The Sky is about to fall in – Man the Guns against the Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
When the Referendum Campaign started on February 23rd, the day that Prime Minister Cameron announced the date as 23rd June, all the talk was how dependent Britain was on its membership of the EU, a weak Britain wouldn’t be able to trade with the EU, 3 million jobs were “at risk”, we would lose our mysterious “influence” and so on.
Now, although these things are still being said, apparently Britain is so powerful that the EU depends on her membership to keep if from relapsing into war and chaos, the USA depends on Britain as its special friend in the EU, Germany values Britain in the EU as a supporter of free trade, parliamentary government and civic decency, and so on.
Having spent 2 months rubbishing his own country, Cameron then appealed (May 9th – “Europe Day”) to the 1.2 million British Empire gravestones in Commonwealth War Cemeteries throughout Europe (except the Iberian peninsular and Eastern Europe) to somehow validate his latest view that Britain would somehow be “safer in Europe” as he puts it.
Then along came Billy Hague, one-time Foreign Secretary in Cameron’s 2010-15 government, to say (Daily Telegraph 10th May) that Brexit (Britain’s exit from the EU) will threaten the future of “the Falklands, Gibraltar and Ulster” – the latter because according to Hague the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would somehow “be called into question”, and “many of the businesses investing there do so on the basis that the UK’s one land border is free of customs, duties, and controls”.
How does Hague know these things? How many is many? Does Hague realise that there is what is known as the Common Travel Area (CTA) covering the UK, the Irish Republic, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, which is completely separate from the EU’s arrangement, and dates back to at least 1952. Brexit’s advocates have no plans to change the CTA, provided the Republic of Ireland continues to apply British immigration controls as it has done since 1952 and crucially since 1962 with the passing of the Commonwealth Immigration Act.
UK-EU Common Trading Partnership
So far as customs are concerned Reference  proposes that after Brexit, the EU-UK should form a trade partnership based on a tariff free area with a common external tariff as now, but under the scrutiny of a UK-EU Council, on which obviously the Republic of Ireland would be represented. In a phrase there would be no change along the Northern Ireland border unless the Republic/EU wills otherwise.
Defence and the European Army
There has been no shortage of foreigners sticking their noses into British affairs – Obama very noticeably, clearly drummed up by Cameron – one politician to another. The latest set of retired politicians comprise two British, one Spaniard, one Dane and one Dutchman – all former NATO Secretaries (Chiefs). Although they have all, in one sense, been responsible for NATO’s affairs for 4 years at a time, they seem to believe that the “European Union with its 500 million people and significant economic power is a key partner for NATO” as they put it in their letter.
It is clear that they cannot distinguish between a client, a competitor and a partner. In defence terms the EU is not in any sense a partner – it has no military forces or bases, or military intelligence – even tiny Iceland has something to contribute to NATO. The EU is a non-paying client – as demonstrated in Bosnia, a client quite capable of stirring up trouble, as it has between the Ukraine and Russia.
What is mystifying in the letter of the five Secretary-generals is their evident belief that Britain’s leaving a non-military organisation like the EU, somehow precludes it from standing “shoulder to shoulder across the Euro-Atlantic community against common threats” as they put it. As one of the founding members of NATO in 1949, long before the EU was set up in 1992, Britain has arguably been the European shoulder of NATO (France only rejoined NATO’s military command in 2009 after a 43 year absence), and in essence the guarantor of continued American interest in defending Western Europe against the Soviet Union.
The point is that none of these foreign folk, and regrettably there are many in the various establishments which infest British public life, see any good in Britain except to serve their special interests.
In fact, the “Remain” campaign is entirely made up of special interest groups (SIGs) – the CBI, BT, Easy Jet, the scientists, ex NATO panjandrums – not one of them acknowledging that the chief reason for Britain’s leaving the EU is to stop the emptying of Eastern Europe’s people into England – at an accelerating rate.
The people who suffer from this continuing tsunami are those English people attempting to get their children into primary schools (700,000 extra places needed this year); young people trying to buy a house (around 120,000 per year needed to house the immigrant inflow); everyone who hasn’t got a chauffeur or expense account trying to get to work and back – all the things which the people of a free country expect to do without the congestion and hassle due to an uncontrolled flow of foreigners into their country – and it is their country, commentators please note.
 Stephen Bush in “Britain’s Referendum Decision and its Effects” (available from Amazon).