Fringe Box



Opinion: The Risks of Continued EU Membership

Published on: 8 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 23 Jun, 2016
Cllr Christian Holliday

Cllr Christian Holliday

By Christian Holliday

Conservative ward councillor for Burpham

This article is the third of a series of five setting out Christian’s personal views on the EU referendum debate. They are written in response to Nils Christiansen’s articles which commenced with: Why I Will Be Voting ‘Remain’ in the EU Referendum.

Peace in Europe

It is easy to forget now that for 50 years after the Second World War the west was embroiled in a cold war against the Soviet Union, a common enemy for all of us.

NATO gave us mutual defence with strong American involvement and underpinned our common security since 1949, long before the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 brought the EU into being.

EU & UK FlagsWhilst we are on the subject of the Soviet Union, it is interesting to note the comments of the former President of the Soviet Union, Michael Gorbachov who said: “The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.”

We see the rise of the far right in southern Europe, directly as a result of the Euro and the failed economic policies that accompany its drive to keep it afloat.

Opinion Logo 2Peace in Northern Ireland was brought about by many factors, not least of all the change in attitudes in the United States towards terrorism.  The EU did little in Yugoslavia.  Once again it was down to international efforts, and although slow off the mark, intervention from the USA.

I acknowledge that conflict between France and Germany, who went to war with each other three times between 1870 and 1945, would today be very difficult to imagine, but the price of this is the creation of a new country called Europe – one that does not respect the principles of democracy – rather than mutual respect for nations.

Engine for Stagnation

Britain’s post war decline was not halted until the reforms of the 1980’s.  Whilst Mrs Thatcher wholly supported Britain’s membership of what was then the Single Market, she, like many other people who voted “Yes” in 1975 subsequently became very concerned with the level of interference in this country’s affairs from the EU.

In her famous Bruges speech in 1992 she said: “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

We do well, not because of the EU, but despite the EU.  Most of our trade is outside the EU and our proportion of trade with that continent continues to decline.  The main problem with trade blocs, aside from the political element in the EU’s case, is that they stifle innovation.  Public procurement tenders are carefully worded to favour domestic firms in many EU countries that result in British firms losing out when bidding.

If you walk into any shop on Guildford High Street you will come across many goods from China, all which arrived here without a trade deal.  If we could return to our free trading routes with all our advantages (English language, rule of law, global links, best timezone to trade, expertise, and lack of corruption), we would not only do well despite the EU, we would thrive like never before, free from stacked procurement rules.

A British passport gets you visa free entry to more countries than any other in the world.  There is no reason to suggest this would change – unless EU countries do wish to cut off their noses to spite their faces, but I rather suspect Spain is very grateful for the massive cash injection into their economy from British pensioners.  Why would they want this to end?

Threat to Security

Europe’s porous borders have been a regular feature on the news for a number of years now.  Whilst we have passport controls, we have limited powers to turn EU citizens away.  On the continent it is even worse: we saw how terrorists were able to cross from Syria via Greece and carry our horrific attacks deep into the European Mainland.

We are full members of Europol and have unparalleled intelligence links around the world.  As former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, said: “…there are vastly varying levels of professionalism in intelligence and security” across the EU’s 28 member states and he suggested some of them leaked like “colanders”.  In his view our intelligence relationship with the USA outweighs that with Europe by “many factors of 10”.

Even if EU membership contributed seriously to our security, which is does not, the cost of this is a massive loss of democracy and sovereignty.  As Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

For these reasons and more, Britain must vote to leave the EU on 23rd June.

Share This Post

Responses to Opinion: The Risks of Continued EU Membership

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    June 9, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I agree with all of the above but would put more stress on the incredible security danger we are facing by the uncontrolled borders if we are foolish enough to vote to stay in the corrupt EU.

    Remember that all those immigrants now in Germany, Sweden, etc. will soon get EU papers which will allow them to come here – and they will – and there is nothing in the so called renegotiation that Cameron got to stop it. That’s apart from the terrorists we will be letting in many other criminals because of EU rules.

  2. Gordon Bridger Reply

    June 11, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    The arguments by Christian Halliday are sound. The trouble with the EU it has become too big and has very different countries in it.

    That was why they could not agree about what to do when Yugoslavia collapsed and were never able to agree about how to deal with Gaddafi.

    And the arguements made by many remainers that we will somehow not be allowed to sell goods to the EU is of course nonsense.

    Yet so many apparently serious organisations such as the Treasury assume that we will lose jobs by being denied access to the EU.

    The EU needs to continue trading, they cannot stop their exporters selling to us and if they wish to impose trade barriers against us we could do the same to them – and they would be the losers.

    There is a mutual interest in maintaining current trade.

    Most of the countries of the world trade with the EU without any trade agreements.

    The so-called advantage of getting the EU to negotiate trade deals with us because they are a bigger market is nullified because they have so many internal vested interests that they cannot agree what concession to make.

    Of course, foreign investors will be vary of investing in the UK as they wrongly think they will not have access to the EU. As Aston Martin, now JCB and Dyson confirm, this is not so.

  3. Chris Fox Reply

    June 15, 2016 at 10:10 am

    But if Mr Bridger is wrong there will be no going back.

    Whereas at least with “Remain” I have a fair idea of what I will get rather than the step into the unknown that “Brexit” stands for.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *