“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
― Plato ―
Listening to the exchanges on the UK’s national security position ‘should the UK leave the European Union (EU)’ , the commentary has been cringe worthy and embarrassing in the way the subject is being used to fan the flames of fear by UK politicians as grounds for staying in the EU. These voices are snubbing the world class, unequalled even by the United States Secret Agency let alone the EU, UK’s proud heritage in its security services – Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) (otherwise known as MI6) and GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters). For generations the UK agencies have set the Gold standard in intelligence and in today’s modern digital world they are the masters of the art of the digital. The reality is the EU needs our eyes and ears more than we need theirs. The real Global intelligence community constituting the 5 eyes will remain unaffected by the UK reclaiming its independence of voice, sovereignty and identity. The EU would be cutting its nose off to spite its face if they do not see the value in retaining the UK as a valued relationship in Europe’s security agenda. That does not require EU membership, as other defence treaties have shown.
Ah but what about physical security and the state of the UK national defence force. Despite the sycophantic roll the current and previous two Governments have played in watering down the UK Army, Navy and Airforce, the UK retains the foundations and framework and core resources to stand alone. Remember NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization)? Well just reflect on the NATO membership list, the UK is in good company, and far from alone. The UK leaving the EU is going to have no impact on this, and the UK would remain a central and leading member amongst all the European members as well, so hardly being left out in the cold. As a Nuclear Power the UK will find itself of greater interest to the EU as a friend.
I covered the immigration threat and lack of control over our own borders and who comes and goes and can dip their hands into the UK’s welfare pot in my earlier piece, ‘Is the EU UK’s greatest National Security Exposure?’.
The truth be told; the UK is stronger across the board than most other nations globally. The EU’s desire to have the UK in the ‘club’ is because it benefits them more than it benefits the UK. Why do you think they tolerated David Cameron’s charade over renegotiating terms? It’s all been a political game to bolster Cameron’s weak arguments for staying in the EU and to provide a lot of stage managed PR that was embarrassingly transparent to its underlying cynical agenda, to flood the airwaves to try and swing opinion. The facts are that the outcome from last week’s EU negotiations makes no change to the real state of affairs between the UK and the EU it was political pantomime.
David Cameron’s only success has been to play his role impeccably in obfuscating the true EU agenda. The EU has the UK exactly where it wants it. On the pretext of having given a lot and to have listened, it has consented to the freedom of the UK people to define their own destiny. Not before heavily loading the mindshare of the debate as never before, because the EU knows that they have the UK in the balance, and in the uncertainty they have been sowing they hope to steal from the UK its 1,000’s of years of proud heritage and independence forever. The EU referendum on 23rd June will be the last viable opportunity for the UK to be a true sovereign nation again, or be drawn into the compromise that is EU mediocrity.
The UK does not need the EU, the EU needs the UK across all the following:
- Defence – Both digital and physical as covered above.
- Financial – The UK has the world class financial centre that has survived more catastrophes and shown greater resilience in the face of Global challenges to its existence than any EU vote will. In fact, the City is rubbing its hands together. It is going to be a veritable feast as the markets go through their adjustments should the UK leave Europe. Also it will be an end to the EU’s attempts to undermine the power of the City in favour of its own financial centres. What the city survived through two world wars the EU has made no attempt in hiding its designs to neutralise the UK’s financial influence as a necessary step in driving the UK into economic and monetary union.
- Economy – The UK economy has grown faster and retained a greater degree of stability and confidence than ANY of the other EU nations. Furthermore, the UK is a NET contributor to the EU, NOT a beneficiary. The EURO has proven time and again to be the Achilles heel of the EU and the straightjacket of other EU nation’s individual prosperity. Growth across the EU has been impaired for years and risks the whole regions economic health. It is like a cancer, an internal contention to the natural cultural economic motions that many of these nations would take independently. In a recent debate between Goldman Sachs and Cazenove the final opinion was clear. The EURO and the EU’s economic agenda was the equivalent of a self-imposed ball and chain on individual nations attempts at economic growth. Many of the nations across the EU would be experiencing considerably faster growth and less economic distress than they have done.
- Living Standards – It cannot have missed the attention of many, even casting a cursory glance at UK affairs. The hugely disproportionate number of immigrants queuing to get into the UK that don’t want to hang around in other parts of the EU. They are not doing that because they want to step down in their living standards, they are gravitating to the best.
- Trade – The EU trade benefits for the UK are over hyped by companies that have GLOBAL strategic agenda’s and not UK centric agenda’s, arguments propped up by politicians whose lifestyles are dependent on the EU. A 2014 study by Civitas stated “It is empty rhetoric to suggest that being part of the EU has given the UK a trade advantage and that any benefits are imaginary”. Furthermore:
- Britain’s trade with other EU nations accounts for no more of its trade with all leading economies than it did on joining the European Economic Community in 1973.
- Exports to non-EU nations Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have increased enormously over the same period, despite the relatively small populations of such nations.
- UK ranks only 28th of the world’s 35 fastest-growing exporters, with the UK’s exports to non-EU countries growing at a much faster pace than exports to countries that are members of the union
- Businesses – The voice of our companies has also been grossly distorted. As I stated above, the views of the top 1% of UK FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) companies who get airtime, play to their own globalised self-interests rather than the UK centric health of the remaining 95% of small medium enterprise organisations that do not enjoy that Global mobility.
- Subsidies – As a NET financial contributor into the EU, the view that farmers and other supported industries will be worse off is irrational. The fact that the mechanism for support will need to change back to a UK conduit may foster some uncertainty, they will not simply disappear. The real potential is there could be more money available. As the perverse reality is there is a devaluation to every £1 when it has to go through the EU bureaucratic machine. After all, how do you think the EU covers the cost of its 55,000 bureaucrats and nearly 4,000 translators. The EU does a great psychological head job on communities by putting up big signs declaring ‘this road was built by the EU’ or some such self-aggrandisement, when in fact the EU has taken UK funds just to hand them back. Or rather to hand back just some of them.
- Red Tape – Arguments that red tape from the EU imposed on the UK has dropped dramatically in recent years is not accepting the fact that the high water mark of legislation, regulation or directive imposed on the UK was inevitably going to subside as the EU imposed itself across the former independent UK legislative and regulatory landscape. A key metric should not be ignored is that the cost of the top 100 EU rules imposed on the UK hit £33.3bn / year (Source: Open Europe, UK Government, Financial Conduct Authority). The research further confirms that should the UK exit the EU it would go down.
Ultimately the greatest enemy the UK now has to face is itself, and the fear of inadequacy being instilled by the supporters of the EU as they consume attention with scare tactics to distract the UK from the realisation of its full potential. The true fear is the EU’s; they know the UK is powerful beyond measure.
The UK’s opportunity is to stride from the shadows of the EU and into the full brilliance of its own potential. It is for the UK to remind the world of its value on the Global stage, independent and proud in the certainty of defining its own destiny, taking the risks that build it as a proud sovereign nation. Calling on the Commonwealth of Nations, that economic powerhouse and group of long standing friends, makes the EU pale into the shadows. This opens the possibility for generations to come of great moment when as a nation the UK took charge of its own destiny to become a defining force in a new Global era.