Tuesday, 19 April 2016

UKGov’s leaflet on the EU Referendum 23 June 2016

The paper leaflet arrived last week.  The electronic version is here.

What is it?

Really, really disappointing.

Is this is a strategic view by a government of a governmental club, pointing to either UK or EU strategy in the wider world for the next 50 years?
Does UKGov take this opportunity to explain and to account for the publicly declared (since the 1960s) political objective of the European Union (fully-integrated political union)?
Does UKGov take this opportunity to explain that much UK law is based upon global standards, not European standards, and that arguably the European Union as potentially as redundant as a national/member state government?
(see comment by eureferendum.com)
(the Digital Economy Act 2010 is a good example of how a non-European global standard is implemented into UK law)
Does UKGov explain how Cameron’s deal of 19 February 2016 has already changed the realpolitik of the European Union?
Is it an attempt to make Europe relevant to ordinary people’s daily lives?
Does it succeed in making Europe relevant to ordinary people’s daily lives?
How does it make Europe relevant to ordinary people’s daily lives?
Project Fear.

Detailed reactions to the leaflet

UKGov says…
My reaction is…
The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU:
  • we will not join the euro
  • we will keep our own border controls
  • the UK will not be part of further European political integration
  • there will be tough new restrictions on access to our welfare system for new EU migrants
  • we have a commitment to reduce EU red tape
It isn't secured until it becomes legislation.

Where is the evidence that that European Parliament will ratify the deal that 28 governments agreed?

EU countries buy 44% of everything we sell abroad, from cars to insurance. Remaining inside the EU guarantees our full access to its single market. By contrast, leaving creates uncertainty and risk
Trade is irrelevant to the Brexit issue, because trade would continue as it is whether UK was in or out of the European Union, in short-, medium- and long-terms.  The European Union is more than just a trading arrangement between nations.

If the UK were to leave the European Union, UKGov would rationally seek to re-join the European Economic Area and therefore the European Free Trade Area, restoring the EU's access to the British market - by far more important for the EU than for the UK - on terms similar to those today, but at a fraction of the 'membership fee' we currently pay today.

Why in this leaflet does UKGov remain silent on the other 56% of exports?
Being inside the EU also makes it more attractive for companies to invest in the UK.
Reasons to invest in the UK are nothing to do with the European Union, and probably not even the European Economic Area.

The main reasons to invest in the UK include:
  • a stable, legal environment of rule-of-law;
  • good, confident, commercially-minded legal arbitrators and commercial courts;
  • a recent (and successful) move by commercial lawyers to simplify the language used in commercial contracts;
  • a relatively low cost of legal and fiscal compliance (i.e. you can get on and just run your business);
  • a competitive tax regime, where the burden falls mainly on British citizens to fund the cost of the British state;
  • timezone (GMT is workable between east coast America and all of Europe);
  • a generally disinterested state, so thankfully few interventions or corruption (believe it or not);
  • a relatively more open and transparent business and compliance culture than other European Union member nations (even the Netherlands is more opaque than the UK because of its nest of conflicting and inhibiting collective workers' agreements).

Ireland shares many of the same advantages as UK.
A vote to leave could mean a decade of more of uncertainty.
False and deliberately misleading.

Staying inside the EU is likely to result in a decade of equal uncertainty.

If the European Parliament ratifies Cameron’s deal of 19 February 2016, then the whole integrationist European project is called into question.  Result?  Uncertainty.

On the other hand, if the European Parliament rejects Cameron’s deal of 19 February 2016, then what?  Does Britain (the Conservative Party in particular) meekly accept its serfdom within the European Union and carry on with the integrationist European project?  Or does UK hold repeated referenda until the apparently necessary goal of certainty is achieved?

What is this idiotic fear about uncertainty anyway?  Uncertainty is always somebody’s opportunity...
If the UK voted to leave the EU, the resulting economic shock would put pressure on the value of the pound, which would risk higher prices of some household goods and damage living standards.

UKGov has no magic crystal ball, so it cannot predict with any confidence how foreign exchange markets would react to the referendum result.  For all UKGov knows, the exchange rate has already "priced in" a Brexit win.

Besides, even if the pound depreciated against the Euro and US Dollar, that means exports become cheaper.  Imports - food and raw materials - might rise a little in price, and this is precisely what UKGov wants anyway.  It’s inflation.  Inflation erodes the value of debt, including public sector debt.  So presenting exchange rates as a problem for the people is deeply disingenuous.

UKGov’s comment stems from the same rigged model of the economy as other so-called economists use.  It’s bogus.
EU reforms in the 1990s have resulted in a drop in fares of over 40% for lower cost flights.

Mobile phone roaming charges will be abolished across the EU
Stop press!!  After 30 years of protectionism - including turning a blind eye to cartels (because they were ‘national champions’) -  within the Common Market, common sense applied and the Europeans agreed to the bleeding obvious.

Should we be grateful?  Or disgusted at how deliberately, corruptibly slow this European Union is?  What the hell are us taxpayers actually paying for?

How many more decades shall it take for the Single Market in Services to appear properly?  Are we still in the queue while vested interests parasitise consumers?

It was only as recent as October 2015 that the European Commission finally blew the gaffe on the illegal state aid that Netherlands and Luxembourg gave to some of its corporate taxpayers, smuggled via “transfer pricing rules”, long-standing (since 1930s) international corporation tax standards to prevent tax avoidance.
EU membership also gives UK citizens travelling in other European countries the right to access free or cheaper public healthcare.
Tell that to Mr & Mrs King, who were arrested under another great invention of Europe - the European Arrest Warrant - as they sought an effective health remedy for their youngest son's cancer when the National Health Service of England denied the remedy to them, upon which the local council went on a witchhunt for “child-abduction”... of their own child.
Voting to leave the EU would create years of uncertainty and potential economic disruption.
Wrong.  Ultimately, global standards and global rules would apply, most of which are pretty similar to what we already use (typically without the tweaks, perversions and ‘special protections’ that the European Union likes to introduce).  There is no uncertainty for us ordinary taxpaying plebs.

From day one of Brexit, trading agreements would continue until explicitly cancelled.  That's international law, like it or not.

Oh, OK, there might be uncertainty for our risible ruling elites.  But I don’t care about them.
EU membership means UK police can use law enforcement intelligence from 27 EU countries.
Wrong.  Bi-lateral agreements enable police to share data, and not all jurisdictions need the permission of their state to share data relevant to the other state.  The European Union might have brokered some part of a data-sharing deal, but data-sharing was likely to have happened anyway.

Not that it made much difference to the security of Brussels in March 2016.
Since 2004, using the European Arrest Warrant, over 1,000 suspects have faced justice in UK courts and over 7,000 have been extradited.
Excluding the 2 incident being Mr & Mrs King, all remaining 7,998 incidents would likely have happened anyway under the existing extradition arrangements.
EU membership means you and your family have the right to live, work or study abroad in any of the 27 other member countries.
Deliberately misleading.

One already has the right to apply to live, work or study anywhere in the world under UK law.  Whether the other country wants an immigrant is up to that country.  The European Union cannot influence the decisions of New Zealand, Canada, Australia, America, Russia, China, India etc.

Had the European Union not existed, then one’s ability to migrate to a European country would have remained identical to the process that still exists for the non-European world.

So to present international law as a special feature of the European Union is either disingenuous, or a simple falsehood.  Even within the European Union, member nations can refuse entry to any European citizen in accordance with its national law.

The sole feature that the European Union adds to this situation is that a European Union member state cannot generally discriminate against nationals of any other member of the European Union.  So where is the evidence that member nations would have retained general racial/national discrimination, but for the European Union?
The UK is a strong, independent nation. Our EU membership magnifies the UK’s ability to get its way on the issues we care about.
If the UK is a strong, independent nation, why does UKGov present our existence as wholly dependent upon membership of the European Union?

Where is the evidence that proves the magnifier effect of the EU on UK foreign policy?

UKGov’s leaflet gives all taxpayers, all Brexiteers and all EurIneers good, hard reasons to question the competence of UKGov.


UKGov seems to have a complicated media strategy, deploying two portals about the same referendum:

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