As readers will know, I don’t normally feature my day to day work on this blog. However, occasionally there are exceptions where the libertarian aims of Crash Bang Wallace and the output of my day job overlap.
One of those is the article I have written for today’s City AM, making the case for our outdated Sunday Trading laws to be abolished entirely following their successful trial during the Olympics. You can read it (and join the debate) here.
The new campaign from my former colleagues at the TaxPayers’ Alliance looks good:
As someone once said, there’s no money left – so personally I struggle to see why we are lending billions to a serial-defaulting country that seems intent on undermining our sovereign territory and trade?
I’ve signed the TPA’s Argentina petition, and I hope you will do the same here.
One thing was always clear about the Government’s EU “referendum lock” – the EU’s defenders were always going to claim it didn’t actually justify a referendum. Whether they did it outright in the wording, or later in a tortured limbo around what that wording meant, is irrelevant.
So it has come to pass now that the first proposed treaty changes since the lock was passed into law have hoved into view. Nick Clegg has rushed straight out, his face painted blue with a delightful ring of yellow stars scattered across his cheeks, chin and forehead, to announce that proposals for fiscal union among the Eurozone countries are not eligible for a referendum as they don’t constitute a transfer of sovereignty from Britain to Brussels.
Underlying this is the argument being pushed by the Conservative leadership that, as Tim Montgomerie reported it, an EU referendum would “plunge Britain’s economy into chaos”.
But it is this latter argument which undermines the former.
As we can now see from the crisis hanging over us – a crisis that has emerged as a direct result of the Euro’s disastrous creation and the ongoing, eternal grind of ever closer union – losing sovereignty is not just about Brussels being able to directly overrule Britain. It is also about whether we are losing the ability to build a successful, sustainable economy on our own terms.
EU integration has made Britain more economically vulnerable to crises on the Continent, a problem which is compounded by the fact that it has also made such crises far more likely. At the same time as our exposure to EU risk has increased, the Single Market’s aggressive protectionism has forbidden us from diversifying by trading freely and fully with other economies around the world – particularly with the BRICs.
In effect, they have tied a weight to our feet, dragging us down into the ocean depths, and bound our hands, stopping us trying to swim upwards.
The decision by a core group of EU countries to integrate through a single currency has diluted our sovereignty by reducing the effectiveness of the measures the British Government might take to boost our economy. As we are currently seeing, you don’t have to be in the Euro to be screwed by its failure.
Can they seriously claim that fiscal union in the Eurozone – a step which is likely to bring down even worse disaster on all our heads – won’t have a similar effect?
We are tied to the Eurozone through our EU membership – as a result, their fate does affect our fate. That’s why we have a veto on these proposals for fiscal union. And that’s why the British people should get a referendum on whether that veto is used.