Friday, May 20, 2016

Worst of both Worlds 9: Juncker and Vote Leave lose the plot again

If I had a hundred pounds for every really, really silly tweet, message, article, leaflet or newpaper piece I have read during the EU referendum campaign, including material from both sides, I could afford to retire early.

This week's examples of how not to make the argument come from EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and from the Vote L:eave campaign.

When you are trying to explain to people how you will respond if they do something you are trying to persuade them not to do, it is usually an excellent idea to try to make the comment sound like a warning from a friend rather than a threat from an enemy.

You'd think the President of the EU Commission would know that.

Apparently not

"I'm sure the deserters will not be welcomed with open arms"

was what he told readers of the French newspaper Le Monde in an interview reported here by Reuters, adding that

"The United Kingdom will have to accept being regarded as a third country, which won't be handled with kid gloves.

He also said this was not a threat but it certainly didn't come over very well.

Meanwhile Vote Leave's latest utterly ridiculous tweeted graphic was this one:

Anyone who could authorise the release of such utter nonsense either thinks they are going to lose  and are desperately looking round for even the weakest argument, is very badly informed, or thinks the electorate are.

There was a silly, meaningless and entirely symbolic  European Parliament vote last year suggesting that the British and French UN Permanent seats on the UN security Council should be transferred to the EU.

But we don't "have to worry" about such a thing because there is no possibility whatsoever of ther EU causing it to happen. Britain or France could and would veto any attempt at the UN to amend the United Nations Charter in such a way. Britain and France could and would also veto any serious attempt (which the EU parliament motion was not) to persuade the EU to formally put such a proposal forward on behalf of the Union.

The people who might pose a threat to Britain's Permanent Seat on the UN Security Council are not the European Union but the SNP. If a major part of the UK were to break away, it might be possible for Britain's enemies to argue that what was left of the UK was no longer the same nation which had been given that seat under the original UN charter. Hence if Scottish Independence were ever to happen we might lose the seat for reasons which were not down to the EU at all.

If I regarded it as a strong possibility that a "leave" vote would trigger a second Scottish independence referendum and a vote by Scotland to leave the UK, then I would argue that, far from a vote to leave the EU safeguarding out UN Security Council seat, it would endanger it.

Since I think one of the better arguments made by Leave supporters lately has been that the SNP will only call a second IndyRef if they've very confident of winning, and at the moment they are not, I don't think the vote on June 23rd will affect out UN seat either way.

Another ridiculous tweet by vote leave this evening which is daft for very similar reasons:

Whether we vote Leave or Remain, British forces will work with our allies through NATO and there is absolutely no way we could be forced to put our armed forces under EU control

Since our armed forces already work with those of most other EU nations as part of the NATO alliance, it has been the case for longer than I have been alive that British troops can end up serving under an American general, or a Dutch Admiral, or a Canadian Air marshal. I have not heard a single advocate of a "leave" vote attack NATO - in fact most supporters of leave are also strong supporters of NATO.

Our soldiers, sailors and airmen fighting shoulder to shoulder under a common command structure with our allies, and pooling our sovereignty and defence with our NATO allies has hardly turned us into a conquered province subjugated by NATO.

Anybody who says there is something wrong with sharing the burdens of defending Europe should logically be even more keen to leave NATO than the EU. But apart from Jeremy Corbyn and a few of his acolytes I know of nobody daft enough to want to leave NATO.

There is nothing wrong in principle with working with countries like France and Germany for our mutual defence, unless you are still stuck in the attitudes not just of World War II but those of the Napoleonic wars!

The reason I don't want Britain to take part in an EU army is absolutely not because there is anything wrong with working with these countries, but because in NATO we already have a perfectly good structure to co-ordinate our armed forces with them for our mutual defence which has stood the test of time, and as it is not broken there is no need to fix it.

And there is absolutely no way that Brussels could force us to take part in European army if we remain a member of the EU. We could veto any such proposal. So we do not have to vote leave to keep our own defences.

The Leave side often accuses Remainers of making up ridiculous scare stories and sometimes they are right. But it's the Vote Leave who have been circulating preposterous and untrue scare stories today.

Just over another month of nonsense by both sides to go ...


Jim said...

I will tell you what then, lets just all vote "REMAIN",

then we can sit and watch the muppet show like this

Chris Whiteside said...


At the moment every time Juncker opens his mouth he makes me want to vote Leave and every time another daft argument from Vote Leave drops into my inbox it makes me want to vote Remain.

Jim said...

This is exactly my point, The reason I posed that about a debate on the TPD (which of course has its real routes in Codex) was to show that we dont have a say in how our laws are implemented.

You see pretty much everyone on that lords committee wants to see personal vaporisers excluded, but of course none of them can now. Nor did the UK have the chance to when the large tobacco companies (the ones who want to see the personal vaporiser so overly regulated that they are the only ones who can afford to sell their own version of them). It was also another that came into existence with absolutely no attention from the media.

You have a point about both sides of the "official" debate, to be honest i noticed a while ago that if i wanted to find out about things well, I have to do so myself.

Jim said...

that sentance should say "Nor did the UK have the chance to when the large tobacco companies (the ones who want to see the personal vaporiser so overly regulated that they are the only ones who can afford to sell their own version of them) were endlessly lobbying codex.