Watching Question Time last night, from Liverpool (that no-go city for Tories!), it struck me how Euroscepticism really isn’t just the preserve of the Right. Full on Socialists were baying for the EU’s blood: they were furious with the faceless Brussels bureaucrats and the fact that our politicians here in the UK just blindly gold-plate all EU directives into law (70% of British laws originate in Brussels) without a moment’s scrutiny or thought. Contrast this to other European countries, as Janet Street-Porter eloquently (not a word used often in the same sentence as JSP) put it, where, for example, they decide how much ‘elf and safety’ really is necessary. Having just got back from Ibiza I can attest that anti-slip paths and barriers to death are merely optional requirements of business and councils – of course, back in Blighty, our children aren’t even allowed to play conkers!!!
And then I read this morning that Brussels wants Iain Duncan Smith to water down his new welfare rules which will save billions in the long term and re-introduce the incentive to work rather than vegetate all day at home on the X Box whilst the next door neighbour heads out early each morning and arrives home late after another hard day at work. Guess what. The EU commission says we aren’t allow to stop paying people to do nothing and in fact we aren’t even allowed to stop paying immigrants, who have never paid a penny in tax in this country, generous benefits as well. Enough is enough.
For many years I was sure most of the time we are better of out of the EU but never 100% convinced as I was always slightly concerned about the trade implications and freedom of movement across European borders being an EU member state brings us. This year’s Eurozone farce has made me fully convinced – if it’s good enough for Norway and Switzerland it’s more than good enough for us. With the Eurozone in crisis, a building with no exits as William Hague recently said, the Right has won the argument in monumental fashion that Britain is better out of the EU. Of course, the Germans and French knew the Euro was merely a stepping stone to full fiscal and political union. The Germans and French are not stupid – they knew Greece couldn’t cope with not being able to control its own interest rates or devalue its currency to tame its basket case of an economy. They knew all along it would end in tears – and it has. But, they hope, not enough tears that a few billion Euros won’t wipe away. And Britain will not escape bailing out Greece, Spain, Italy, and the rest, as we contribute hundreds of millions of Sterling to the IMF.
Now, I am sure the Euro fanatics were hoping Britain would carry on as before the Eurozone
crisis Armageddon, and just let Brussels carry on as if nothing had happened, writing more busy-body (aka Socialist) directives, driving the EU project further forward to a United States of Europe. Fortunately, they are wrong. The tectonic plates have shifted and it is becoming acceptable even to moderates that being out of the EU might not be such a bad thing.
Now is time to hold a referendum on our membership of the European Union. If this happened tomorrow, I predict the result would be similar to the AV vote (that other loony left infatuation), with 80% + voting for our immediate withdrawal from an organisation that is thoroughly un-British. It’s time we got our independence back and felt proud to be citizens of Great Britain again.