Lord Owen spells out his reasons for leaving the EU
This interview is with Lord Owen and he goes over some of the points raised so far in the EU debate pointing out where he thinks the lies and propaganda has gone too far
Has Lord Owen got a point?
At least this dispels any myths about little Englanders being the only people interested in leaving the EU. People from the left, middle and right of politics all have opinions either way.
Personally I am split both ways and here is my own pros and con list.
Reasons To Stay
1. Civil, Workers and Human Rights.
The Tory government has constantly threatened to rip up Human Rights Act, a piece of legislation they helped create after WWII. I have no faith that a Tory written Bill of Rights would give us anything worth mentioning. It would be the Lib Dem's Freedom Bill all over again. Due to the current Tory government I cannot be sure that if we left the EU they wouldn't rip up all the benefits the EU has brought us over the years such as limits on working hours, minimum number of paid holidays, health and safety laws and the Human Rights act. So many other civil liberty related laws have been repealed or changed by Blair and the Tories before and after that we have lost so much when it comes to freedoms and civil rights that the EU is at least a backstop to prevent total police state UK due to the threat of terrorism.
2. Being able to travel and live around Europe Visa free.
I personally reckon things have changed a lot since I moved to Spain to live some time back. Being able to go to the local hospital or doctors and not have to pay due to the EU form I had was great. Even if I couldn't speak much Spanish my letter from the doctor about medications I was on was handy to point at during a consultation.
I have been stitched up in Ibiza and Spain for free and although this was years ago I did hear on BBC Question Time the other night from an ex UK soldier who had planned on retiring in Spain but was forced back due to Spanish doctors telling him they couldn't afford to look after him (due to him being from the UK). How true this is I have no idea but we allow free use of the NHS to anyone who turns up at A&E whether they are from the EU or Africa. Being able to travel when you are younger is an attractive prospect and if anything made it harder to do that I guess a lot of people would be pretty annoyed. Of course there is no need for VISA's, we never used to have one to go to the USA but that doesn't mean any re-negotiations with the EU after BREXIT would involve VISA's to visit EU countries.
3. The TTIP.
I know the Tories have probably bent over backwards to allow US global corporations access to the NHS and other state industries so they can milk them for profit. Therefore I have no faith that leaving the EU would stop us becoming a member of this new threatening trade agreement that will allow companies to sue our government if we introduce laws that cost them money. The French are threatening to veto TTIP at EU level and if we remain in the EU then they could be our only saviour against TTIP.
Do you honestly think the Tories won't try to sign us up for TTIP if we leave the EU?
Reasons To Leave
1. Basic democracy.
Not being able to create our own laws and elect and fire the people who do is a basic tenet of a free society. We have a proud history of giving the world rule of law from the Magna Carta to the UK philosophers who helped inspire the US revolution, from Thomas Paine, The rights of man and the social contract between citizen and state.
We also drew up the Convention of Human Rights after WWII to show the newly free countries of Eastern Europe how a civilised country acted. The most democratic part of the EU, the EU parliament that we all get a chance to elect UKIP MEP's to every so often is also the weakest part of the whole decision making process. The EU commission full of failed politicians like Neil Kinnock make (or convert policy documents) into law and the Council of Ministers is just one big horse trade as compromises are made over any new legislation. It is our right to govern ourselves and for anyone to say we can reform the EU to make it more democratic only from staying inside it, I say, well how come we haven't managed to do this in the time we have been members so far?
Not being able to choose who to allow in to our country and being prevented from allowing commonwealth countries access because EU migrants have filled up all the places. I live somewhere where migration has totally changed the face of the town. I do not underestimate that migration helps keep our services like the NHS going but many of the nurses and doctors are from the Far East or Africa not the EU. Yes it's nice being able to get your car washed and valeted at the local garage by 10 Romanians for a tenner but how many cars do they wash a day for the pittance they are paid. I know from seeing it that 4+ Polish men have shared a single room in a shared house as it was all they could afford. Is it fair to allow the exploitation of their willingness to work for low wages, and the pressure it puts on other peoples wages to be kept low?
The EU project has traces going all the way back to German banks in the 30's wanting a free market to allow them to easily invest in other countries industries. The German and French politicians have never been shy of admitting the EU is a project moving constantly towards a closer more integrated federal Europe. As we are not in the Euro and it seems that the only way that currency will work is with a proper fiscal and federal union we are not going to have much say considering we are outside this Euro club. Why not allow them to get on with closer integration if they so wish and allow us to remain a free nation state. Anyone who denies the underlying reasons for the EU, to prevent more war, and create a single European nation, an idea that goes back to the times of Rome and Napoleon is deluded.
Reasons To Ignore
Any talk of causing World War III, or massive unemployment or recession due to us leaving the EU should be ignored.
We are the 5th biggest economy on the planet and whilst some may claim the EU may have had something to do with this they forget that before the massive debts we incurred fighting two World Wars we were the biggest economic power on earth.
We have traded internationally for hundreds of years, we have always been a nation of shopkeepers, creators, inventors and entrepreneurs. For anyone to say we couldn't create trade deals with countries when the EU has attempted and failed to do deals with many other countries or taken 5+ years to do something that a few months should be enough for is just folly.
There may have been no war in Europe (apart from Bosnia and Serbia) since 1945, but then NATO has had more to do with our protection than any EU policy. Having 28 differing opinions is not going to be good for any kind of quick decisive action when it comes to dealing with emergencies as the war in Bosnia showed.
Therefore talk from both sides about anything that cannot possibly be known at this point in time should be ignored. The vote should be done on points of principle not maybes and hypotheticals.
What are the key points you are thinking about when it comes to voting time?