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