The Worstall view on Brexit

I have said this before but it seems apposite to say it again.

I have been in the European Parliament. I have looked around at the people there. I have worked as an EU civil servant (on contract mind, not career). I’ve met a commissioner or two.

It’s also most certainly true that Britain has its fair share of nutters, fruitcakes and loonies, a number of whom I have also worked with.

But there is no balance here. When I look around Brussels, recall those there, it’s really very simple. I don’t want my country run by those fuckers.

Time to leave guys n’ gals, time to leave.

30 thoughts on “The Worstall view on Brexit”

  1. In a word in which people used their brains the benefits of freedom are so obvious that scum like the EU would never have existed.

    That we now have to battle to persuade people that not kissing the ever-expanding arse of tyranny is better for them boggles the mind.

    Maybe it would be better if the human race does not survive.

  2. Daniel Hannan used to blog truthfully about his time in Brussels in the Telegraph. I remember him writing: how can we stay in a union with people that truly loath and despise us. Just look at some of the debates in the so-called EU parliament and see some of the open hostility and hatred displayed by the MEPs from nothing countries.

    Britain suffers from a battered wife (nation) syndrome, who keeps going back for more abuse and battering.

  3. There is only one question that actually matters: national sovereignty.

    Do you wish to retain the democratic right to throw out those who frame our laws, or are you happy to have that right subsumed with the opinions of hundreds of millions of others, whose priorities often (and quite naturally) clash with those of the UK? And are you happy for these aggregate wishes to be filtered through a legislative bureaucracy that has no direct electoral accountability whatsoever?

    Those who warn about the dangers and difficulties of the UK withdrawing from the EU miss the point – defending the democratic sovereignty of the people has never been easy or safe.

    Those who attempt to weigh the economic advantages of retaining EU membership seem to be involved in a bizarre discussion where the sale of their own liberty is already a given, and it is only the price that interests them.

  4. BIC and JohnnyA

    I’m unclear why permission to copy the work of someone else was required?

    A professor of political economics (R Murphy) says first that intellectual property has no value and, second, in apparent contradiction to this and perhaps as a potential defence “for the reasonable man” seems quite happy to breach copyright wholesale by publishing online newspaper articles with the tagline “I reproduce this here in the public interest”?

  5. Brussels has for many years acknowledged the democratic deficit. That’s a pretty big problem to have in western democracy.

    So what have they done about it? Nothing, so far as I can see. To the contrary.

  6. There is only one question that actually matters: national sovereignty.

    “Do you wish to retain the democratic right to throw out those who frame our laws, or are you happy to have that right subsumed with the opinions of hundreds of millions of others, whose priorities often (and quite naturally) clash with those of the UK?”

    Change “hundreds of millions” to “tens of millions”, and alter “the UK” to “England”, and you have the case for Scottish independence in a nutshell.

  7. At least with Scotland Osborne has actually come through on delegating more powers to the Scottish government, whereas Cameron came back from Bussels trumpeting “I’ve got a little bit of this, and a little bit of that”.

    I’m still waiting for the full details on the Scotland deal, but it looks like Westminster is given Edinburgh a lot more within the UK than Bussels is possibly contemplating giving London within the EU.

  8. @Rincewind Scotland has its own legal system. And, in addition to its own assembly with ever-increasing powers, it is hugely over represented in the national legislature. So, no comparison whatever with the UK’s position in Europe.

  9. JonnyA I visited your blog and left a comment. I’ll look at some of the other posts as I have time. Hopefully you don’t regret letting me know you exist.

  10. My perfect scenario would be a Brexit, then immediate negotiation of a free trade deal with the EU-27.So many jobs in the EU-27 are linked to the UK they will immediately say yes, but you have to allow free movement and make a contribution similar in proportion to that of NOR or SWI. The UK will likely say yes ( free trade and movement are a winning combination, the current PM is not a moron, although the next one might be ). I used this briefing to estimate a £2.5bn a year contribution if in proportion to the GDP of EEA ( but non-EU ) Norway. Set against a current net contribution of around £8bn a year from the same briefing, then the UK is better off by about the cost of a turntable for every family. Nothing spectacular, it’s not a promised land but this is how countries progress, by getting a little bit more intelligent with their resources each year.

    In addition, based on the briefing the UK gets back powers relating to:
    Agricultural subsidies , or lack of ( my favourite, and an even bigger saving ) .
    Fisheries.
    Trade policy with the Rest of the World and WTO membership back.
    Foreign and Security Policy
    Justice and home affairs.

    What’s not to like about that?

  11. Johnny A

    “It’s clearly a feature, not a bug.”

    Not even clearly a feature: it was a specific goal – the peoples of Europe could not be trusted not to go to war with each other and they required a) a benevolent elite who knew better and could overrule and b) a mechanism to tie down/hamstring the war making capabilities c.f. the coal and steel community.

  12. “a mechanism to tie down/hamstring the war making capabilities c.f. the coal and steel community.”

    How do you reconcile the fact that US steel and coal production has seen similar drops. It’s not as if we are avoiding wars.

  13. Totally agree with Jonny A… It really is a question of national sovereignty. Now I know most if not all of you won’t have any time for Tony Benn but surely he was spot on with his 5 powerful questions:

    What Power Have You Got?…
    Where Did You Get It From?…
    In Whose Interests Do You Exercise It?…
    To Whom Are You Accountable?…
    How Can We Get Rid Of You?….

  14. “I have been in the European Parliament. I have looked around at the people there. I have worked as an EU civil servant”

    The problem with that is that while this experience may mean you have some knowledge over and above the rest of us, you are a self confessed weirdo. Putting the two together, sane and normal people should ignore you (and Boris, Clegg, Gove and other weirdos and obsessives).

  15. KJ.The major thing I came to admire Tony Benn for as I got older, (besides being a pipe smoker) he was a parliamentarian to his fingertips.
    Diary entry from 18th June 1974.
    “This huge Commission building in Brussels, in the shape of a cross, is absolutely un-British. I felt as if I were going as a slave to Rome; the whole relationship was wrong. Here was I, an elected man who could be removed, doing a job, and here were these people with more power than I had and no accountability to anybody…My visit confirmed in a practical way all my suspicions that this would be the decapitation of British democracy without any countervailing advantage, and the British people, quite rightly, wouldn’t accept it. There is no real benefit for Britain.”

  16. The 2nd Viscount Stansgate was a cunt, and probably did more damage to British industry than did the Luftwaffe.

    However, like George Galloway, even that didn’t stop him being right about the EU.

  17. @Chris Miller:

    “Scotland has its own legal system.” As does England. So no difference there.

    “It is hugely over represented in the national legislature.” No it isn’t. Check out the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011.

    It “has its own assembly”. Well that’s true, though it’s still subject to relevant legislation passed by the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union. Just like England.

    So I can’t agree that there’s “no comparison whatever” between Scotland’s position vis-à-vis Westminster and the UK’s position vis-à-vis Brussels. These two situations have more similarities than differences, and issues of national sovereignty are key to both.

  18. you have the case for Scottish independence in a nutshell.

    I seem to recall, the reaction from commenters to this blog after the Scottish referendum was lost, was “Bugger!”

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