The European Union is based on rules
Unless the EU rules had been studied before the referendum, most people believed what they were being told by their politicians.
After all, why should politicians lie?
We expected them to know more about the UK – EU relationship than us. It is only after more than 2 years it has become clear that lies were told on both sides of the Referendum debate, mainly for the benefit of political careers and the benefit of the political parties.
Both main parties are against accepting the existing structure of the EU for the UK, but for different reasons. The Conservatives for control, to do what they think is best for the party, to open the UK to competitive trade agreements and stop free movement of European citizens.
The Labour Party is against the EU because it wants to spend vast amounts of public money (which will have to be borrowed) on nationalisation and other pet projects. The EU will not permit this, and they are against European supervision.
What are the rules?
The rules governing the EU have been created over the years, with all members agreeing to common standards. The United Kingdom has been a member of the Union for more than 40 years, and has helped make many of the regulations and directives. UK politicians don’t like rules, as it interferes with they ability to change their minds and make laws which they have an interest in. All countries can make their own laws, but must conform to the standards agreed.
Nick Gutteridge, a successful journalist based in Brussels, recently tweeted a comment from an unnamed EU official who summarised the third country conundrum perfectly.
“There is not an issue of general distrust towards the UK. That’s not the issue, but the EU is a rules-based system. Why is that? It’s because 28 member states do not trust each other spontaneously; they trust each other because they work on the basis of agreed common rules with common enforcement, common supervision and under a European court that will make sure they all apply the same rules in the same manner. They trust each other because there are remedies available. If you don’t have these remedies, you’re a third country.”
The four pillars
The four pillars of the European Union single market are established in the Treaty of Rome and the Lisbon Treaty. The free movement of goods, services, capital and people. The EU is the largest open single market in the world, with more than 510 million people and more than 5o trade agreements. Why would any country want to leave?
The current negotiations over the UK leaving the European Union are centred on these four freedoms. Only 37% of the population voted for Brexit. In a normal democracy, two thirds of the vote should be the bench mark to pass such a fundamental change to the UK’s laws and trading commitments and obligations. You might be interested in my article on Imports and Exports.