Monday, January 28, 2013

On Britain's Stand With The EU


After a long and arduous off-and-on prattling, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister finally delivered the much awaited scope on the UK's position regarding its membership of the European Union. Although Mr Cameron did not arrive at this juncture by choice, he did well to prevent the push from turning into shove; at least, not yet.

Regardless of what the position taken by both critics and supporters on the case, what is apparent is that David Cameron deserves a pat on the back for taking on this unchallengeable relationship developed indeterminately through an inadvertent metamorphosis. Prime Minister after Prime Minister had come and gone, including the Iron Lady, almighty Mrs Thatcher and the affable and smooth talking Prince of New Labour, Mr Tony Blair, yet none was able to address this issue. Of course Mrs Thatcher campaigned for a Yes Vote to join the EU as a trade bloc, she later got quite uncomfortable with its encroachment into the sovereignty of the UK but couldn’t do much to revert it.

Secondly, although David Cameron has been pushed to where he now is, it is perfectly fine that he could dare respond and seek a redress. Whatever the outcome be, the worries can follow afterwards.

What is however facetious is the amount of people who believe that Britain outside of EU would not prosper; this is a misjudgement. The country will do as well as it can do. Of course, the teething problems would exist especially during the adjustment to the new position. Nevertheless if the country is led by a government with resolve at the time, would find its foot and take its rightful place in the world.
1.     Britain’s army is not funded by the EU yet as tiny as this Island is, it has had what is one of the strongest and one of the best equipped and skilful military in the world for as long as can be remembered.
2.     Many feared that Britain without an empire would collapse and disappear from the face of the world, but well, I doubt I need to lecture you on how the country has fared since after empire and colonialism. Your guess is as good as mine.
3.     While it was a manufacturing country, it matched its own at the highest peak of industry and was relevant; yet, its only since it joined the EU that Britain’s manufacturing sector has continuously dwindled and shrunk. So without the EU, it may recover this lost glory and lead.
4.     Britain (England) without the EU established what is recognized as the first proper constitution on Rights, known as Magna Carta thus exporting what we today know as Human Rights Laws/Charters which has continued to improve. It wasn’t the EU that inspired Human Rights in the UK; its the UK that inspired Human Rights in the EU.
5.     London has remained a centre of excellence and world business sector not because of the EU but because it has always been so from its foundation mostly due the pro-activeness of this country in giving investors a conducive environment to trade, live and enjoy; not perfectly but better than most.
6.     Although London’s link to trade was created or inspired by the early Romans, yet the city and the country has held on to that position even against the likes of Rome from where it was inspired and all others.
7.     Britain has a language that the world links to and understands. Although languages evlove, English is definitely going to outlive the world’s biggest religions thus meaning Britain will not lose out soon enough in the next 50 years and this might not change because Britain left the EU.
8.     What makes this country thick isn’t because it is part of the EU, what makes it thick is because it is just itself, unique and open to change and the course of the productive ‘alien’.
9.     Compared to many developed and great cities in the world, what sets London and UK apart is the famous myth [perspective] by people across the world that British people are [pretentiously] polite, and hence, mind their own business.
10.  The strength, position, relevance and success of a country is not measured by its size, but by its vision, focus, ability to challenge corruption through encouraging transparency by making policies and laws that help that, and leadership. If not so, countries like Nigeria, Mali, Argentina, etc who are far bigger that the UK should be in the lead ahead of the UK.

On other hand, a Britain in the EU would do well if it sculptures that relationship well and distinctively. What this country must oppose is a United States of Europe. It would be to no one’s benefit.

What is signed up for - what EU was ‘outwardly’ created for, and what would work easily - is for the EU to remain a trading bloc with free movement and trade for its citizens and goods while leaving member-states to make their own laws as it affects their local areas.

However, the inescapable aspect of that, is how to bring balance to discrepancies that may exist in trade agreements, working directives and operations for EU-spanning businesses.

Yet the above can be managed smoothly considering that organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) already have resources and advice to support such, hence global companies who operate in countries that are not in the same fiscal or political union are able to transfer and use both human, financial and material resources across their operations.

Britain is therefore right to insist on refining the present relationship and state of the European Union to ensure that it has a clear definition, focus and status. At the moment, the EU is groping in the dark for losing its mission, objective and focus.What does the EU want to be?
·       A trading bloc?

·       A fiscal union?

·       A political union?

·       A combined central government?

It is definitely none of the above though a bit of each.

The EU must be clear where it is going and let the people it wants to put into these state of affairs, no matter which it decides, have a say. This is not a generation of feudal decision where politicos and technocrats decide everything without consultation.

Let’s hope that the UK’s new position as explained by the Prime Minister will force the EU to make the ultimate decision; reaffirm its objective and focus.

At this point, no sensible person can say they will vote a Yes or a No in the proposed referendum until a deal is reached in the discussion that follows.

But it will be a shame if the EU leaders, out of stubbornness, miss this opportunity, due to self-interest and loathing of UK, to take this all-important step for its own people. It would be a shame that Britain would leave because this discussion is not had and a clear and new goal is not reached.

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