Those of us who waited for Mr Cameron to serve up a tasty dish of red meat policies on reforming the EU will have been wearily unsurprised at the ‘thin gruel’ which finally emerged. Our Prime Minister only last year promised to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands, all the time knowing that he could not deliver because of the EU rules on open borders.
His own party members were visibly taken aback by the meagre offerings and by the fact that none of the four principles could be safeguarded by incorporation into a binding treaty. The PM’s scope for manoeuvring is limited by the already negative responses from the EU hierarchy, and thanks to successive UK governments having irretrievably given up power to the EU, only the smallest reverses can be contemplated.
The alternative to Cameron’s model of governance by limited piecemeal reform, is to do what is right for the UK by getting back the full powers of a national government. This is by far the biggest reward for all derived from leaving the EU. Inside the EU a government can never be responsive to its people, nor ambitious, nor even radical. It will always be constrained by whatever hand-me-down decrees are extruded from the Brussels machine. Politicians entice us now with fine ideals and sweeping promises for the UK future, all the while knowing that the exercise of full powers to deliver does not reside with them.
Irrespective of where a future political vision for the UK sits on the political spectrum, it can only be realised if the enabling authority belongs solely to the UK, and is neither diluted nor distorted inside a club of twenty-seven other competing viewpoints. All UK parties, even those now with the ‘In’ campaign, could gain immensely from leaving the EU.