Now I think the main problem with the UK and Europe is the confusing bodies that exist. We have on one hand the EU and we also have the Council of Europe. The two are very separate bodies but I think the media often misrepresents which is which. Both are separate bodies and operate independently, the Council of Europe is the body that is responsible for that lovely organisation that is the European Court of Human Rights, which we all know is responsible for some questionable decisions, and probably annoys more people in the UK than anything else. Most recently the fact we couldn’t deport a terrorist to stand trial because at some point in time there may have been some evidence that may have been obtained through torture.
Then we have the EU and its bodies of the European Court of Justice, Council of Ministers, Commission and European Parliament. Whose main remit is for trade, European relations, Finance in some states and a little bit of influence in crime and punishment. Its constitution was to set up an area of free trade, free movement of people, goods and services and money. This as a core set of ideas I think are brilliant.
However there has been a problem with the EU, and that rather than sticking to the core values and ensuring that we have a world class trading zone, where countries’ economies can flourish they decided to allow mission creep and the EU now has its fingers in more pies than a hungry octopus.
But this should not be a reason for the UK to pick up its toys and go home and stop playing with the EU. In my opinion that would be the worst thing in the world for the UK to do. Now UKIP will point to Norway and say that they operate fine outside of the EU but within the trading zone, in which they do. But Norway also has a problem being there that one of the other 27 members of the EU doesn’t have. If the EU decided to change the laws about trading of food within the economic zone, the 27 member states could have a say about it and possibly get to make changes to the law. But Norway can’t, and it would have to oblige by whatever change in the law was passed.
So the Norway argument is one that is flawed, while yes you get the benefits to a degree, you are stuck with no say in how the system changes and how it will subsequently affect you and your economy.
I think there is only one logical place for the UK and that is as a member of the EU. As if you want to change something you have to be part of it to have your voice heard. The economic crisis that is happening within the Euro zone at the moment could be the perfect spring board for a major overhaul of the EU; and if the UK is not there then like Norway we would just have to like whatever changes happen.
The EU has to relatively soon realise that the Euro while in theory was a good idea was implemented in the wrong way. So hopefully they will dismantle it completely and let the economies of Europe recover and then we can sit down and look at rebuilding the EU in to a better more socially acceptable system. It grew too big to fast for what it is, and that gave it to much confidence to spread its reach in to areas that it was not designed to be in.
So leaving the UK would not only be bad for us economically it would leave us out in the cold on the world stage. We need to summon up that British spirit and take the lead in reforming the EU turn it in to a beacon of free trade, where economies can grow as business flourish and sell their goods with ease. Then and only then once we have this perfect trading zone should we consider expanding the remit of the EU.