Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Status Quo Fallacy (with apologies to Francis Rossi)

"As a prominent Leave campaign grabs the bull by the horns and boldly deals with the 'exit plan' conundrum, Remain suddenly find themselves rushing to discredit. Yet when looking at a potential future within the EU, can they say what plans are in store for the UK if we Remain?"

At the end of this post is a little story, written to fill the gaping hole that is - the future if we Remain


Significant Dynamite

Leave.EU have stuck their neck out recently and I admire them for it. It's common knowledge now that, in collaboration with DR RAE North, they're exploring the possibility of The Market Solution to illustrate just how the UK could extricate themselves from the EU.

For months, many of us have been asking both Leave camps to show their metal and deal with this perceived uncertainty. Brexit is a move in to new territory and it's safe to say that the votes of a large percentage of undecideds will hang on whether the destination comes with a credible road map. Anyone who is serious about promoting Brexit must concede that it's incumbent upon the Leave campaign to have that map and illustrate that it can be done. The more water tight the solution, the better the credibility of the Leave campaign and its message. Leave.EU have obviously recognised the value in that and made their move which must elevate their prominence in both the eyes of the public and also that of the electoral commission when it comes to designation.

More about this collaboration can be found here:

The fruits will almost certainly be an exit strategy which realistically deals with the issue of acute timescales, reduces the day one impact to UK administration and establishes a solid foundation from which we can build our way back to the global stage.

This neatly matches the change in perspective that has begun to emerge in the Brexit camp. People are waking up to the notion that this is not an act of pulling up the drawbridge but a real transformation opportunity where we come out from behind the curtain of the EU and take a position of prominence and international agility again across the world.

If you combine the will of the people to transform the UK in to a true global player with a credible plan of attack, you have an explosive mixture ready to do more than just 'blow the bloody doors off'. It's a dynamite combination.

BSE Remains

BSE and the Remainers (sounds like a Death Metal band to me) have so far delighted in weaving a web around the UK, suggesting that safe Brexit is impossible due to article 50 time constraints. I have no doubt the brevity of the timescales is a deliberate set of handcuffs that will be exploited to the max. They've blended that threat continually with the taunt that the Leave campaign cannot illustrate what Leave would look like.

Well now we can, in glorious technicolour. In fact, Remain have been made aware of exit strategies for some time but, quite naturally, they choose to ignore them and then continue their assertion that there is no plan. This to perpetuate the myth to the nation that the UK will never be able to get out of the spider's web. It is, frankly, a stinking and rather manipulative deception. I guess, when you're ensconced in the arms of the EU octopus and you've divested yourself of any sense of national identity, you'll say what ever it takes to avoid being prized away. In their heads, these people probably don't see themselves primarily as British, instead they're EU nationals just waiting for the country to be hatched in the next treaty.

Now the luxury of 'uncertainty' has been taken away from them and naturally they've started to throw their toys out of the pram. Rather than extol the virtues of the EU (they struggle to do this for some reason), they've decided to roll in the gutter instead. Immediately Will Straw demonstrated either wilful ignorance or active deception by quickly moving to suggest that by adopting this exit strategy, the UK would be subject to:

  • Acceptance of EU budget contributions
  • Maintaining freedom of movement
  • Retention of ALL EU law
  • Removal of the UK's influence over the laws we would have to accept.

As I've said before - for some people, it doesn't matter if you're right, as long as you're first. And this is what BSE have moved to do - attempting to fix the narrative before the people have time to examine the detail themselves. They hope that the population accept the message and overlook the detail. "Move along, nothing to see here".

BSE, and Will in particular here, ignore the basic principle of the Market Solution which presents EFTA/EEA as a "stepping stone" on a phased exit journey. They're looking at the departure lounge and telling the people that it's the holiday resort. They'd like it to be the final destination, but the simple truth is, it isn't. And what comes after the initial stage is a progressive transformation of the UK's position in the world as we sit down at the top tables looking the EU directly in the eye.

It's worth pausing for one moment to consider whether Stronger In are running on empty in the positive message tank, giving us: Months of conflating the pungently toxic EU with the rather delightful continent of Europe in a desperate attempt to confuse the electorate; persistent fear-mongering with unqualified or debatable risks; absolutely no sense that they have a positive wave of messaging that could carry the vote on its own.

The Status Quo Fallacy


What if this vision of the UK leaving with a reasonable exit plan takes root in the heart of the electorate? What if the people of the UK start to believe that life could actually be better without us merging under the control of a Supranational entity?

Just what can the 'Remains' tell us with any certainty about life under a future EU to counter this vision?

And right there, if you stop and look at them for a moment ... there it is! The 'Status Quo' fallacy, hanging in the air for all to see.

Things are not going to stay the same with the EU. Even the slowest amongst us can see that since the Treaty of Rome, things have moved on dramatically. Let's not pretend we've seen all there is to see of this iceberg either. Under the water line, there's much much more to come and I'm sure if it were exposed, it would sink the Remain ship entirely.

For all their talk of 'little England', it's already becoming apparent that theirs is the retrograde position for the UK, the one that curtails our position in a changing world. Combine this with the maelstrom of uncertainty about the future shape of the EU and you have a cocktail as welcome as blended sprouts in cold vomit.

Jackanory Time


Lacking any such narrative for tomorrow's world in the EU, we can help BSE out by painting one for them:

"It's 2030. Thirteen years previously, after a torrent of negative campaigning by the Remain side and having been mind-crippled by unparalleled EU funded FUD, the UK population voted to remain in a 'reformed EU'. The fight was down to the wire and, yet again, pollsters were shown to be wide of the mark, yet surprisingly on message. But when the count came in, Remain won by a mere 2%.

This 'significant majority' was accepted as a mandate by the then Prime Minister David Cameron to take the the UK in to a new relationship with the EU. 'The British Option' as it was called, brought us to the outer ring in 2022 after it was ratified by the people of the UK in a second referendum. Although originally seen as a triumph against 'ever closer union', in 2030 there are now well established concerns. Whilst the likes of Norway (which continues to top the world ranking for prosperity) sit at the top tables of global bodies where the rules are hammered out, the UK are now further retracted and marginalised, neither taking a global position or one of prominence within the EU.

To compound matters, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey have now all joined the ever growing federation, with Boznia Herzegovina and Kosovo also on the cusp of membership. Our margin of vote in the European Parliament and European Council are lower than ever and about to shrink yet again. In spite of complaints about the inability of any one member to stand up to the EU in any meaningful way, the committed europhiles, in thrall to their pay masters, repeat the mantra that we should be grateful to have the opportunity to 'collaborate'. Our hands bound behind our backs, we're unable to harness the power of the now maturing international markets, instead we remain chained to an ageing customs and political union in spite of the fact that EU exports have continued to decline year on year.

But our voice within the EU and our freedom to trade with a prosperous wider world are not the only ways that we've had our wings cut. The core nations of the reformed EU handed over their seats at the UN security council to the EU and as a result of treaty changes, associate members were forced to cede to the common position. In light of the new EU army established under Commission President Nick Clegg, we're told this is a perfectly reasonable stance for the EU to take.

From a position where the UK threatened to become the worlds 4th greatest economy, to a tepid shadow nation neither fully conceding itself to a Supranational or clawing its way back to the top table, it's not hard to see why the UK of 2030 is full of dissatisfied citizens wondering where it all went wrong. Still, with the pending 'Treaty of Federal Unification' on the horizon, we all have the opportunity to put this right and rejoin the new unified core. Here we can regain our collaborative influence within the EU, after forgoing our currency, sovereignty and right to elect our own ruling law makers.

Jackanory? Perhaps, but who knows where the EU roller-coaster will take us in the future. Now Leave.EU are working on a plan - they've set the bar. What can 'Stronger In' or even David Cameron tell us will happen with any certainty if we Remain? Surely there can be no answer from them to this because the plans of the EU have never been clearly and honestly laid out in front of the people. If they had, we'd never be in this mess.

1 comment:

  1. Well certainty about the future of the EU is one thing, but for clues about the likely direction of travel are out there. The Report of the Five Presidents, the Spinelli Group's Fundamental Law proposals and the other day Andrew Duff (contributor to FundamentalLaw) published the Frankfurt Protocol. And pretty grim reading it makes.

    I think the Remain campaign need to be challenged as to where they stand on these proposals and admit its not a binary choice between safe old status quo and Brexit because the sands beneath the current status quo are shifting.