Thursday 23 June 2016

We are in Control!

This article concentrates on one theme - Sovereignty

“The poor quality of debate on a topic as complex as EU membership carries the risk that this crucial vote is decided not on the basis of the best available information and analysis but on gut feeling and short-term mood swings. This is no way to decide upon fundamental issues of democracy and sovereignty for years to come” Brexit, the Politics of a bad idea.

Edmund Burke, one of my most revered conservative British statesman, in his sentimental observation to the French Revolution in 1790 said that British constitution is made up of layer upon layer over the centuries.  He added, “British Constitution is far from being a political convenience[…]it was the fruit of tradition”.  Since then although many objections raised against the appointed House of Lords to curb its powers, its ‘constitutional’ structure has remained.  Parliament has remained supreme for both Houses represent and provide the anchorage of British Democracy as well as Britain’s administration of its juridical structure. 

The Brexit camp argues in their EU referendum campaign that Britain has lost its sovereignty, and even its democracy.  Boris Johnson, the ex-mayor of London, says that “EU membership is incompatible with parliamentary sovereignty.” Staying out means to take back control of a so-called inexorable and iron grid Brussels’ bureaucracy.  When signing the entry into Europe in 1973 Edward Heath, the then Britains Conservative Prime Miniter assured the public there is “no question of any erosion of national sovereignty”, and that Parliament can at any time confirm this by holding a referendum.  However, we need to bear in mind that a country can be wholly sovereign but hardly has any influence.  With some measure and as will all negotiation, it is a zero sum game because overall it is very difficult to distinguish between local rules and parliamentary laws on some lesser important matters.  For example alliances such as NATO membership creates an obligation to go to war if another member country attacked. 

It is wrong to argue, as some do, unelected bureaucrats impose that EU law in the European Commission. “In fact, although the Commission proposes draft legislation, it is adopted by the Council of Ministers, consisting of elected national governments, and the elected European Parliament.” Members of The House of Lords are unelected, and so are judges who form part of our laws setting precedents.   The EU, maybe supranational, but elections (including European ones) fought on national issues. In fact, voters can throw out the elected leadership at any time if they were to exercise their EU voting rights more often.  What at times may seem undemocratic is when those elected members shift alliances by compromises but that is part of procedures of shifting alliances under a coalition government structure, the British find unusual. There is no question of taking back control. 

It is not longer a question of autonomy and without it, Britain can never be free.  The control we have is through our appointed representative.  They have no power that the directives instilled in them by our national government.  The Brexit camp wrongly believes that ultimate power rests in Brussels.  It is important to note, however, that Britain today manufactures only 14% of its GDP most of which owned by foreign companies.  These include goods from heavy industry to food, clothing, cars, etc.  Britain also depends heavily on food producing countries for most of it food imports. Also, since it can not print its money as this also is done privately owned international banks, one can not blame Brussels for the contents of our sausages or the type of Bananas we can import.

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