed large numbers of European citizens. Yes, killed. We can’t quantify the fatalities precisely because the cause of death in each case was recorded as cancer or heart failure rather than NO2 inhalation or particulates emissions. But we are talking about thousands of needless deaths: air pollution kills more people globally than malaria and HIV combined. (Location 823)

Since majority voting was introduced in the late 1980s, the UK has voted against an EU legislative proposal seventy times. She has lost the vote seventy times. (Location 1019)

Why, though, is Britain so often in a category of her own? Why does she have such little sway with the other states? Is it because Britons are naturally unpopular? Is there some Eurovision Song Contest-style prejudice against us? Are we resented, on some deep psychological level, for having won the Second World War? (Location 1031)

Tags: britain, eu


Britain is in a permanent minority because her interests and outlook diverge from the European mean more than those of any other state. (Location 1034)

Tags: brexit

Britain differs cyclically and structurally from other EU economies. Her massive investments in and from the United States make her economy Atlantic rather than European, and her services sector has no equal on the Continent. In addition, as we have seen, she is one of only two member states that trade more outside the EU than inside it, and that disparity is growing. (Location 1036)

Tags: uk

Note: .uk britai trades more outside the eu than in it

A free trade area is a group of states which have eliminated most or all tariffs and quotas on their trade. Sometimes, their agreement covers only manufactured goods and commodities. Sometimes it applies to services, too. In a few cases, it incorporates free movement of labour. Other examples of free trade areas, apart from EFTA, are NAFTA (Canada, the United States and Mexico) and ASEAN (ten South East Asian states). A customs union, by contrast, involves internal free trade but also a common external tariff. Its members surrender their separate commercial policies and give up the right to sign trade agreements. Instead, trade negotiations are conducted, and treaties signed, by the bloc as a whole. (Location 1101)

The implications for sovereignty were not simply minimized, they were expressly denied. In a television broadcast to mark Britain’s formal accession to the EEC in 1973, the prime minister declared: ‘There are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.’3 That statement has been thrown back at the Conservative Party ever since. People felt, with reason, that they had been deceived by their leaders, that they had joined on a false premise. Instead of becoming members of what they had assumed to be a free market, based on the unrestricted circulation of goods and mutual recognition of products, they had joined a quasi-state which was in the process of acquiring all the machinery of democratic representation and legal coercive power. (Location 1150)

Tags: eu

Note: .eu common market vs sacrificing independence and sovereignity

Britain has paid more into the EU budget than she has received back in forty-one out of forty-two years of membership (the exception, tellingly, being 1975: the year of the referendum on withdrawal). Indeed, for most of those forty-two years, there were only two net contributors: Britain and Germany. (Location 1173)

Tags: eu

Note: .eu britain pays more then it receives

Britain was doubly penalized by the Common Agricultural Policy: as a net food importer with an efficient farming sector, she was hit both positively and negatively, paying more in and getting less back. She was, of course, uniquely deleteriously impacted by the Common Fisheries Policy which, for the next thirty years, did not apply to the Mediterranean or the Baltic, but only to the North Sea. It was, in other words, an overtly anti-British policy. (Location 1175)

Tags: eu, uk

Note: .uk .eu the uk had poor terms for their fiishing rights, other seas didnt have the same restrictions

When the EU wanted to extend its jurisdiction into social policy and employment law, it needed the permission of all member states. The UK opposed the move but eventually agreed to allow the others to go ahead, using the institutions of the EU, provided there was a legal guarantee that Britain would not be forced to join in. The moment the ink was dry on that guarantee, the then eleven other states began to agitate to extend their rules to the UK. Because Britain had an opt-out on social and employment policy, they reintroduced the main pillar of that policy – a directive regulating paid holidays, maximum weekly working times and the like – as a ‘health and safety’ measure (the 1993 Working Time Directive). The Major government protested that the measure was plainly social policy rather than health and safety – it allowed employees to work more than forty-eight hours a week, provided they were given overtime – but the ECJ decided that health and safety didn’t just mean being safe at work: it also meant looking after the ‘social well-being’ of employees. (Location 1239)

Tags: uk, eu

Note: .eu .uk the uk opted out of social and employment policy but the eu managed to introduce thee measures in a different guise, health and safety

Working Time Directive, most recently ruling, in 2015, that the time spent travelling to and from your place of work must count towards your forty-eight hours. (Location 1249)

Tags: work

Note: .work time spent travelling to and from work counts towards the 48 hours

Britain is unusual in another regard, too. Its legal system – or at least that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland – is based on common law rather than civil law. While around a third of the world’s population operates under some form of common law, most of the EU works with Roman-based civil law. Only Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland are in company with Britain. The difference between the two systems is worth exploring. Most legal systems are top-down: a law is written down in the abstract and then applied to particular disputes as they arise. But the common law, bizarrely, was never planned. It grew from beneath like a coral, each judgment serving as the starting-point for the next case. How did it begin? No one really knows. And, in theory, you might not expect it to work as well as a rational civil law system does. Yet, in practice, there has been no surer guarantee of freedom. As John Adams, the second president of the United States, put it, ‘The liberty, the unalienable, indefeasible rights of men, the honour and dignity of human nature and the universal happiness of individuals, were never so skilfully and successfully consulted as in that most excellent monument of human art, the common law of England.’ (Location 1280)

Tags: commonlaw

Note: .commonlaw

Britain is in a small minority, globally, in having no written constitution. And, for what it’s worth, I am prepared to listen to the arguments for having one. Be that as it may, though, Britain’s status as the only one of twenty-eight EU members without a written constitution leaves her in an exceptionally vulnerable position vis-à-vis the Brussels institutions. (Location 1299)

What makes the EU Treaties unique is that they don’t simply bind their signatories as states; they create a new legal order, which members must accept as superior to their own, and which is directly enforced by the national courts, even when the national parliament says otherwise. (Location 1306)

The British, runs the Brussels cliché, have always wanted it both ways on the EU. They want the trade, but they don’t want the political union. ‘You can’t be half-in and half-out,’ say Eurocrats; an assertion dutifully echoed by their allies and auxiliaries in London. (Location 1437)

Other Eurosceptic politicians and columnists were also engaged in setting out their agendas. In the end, we agreed on three core aims: the primacy of UK over EU law on our own territory; the right to sign bilateral trade deals with non-EU states, such as Australia and India; and the right to control who can settle in the UK. None of these aims is in any sense immoderate or unreasonable. That they evidently cannot be reconciled with EU membership tells us a great deal about the nature of the EU. (Location 1454)

Tags: uk

Note: .uk eurosceptics want to have control over uk laws, sign trade deals with non uk states and control immigration

Which leaves the fourth objective, and the one that attracted the most media interest in the UK, namely the idea of restricting migration from the EU. Again, it is interesting to see how the same words were used, with what can only be deliberate obfuscation, to hide the retreat from one position to another. What the prime minister originally wanted was an ‘emergency brake’ on migration. He wanted to limit the number of people who could settle in Britain from EU states. But Eurocrats told him that was no go. So instead he said he’d ban foreign nationals from claiming benefits for four years. People, the argument went, should put something into the pot before they drew payments from it. Again, Eurocrats said no. (Location 1546)

Supporters of the EU can hardly be blamed, in the circumstances, for making change-aversion their key argument. They don’t want to get drawn into arguments about democracy, or sovereignty, or the EU’s declining share of the world economy, or border control, or Britain’s budget contributions. They’d much rather conjure unspecific, inchoate fears about change. (Location 1617)

Tags: uk, brexit

Note: .brexit .uk imigration,eu budget, sovereignity, declining eu share of world economy

According to HMRC, Britain bought from the other twenty-seven EU members more than she sold to them to the value of £59 billion in 2014. On leaving, the UK would instantly become the EU’s single largest export destination, worth £289 billion. It is very rare, in any negotiation, for the salesman to bully or threaten the customer. (Location 1657)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit the uk is a large consumer of eu goods, and this should help negotiations

When people ask ‘Leave’ campaigners to set out their alternative in detail, they are inviting us to behave as if we were in office. But we’re not. It’ll be for the United Kingdom’s elected representatives to set the precise terms and conditions of our future relations with the EU. All we can do is set out some broad, obvious guidelines: we’d retain free trade with the single market; we’d withdraw from the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies; our laws would be supreme on our own territory; we’d apply no tariffs, either to EU or non-EU states; we’d remain outside Schengen; we’d stay in NATO and the Council of Europe. (Location 1837)

Tags: brexit

Note: .brexit

Now here’s the clinching statistic. The EU takes 55 per cent of Swiss exports, and 81 per cent of Norwegian exports, as opposed to 45 per cent of British exports. As we have seen, Europhiles like to claim that ‘around’ half our exports go to the EU, but that figure has fallen by 10 per cent since 2006. How much lower must it go before we drop the idea that we need to merge our political institutions? (Location 1846)

Tags: brexit

Note: 45% of UK exports go to the EU, but this number is falling

To summarize then, the alternative to EU membership is an association deal based on free trade and intergovernmental co-operation. We’ll recover our parliamentary sovereignty and, with it, the ability to sign bilateral trade agreements with non-EU countries, as Norway and Switzerland do – an increasingly important advantage when every continent in the world is growing except Antarctica and Europe. We’d obviously remain outside Schengen. (Location 1897)

Taxation is the easiest to quantify. According to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR), Britain’s contribution to the EU in 2016 will be £19.6 billion gross or £11.1 billion net.1 Since we are measuring the impact on taxation, it is the gross figure that is relevant here. Sure, some of the money Britain hands over to the EU is returned or spent in this country. But, when measuring tax, we don’t deduct notional value. Ask your neighbours how much their council tax bill is. I doubt they’ll subtract the value of the bin collection and the street lighting. So what does £19.6 billion amount to? According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), it is equivalent to the combined revenue of Vehicle Excise (£5.9 billion), Capital Gains Tax (£5.4 billion), Air Passenger Duty (£3.2 billion), Inheritance Tax (£3.9 billion) and Petroleum Tax (£1.2 billion). To put it another way, it would allow the entire country to get a 71 per cent rebate in council tax (which raises £27.6 billion). (Location 1923)

Tags: brexit, uk

Note: .uk .brexit the uk pays 19billion/year to the eu, or 11 billion net

As a result of EU policy, we have some of the highest electricity and gas bills in the world. Brussels drives up prices in two ways: through setting renewables targets and, since 2010, through direct legislation. As a result, a medium-sized business in the EU pays 20 per cent more for energy than an equivalent firm in China, 65 per cent more than one in India and 100 per cent more than one in the United States.4 These artificially high energy prices have already closed down almost the whole of Britain’s steel industry and now threaten other high-energy manufacturing sectors. And not just our businesses: in 2012–2013, the NHS spent an extraordinary £630 million on energy bills. (Location 1973)