To All Our Readers
Best wishes from BfB for a Happy New Year – with powers of self-government restored.
Here are some of the benefits that we have already had, and others we can look forward to in the New Year and after
- The uniquely early introduction of full scale Covid vaccination, in contrast with the EU’s disastrously slow and confused ‘coordinated’ response costing lives and businesses
- Supplies of PPE arrived faster than if we had signed up to the EU consortium
Governance and policy
- The restoration of democratic national sovereignty
- The end to the legal ascendency of EU law over British law
- A break with the secretive, technocratic and anti-democratic decision-making of the EU, and that expensive fig-leaf of democracy the EU parliament
- The ability to repeal swathes of EU law and revert to the more practical Common Law, the globally preferred system
- Autonomy for UK courts, and the end to oversight by the overtly integrationist and juridically-unsound CJEU
- Autonomy over the defence and intelligence concerns fundamental to a sovereign country
- A closer relationship with our allies in the English-speaking world and less pressure to co-ordinate with the EU (for instance the German-led desire to cosy up to China), reflecting Britain’s historically global outlook and liberal concerns (ex: the recent offer of citizenship for eligible Hong Kong residents)
- Politicians we elect will no longer be told by civil servants that they are obliged to adopt EU directives
- An immigration policy which can draw from a wide pool of talented individuals from across the world
- Conversely, controlling unlimited EU immigration pushed by high Eurozone unemployment, will help UK wages to rise above the minimum that many essential workers have had to put up with since 2004.
- Better wages mean less inequality, and more consumption, boosting both the economy and public revenues
- Lower migration will ease the housing shortage, leading eventually to house prices lower than they would otherwise have been and improving access of young people to home ownership
- The Turing scheme supporting placements for 35,000 UK students globally (versus Erasmus which sends to the EU only), aimed at students from disadvantaged backgrounds who benefited little from Erasmus
Economics and finance
- 84 billion euros saved which we would otherwise have contributed to the next EU budget round (Commission figures)
- A competitive £, which has already facilitated a mini-boom in UK exports since the EU referendum
- The opportunity for the car industry to build up domestic component suppliers, reducing environmentally damaging shuttling to-and-fro
- More flexibility on financial regulation –the EU can take years to abolish regulations that don’t work.
- Immunity from the budgetary consequences of any future Eurozone debt crisis
- State aid no longer under EU law
- The development of digital trade agreements with international partners
- The recent trade deal with Japan, which improved the existing EU agreement by incorporating the most comprehensive digital chapter in any free trade agreement on earth – streamlining regulatory processes, encouraging data flows and building in robust protections for our creative industry
- Trade deals being negotiated with Australia, New Zealand and the US (and a quick end to the trade war with the last).
- Probable membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the US may also join and which will also bolster democratic countries in the Pacific region against the rise of China
- Trade deals with developing nations, boosting Britain’s relations with high-growth regions of the globe, and compensating for the relative decline in Europe’s economic weight and China’s aggressive policies of investment in Africa and elsewhere.
- Regulatory freedoms which enable growth-promoting policies (e.g. freeports)
- Freedom from restrictive and anti-competitive European regulations which threaten Britain’s flourishing tech industry.
- The ability to buy cheaper food from outside the EU, without having to impose import tariffs on things we cannot produce at home
- Increased long-term opportunities for British fishermen – of particular significance for the Union given that our four biggest ports landing fish are in Scotland – and for consumers if fish prices fall
Animal welfare and the environment
- The end of the EU Common Agricultural Policy allows the UK to focus its subsidy regime for farmers on environmental and conservation concerns as well as food production
- A ban on transportation of live animals to the continent ((unfortunately except from Northern Ireland)
- The power to ban mink fur farming
- The power to ban electric pulse fishing and factory trawlers to conserve our marine environment
- The ability to run our own marine protected areas (thanks to Greenpeace for drawing our attention to this point)