The other parties say that they want to carry out major programmes if elected, but in reality they do not have the full powers to make those changes. Successive governments have given up control to the EU of powers ranging from tourism to transport, environment, energy, trade negotiations, immigration, border controls, culture, and criminal law, amongst a list of 43 ‘competences’.
Consider these possible effects of staying in the EU.
NHS harmonisation with USA healthcare
The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) now being negotiated on our behalf by the EU is aimed at what they say is an improvement in trade and trade regulations between the USA and the EU. In order to make this work they have to harmonise business practices such that common regulations on trade will work equally in the USA and in the EU, and provide a level field for businesses operating in both domains.
One area of negotiation is healthcare, where the EU is predominantly led by state healthcare and the USA by private healthcare. In order to create a common medium the USA would have to permit more state care, such as enhanced ‘Obamacare’, and the EU would need to encourage privatisation of health.
If you are a Labour supporter and the TTIP provisions on healthcare went through with practices which were common in the USA, you could have to sit back and watch as one by one the NHS hospitals were disposed of, and one by one the other resources of the NHS were sold to the highest bidder. The worst part of this scenario is that you could not do anything about it, because the EU now holds the powers which once belonged to Westminster. Moreover, protest would do nothing as the EU politicians responsible are not elected and therefore cannot be held to account in an election.
London City or Frankfurt City?
It is well known that the EU looks enviously at the City of London with its global trading, currency, and financial links far exceeding the other European exchanges. The ‘Tobin tax’ on financial transactions is an attempt to generate some EU revenue from the London financial centres as they stand now. However, the EU preference would be to arrange legislation to move much of London’s strength in the markets to a EU controlled centre, such as Frankfurt. The unelected EU would be able to do this without any effective political intervention from the UK.
EU Military Force
If the parties which take a non-interventionist line on military action, the LibDems and the Greens, want to oppose an EU move to a EU armed force, they have little political power to change EU policy in this regard. One of the risks which we take with a unified EU military is the possibility that the EU may be contemplating the introduction of compulsory military service – conscription. The problem for the EU in trying to build a volunteer army with a balanced mix of personnel from the EU countries, is that some countries will provide a greater proportion than others. For example, a country with a high youth unemployment problem may yield large numbers of recruits, whereas a wealthier country or region may yield few. The EU may contemplate conscription based on country quotas, but this is likely to prove unpopular, although of course if we accede to the creation of an EU army, once done there is no pulling out.
The other candidates in this election are in a difficult position, for if elected, one of their roles to be placed on them by their respective parties is to see that the powers which they have as an MP are successively given up to the EU, in pursuit of the federal superstate dream. They would also be going into Westminster where up to two thirds of the legislation is influenced or given to them by the EU.
They want to be elected to a national political level, but they will be in a situation where they will not possess the powers of a national politician. Further, they can avoid the twin burdens of responsibility and accountability which come with those full powers. With Brussels pulling the strings, even the Westminster MPs in the government itself are little more than shadow politicians on the larger EU scale.
The EU and our ability to self govern
Staying in the EU will make it impossible to give priority to UK focused programmes. Whereas leaving the EU will give us the power to create the UK which we all want, free from EU dictates. This is the better future outside of the EU which we will have following withdrawal. Our politicians will have the tools necessary to govern properly, and this applies irrespective of political alignment. There is thus a compelling argument for all parties to want once again to be an independent self-governing nation. It is not just UKIP which will benefit.