You want out of the EU, right?

by John Darvall

Then there were two. UKIP now have their second MP and it’s fair to say that neither of the defectors who are now UKIP MP’s were moderate Conservatives in the first place. They wanted out of the EU. They have their position and they don’t want a debate it. UKIP don’t want a renegotiation, they don’t even want to discuss what is good about the EU, they just want out. UKIP arrogantly assume you want out of the EU too. To UKIP it is a binary question with a binary answer, and that ‘out’ answer leads to a land of men in business suits, women at home, blue striped milk jugs on the breakfast table, corporal punixshment and lunchtime drinking in the pub. Where do I sign?!

Of course you want ‘out’ of the EU don’t you? Of course you do. The press says you want out, UKIP says you want out so that’s it. And you weren’t asked about the EU. You were only asked about the Common Market back in 1975. The EU is a bad thing. It takes all our money, makes all our laws and the entire population of continental Europe wants to come to the UK to take all our benefits and all of our jobs. The simple solution is get out of the EU and the UK is back to its 1950s heyday. This seems to be a UKIP vision of the UK, a sort of Kath Kidston brand of the past, a stylised pre globalised world of safety, empire and security, which never really existed. But it will have lovely spots.

Here are three of many arguments for staying in the EU.

Peace. Since the formation of cooperation over coal and steel production between Germany and France in the early 1950s the central tenet of the EU has been the free movement of people, to remove the need for formal boarders and denies any nations desire to expand the beyond them. The countries not in the EU but who trade within the block, such as Norway, also have to allow free movement of people. It’s part of the EU deal. This is something UKIP forget to mention, along with the rest of the political class and the press. The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2012.

The European Convention of Human Rights. This is nothing to do with tehe EU. It was born out of the atrocities of the WW2 and originally called the Treaty Of London. The treaty protects the rights of everyone beyond the European landmass. Winston Churchill was one of the instigators.

Cheaper labour. The reality is that if you want a pre made lunchtime sandwich, fresh seasonal British veg and fruit in the shops or decent service in a restaurant then you need cheaper labour from the EU. Simply, our UK work force can’t or won’t do these low paid, hard work jobs. British workers want more pay than is available and if you think it’s just a case of paying more for the job then you’re deluded. If it cost more to do the job it will cost you more to benefit from the product of that job. And if it costs you more than you will need to earn more to pay for it. This is called inflation. It’s a bad thing.

Being in or out of the EU is not as simple as UKIP are selling or as complicated as the other political parties are implying. The EU is far from perfect. The EU needs reform so free movement of people does not mean free money if you move to the UK. Yet to use immigration as the reason your lot is not how you want your lot to be is a delusion. UKIP’s ‘Kath Kidston 1950s Britain’ is no more real than the Labour or Conservative view of Britain’s place in the EU. A real, factual debate is needed.

If you could be made happier, healthier and wealthier by leaving the EU then don’t you think the other parties would be selling an exit too? Of course they would. It’s time to open our minds to what the EU is for and stop looking for simple answers to complicated questions.

UKIP have conflated immigration and the EU into a potent cocktail with a big kick. They offer a simple solution and an even simpler result. The other political parties have failed to answer their pitch.

It’s not the EU that has failed us, it’s our political class, again.

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