Here’s a question for you. Would you move home without knowing what your next home looks like? No, me neither.
But that’s what those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU are expecting you to do – vote to end our membership of the EU without knowing what we’d have instead.
The problem LEAVERS have is that they simply don’t know, and for sure they can’t agree.
As a result, two rival, irreconcilable ‘leave’ campaigns have been launched. UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, supports one (Leave.EU) and UKIP’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, supports the other (Vote Leave).
(*Update: and now there is yet another ‘Leave’ campaign called Grass Roots Out – more proof that the ‘Leavers’ cannot agree on their vision(s) of Britain after Brexit)
And as confirmed by the Financial Times, the ‘leave’ campaigns are in disarray.
On the one hand, Mr Farage wants to curtail immigration and stop EU migrants coming to Britain. On the other, Mr Carswell wants to promote a Singapore-style model for Britain, open to capital and migration.
Instead of Britain leaving the EU, these two prominent members of UKIP seem to be putting the case for leaving each other.
Or as the Financial Times put it this weekend;
“It is not just a matter of discordant personalities. Out campaigners have struggled to unite around a single vision of what Britain’s post-Brexit trading arrangements would look like.”
And this is the core problem for the LEAVERS – their Achilles heel. Explained the FT:
“They have also failed to provide a convincing explanation of how leaving the EU would give the British greater control over their destiny and improved economic prospects. This is not surprising because none of the models that is mooted for a future outside the EU is convincing.”
Some Eurosceptics are proposing the same model for Britain as Norway – but to participate in the EU internal market, Norway has to agree to EU rules, without any say in them.
Another option favoured by some Eurosceptics is for Britain to strike trade deals on a country-by-country basis. But, as the FT points out, that would mean British businesses having to pay higher tariffs to trade internationally.
As the Financial Times asserted:
“When it comes to these models – and others – the problem is that Britain moves from being a rule-maker to rule-taker.”
If Eurosceptics can’t even agree among themselves what it would mean for Britain to leave the European Union, it seems a bit rich to expect that voters will know. They don’t know, because the LEAVERS don’t know.
On this basis, I can’t recommend anyone to vote to leave. Our membership of the EU is not that bad; and the options for leaving (whichever one you might choose) are not that good.
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Other stories by Jon Danzig:
- My vote for Europe
- The end of free movement to and from Europe?
- Wrong answers on Question Time
- List of the latest articles by Jon Danzig
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— Jon Danzig (@Jon_Danzig) February 7, 2016