Saturday 29 September 2012

My favourite Wiki - Supranational European Bodies

This lovely Euler diagram shows that there are alternative bodies we could be members of in a way which is very easy to see.  It's only like a gym membership package or choosing which insurance options to take on a policy. Just move your flag to where you'd rather be. 

Where we ought to move to is a matter for debate, and there could be some additional rules which link certain memberships so that if you want to be in one, you have to be in another, which might constrain which group(s) we go in to.

However, Switzerland seems to do pretty well by being in The Council of Europe, EFTA and the Schengen area.  Admittedly they still have the rulings of the EFTA court to deal with but then, if you are forming mutual trade agreements you must expect there to be a way of arbitrating when club members disagree.

The main thing to grasp is that when David Cameron makes oozy noises about a referendum and Tory ignoramuses pretend you can pick and choose which part of EU law to comply with, either they haven't done their homework or they are telling a flat lie in the hope of electoral success. It's not an in-or-out issue to frighten the children with.

Yes, we can leave the European Union and survive. No, we won't necessarily lose all our memberships although we might have to ask EFTA nicely if they would admit us.  No, we don't really need permission to go. Lawyers will tell you they can't undo this, that or the other.  Tell them we are going to resile, repeal the ECA72, and if they won't get on with the job then, like Cardinal Wolsey, they'll be replaced with Thomas Cromwell.

If it's good enough for Henry VIII, it's good enough for us.

See also Switzerland News


Richard said...

Thanks for this post, and a very useful graphic. I note that, while Dave's mouthpieces are talking about a major decision on the EU, the actual words he used were about redefining the *relationship* with the EU. That is an infinitely malleable phrase. If a 'cast-iron' promise of a referendum can be argued away, this will be easy for him.

This is election positioning, pure and simple. He is terrified of UKIP, and he ahs good reason to be.

banned said...

Being asked to reafirm our subjugation to Brussels was not the referendum we had in mind Mr. Cameron.

Woman on a Raft said...

Agree, Richard. BTW, the clickable version is from the link.

That just about summs it up, Banned. I don't know if you've had the joy of being lectured by a Conservative europhile recently, but I came perilously close being exceptionally rude.

I just can't stand the way they seem to think I'm going to believe their rubbish when I can point to case, ruling and paragraph which shows that EU law takes supremacy over UK law and always has since the court was first asked that question in the early 60s.

Barnacle Bill said...

We were betrayed by a Tory (Heath) over joining the Common Market.
Whilst Quisling Cameron merely wishes to continue this with his slippery words for petty party electoral and personal gain.

As for the professional pols over at nu-improved Labor; their eyes have been blinded by the wealth of goodies to be had aboard the EU gravy train. They think now only of self and not country.

I fear my vote has already been alotted before the tom foolery of a general election hits us.

The Meissen Bison said...

I think that Britain was previously a member of EFTA and that that membership was subsumed into our EEC membership. I imagine that it would be relatively simple to revert to our status quo ante.

Paul said...

Switzerland is also in Schengen, which has sparked an awful lot of acrimony from the SVP supporting Swiss. The SVP campaigned against Schengen (see their mad posters) and want to remove Switzerland from Schengen at the nearest opportunity.

I like the idea of Switzerland, but I suspect that the devil is indeed in the details. We clearly can't be like Switzerland, not even if we wanted to. And Switzerland is a lot more dependent on its neighbours than I think people would recognise.

Paul said...

As for the Euler diagram - I want to be in the bit with Switzerland, at the minimum. If we can get away without being a part of any European 'club', all the better.

Electro-Kevin said...

Well said Paul.

farm land as an investment said...

Thank you for raising the Swiss example. I've never understood why we in the UK do not look at that option more closely.