David Campbell Bannerman, a Conservative MEP, has released a book purporting a potential blueprint for Britain post-EU. He contends that instead of the renegotiated ‘In’ option, David Cameron should heed the warnings of the majority of his party and instead pursue a “negotiated Out” settlement.
It seems highly contradictory that at a time when we seem to be steaming towards a ‘Brexit’, that Mr Cameron is leading two huge negotiations on behalf of the EU with both economic superpowers, China and the US. So far his “re-negotiations” that he hopes will compel us to vote for retained membership, are non-existent. It is time Cameron heeds the warnings of not only leading figures in his party, but also the British public, and reveal how hugely beneficial life outside the bureaucratic super-state could be.
One of the many Eurosceptic Tory MEP’s, David Campbell Bannerman, has penned a book, ‘Time to Jump’, detailing a theoretical “blueprint” for Britain post-EU. Although Bannerman is not perhaps considered a leading figure in the party, his book has in fact garnered public support from political heavyweights such as Norman Lamont, who himself contributed a foreword.
What he envisions is perhaps the ideal situation for Britain on the outside of the EU. The most prominent argument against leaving the EU, is that of the huge economic benefits that come with being in the world largest free trade area. This argument can be completely discarded, by Britain simply negotiating what he labels an “EEA-Lite” settlement with the EU. He envisions a ‘mid-way’ arrangement, between the bilateral treaties that cover Switzerland’s relationship with the EU and the EEA agreement covering the relationship between the three EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) along with the rest of the EU. Consequently, the UK maintains almost all of the trade benefits, but regains the freedom to negotiate its own trade deals with nations outside Europe.
He goes on to detail the benefits, i.e. Britain could wipe out the public sector debt purely with the £100 billion savings; we would finally regain the freedom to negotiate our own trade deals with fast growing economies such as the BRIC’s; we will finally have control of our own borders, which does not necessarily mean a victory for the xenophobics as the left wing media often contend, but purely an ability to tighten or even loosen immigration controls- whichever is best for Britain at the time.
The book details possibly the best and most accurate account to date, of a potential outcome post-referendum. For Eurosceptics across the political spectrum, it is this blueprint that needs to be seized upon and disclosed to the British public. It must eradicate fears that leaving the European Union is more than an irrational leap of faith, purely tugging at nationalist heartstrings (remnant of the Scottish Independence campaign) and is actually a thoroughly considered argument, well thought out, and ultimately, the best option for the British public.
Furthermore however, it is David Cameron that must heed the books warnings, and its message. The “renegotiated in” option, that he has thus far championed, is an impossible task. French foreign minister himself has declared you “cannot do Europe á la carte”. Similarly, his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle concurs, arguing “cherry-picking EU benefits is not an option”. Negotiated in is a much easier task- the EU needs trade with Britain, as much as Britain needs trade with the EU, and consequently, they will almost certainly accept whatever Britain proposes.
When he accepts this is so, he must adopt Bannerman’s blueprint, and instead campaign for a Britain outside the EU. Mr Cameron must realise there are only two options, and if he is to see off the UKIP threat in 2015, and thus guarantee this referendum actually takes place, he must play his hand before the next election. It is either “all in”, or a “negotiated out”- and it is indubitably the latter that is best for Britain.