Ashley Mote's entry for the IEA BREXIT prize 2014

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Ashley Mote's entry for the IEA BREXIT prize 2014
« on: April 07, 2019, 06:10:28 PM »
Ashley Mote's entry for the IEA BREXIT prize 2014
failed to make the short-list...

(100,000 euro prize was won by a dismal entry from a British civil servant)

You decide for yourself....



Beware the Honey Trap
A Declining Shambles
Economic Realities
Now - and Then…


Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is a honey trap carefully laid by the EU to make the process of leaving as difficult as possible. 

The UK can and should exercise its absolute and entrenched sovereignty to leave on its own terms.

Negotiations between equals will maximise the prospects of an outcome all parties can live with and allow the UK to thrive again as a global trading nation acting in its own legitimate interests.

Long-standing UK common and statute law can and should be used to ensure the process of removing EU legislation from the UK statute book is both orderly and fair.

Potential for the creation of a flourishing nation once again is limited only by the vision and courage of the government then in office.

Beware the Honey Trap

The opening scenario inviting entries for the IEA Brexit prize assumes a UK referendum has resulted in an “Out” vote and Her Majesty’s Government has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.  Big mistake.

Such an unnecessary, dangerous and potentially catastrophic decision would fall straight into the EU bureaucrats’ carefully laid honey trap, as one of them was honest enough to admit to me during negotiation of the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 50 provides for the UK being told, after two years of discussions exclusively amongst other EU member states, what our terms of leaving would be.  We would then have to accept the EU’s terms or withdraw the application to leave.  Whether the EU would strictly enforce such terms is, of course, an open question.

What is certain, however, is that the two year window would be used by the bureaucrats to mount a huge and sustained PR campaign in the UK to “warn” of the terrible consequences of leaving.  Our own taxpayer’s money would be used against us in a sustained campaign to undermine the then UK government’s objective. 

Every incident, problem, crisis would be ‘spun’ to the BBC and the other pro-EU media as being the direct and inescapable result of the UK’s decision to leave.   

Secondly, any and every EU regulation and directive which has been passed into UK law would be nit-picked over and reinforced with threats of fines and prosecution.  Any interim activity planned by the British government would be examined microscopically for any apparent unlawful activity, and again policed with threats.  It would be a logistical and administrative nightmare for the then UK government. 

Given the pathetic weakness of recent prime ministers when faced with the EU the then incumbent might easily buckle.  That, of course, would be the EU’s purpose.  They would do everything they could - legal or illegal, moral or immoral, truthful or not - to have the notice to withdraw itself withdrawn. 

There is only one way to leave.  As a sovereign country we are free to repeal the European Communities Act, 1972, which took us in.  With sovereignty immediately restored, as a free and independent country we can then negotiate consequential practicalities as equals – and that is the point!


Sovereignty must - by definition - be absolute and unqualified.  Like the word “unique” it cannot be limited.  Either a country is sovereign or it is not.  Either a monarch is sovereign or not.  The title, rank and style “King” is recognition of the physical embodiment of the nation’s sovereignty.  It bears no compromise. 

In law, we can either have The Queen as the constitutional head of a sovereign country, or we can have a president of the European Union.  But, by definition - and despite John Major’s claim after Maastricht that The Queen was henceforth a citizen of Europe - we cannot have both. 

The 37th of the 39 Articles of Religion passed during the reign of Elizabeth I, which still has legal force and which can be seen in any book of common prayer, says:

"The Queen's Majesty ... is not, and ought not to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction".

Both Magna Carta, 1215, and the Declaration of Rights, 1688, were contracts made directly between the Crown and the people.  Both were and still are beyond the reach of parliament.  Any repeal of statutes leaves the original contracts untouched.(*)

Magna Carta recognises the rights of subjects of the Crown to hold government to account. This is sometimes described as the right to ‘lawful rebellion’, and was specifically confirmed in the oath sworn by Henry III at his coronation on 28 October 1216.

The Declaration of Rights went further.  It explicitly forbids the recognition of power over what is now the UK by any “foreign person, prelate, state or potentate”.  In other words our joining what was then the Common Market was prima facie unlawful, and our membership of the EU remains unlawful.  Passing information to Brussels to assist governance of the UK is most certainly illegal.

Our constitution is fragmented but clear.  It provides that the state answers to the people.  We, the people, do not answer to the state.  There is no such legal entity as a British state. 

We are a sovereign people and we elect individuals for a maximum of five years to look after our best interests.  Any future parliament has an absolute right to repeal any Acts passed by previous governments.  Thus, they answer to us.

Clause four of The Act of Succession confirmed the power of the sovereign, the role of parliament, the common law rights and liberties of the people, and the relationship between them. 

The Act of Supremacy 1559 included the words:

“…all usurped and foreign power and authority…may forever be clearly extinguished, and never used or obeyed in this realm….

The Act of Supremacy is now largely repealed, but its central intentions live on through similar words 129 years later, in The Declaration of Rights of 1688.  This, too, is a settlement treaty between the sovereign and the people, and not an Act of Parliament.  It too, therefore, cannot be repealed by parliament. 

Both the Declaration of Rights, February 1688 and the Bill of Rights, December 1689, include the same clause.  " foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm." 

Both may be argued to form a constitutional entrenchment severely limiting parliament’s ability to make changes.   

The Queen summed up the historical reality of our constitutional arrangements in an address to both Houses of Parliament on 20th July 1988 to mark the 300th anniversary of the ‘Glorious Revolution’;   Her speech included these words:  “The Revolution Settlement put into practice the cardinal principles of the sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament and the separation of powers, ushering in an epoch of freedom under the law … Experience has taught that peoples can enjoy the full fruits of liberty, security and justice only when they are represented in a sovereign legislature whose laws are interpreted by an independent judiciary. The Bill of Rights and the Scottish Claim of Right 1689, still part of statute law, are the sure foundation on which the whole edifice of parliamentary democracy rests …”

The Sovereign retains the power and the duty to dissolve Parliament, refuse assent to Bills that conflict with the Constitution and/or are contrary to the national interest.  The Sovereign is not bound to accept the advice of Her politically motivated ministers.  During the swearing of the Coronation Oath in June 1953 Her Majesty swore to govern “according to law.”

As the great Elizabethan jurist Sir Edward Coke is said to have put it : “No one, be he king or commoner, is above the law”. The supremacy of the law is our essential safeguard against tyranny.  It has also been widely argued that the rule of law is even more important than the law itself.

A Declining Shambles

It can be seen, therefore, that repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 does more than regularise the constitutional and legal situation of the UK.  It removes a major constitutional blunder which has stood largely unchallenged for more than 40 years, despite the overwhelming consequences.

They do not need to be detailed again here.  But the catalogue includes a multi-speed shambles.  The Euro-Mediterranean Assembly, European Parliament, European Commission, European Council, ECHR, to say nothing of Schengen and the Eurozone area have various combinations of membership.  Some create and all apply different components of “European” legislation. 

Additionally, the EEA shares agreed terms on trade and other issues with the EU, while Mexico and many other countries around the world enjoy favourable trade deals.  However, not one Anglo-Saxon country anywhere in the world enjoys such a trade agreement with the EU.   

The free movement of goods, capital, services and people - the four freedoms - were the great, visionary, cosmopolitan and libertarian idea adopted by the EU.  Reality has proved totally different.  A free trade in services has never been fully implemented and the free movement of people has created upheaval, unmanageable costs and profound anger amongst indigenous populations. 

Axel Weber, former Bundesbank president and ECB governor, has admitted that the “EU will become more and more insignificant in the global economy”. 

Economic Realities

The UK’s enormous economic burden of EU membership now exceeds some £200 billion a year, according to a recent (highly conservative) Treasury calculation.  Serious damage has been done to countless industries and sectors of the economy – fishing and agriculture being prime examples, but not the only ones by a long way.   

We import far more than they buy from us.  The EU needs us £865 billion times more than we need them – the cumulative total of our trade deficit.  Out of the EU, Britain would not be saddled with costs of over-regulation, variously estimated close to £50 billions annually.

Little wonder British bureaucrats distort our trade imbalance with the EU, in an attempt to minimise it.  By including exports via Rotterdam and Antwerp container ports to the rest of the world they exaggerate the level of our exports to the EU.  But even after this wilful distortion of the facts, we continue to show a net deficit.  Trade is not a good reason for membership. 

The UK buys a fifth of everything the other EU countries export. Would BMW stop selling us cars if we were a self-governing nation again? Could it afford to?  Would the French refuse to sell us Champagne, camembert and their awful apples, or the Danes their bacon?  Of course not. Would the Spanish refuse us holidays in their sunshine? No chance.

And the threat to UK jobs if we left?  Even former EU Commissioner Neil Kinnock denied it on the BBC’s Today programme.  He said “If the UK leaves the EU there will be no trade recriminations.” So the often repeated threat to three million British jobs is a lie as well.  Lord Kinnock says so!

Leaving the EU would enable us, free of EU regulations, to revert to what we have done for centuries without any help from Europe - trade profitably and freely and in our own best interests with the rest of the world. At the same time, our growth in GDP, and that of other countries especially in the English-speaking world, would be boosted far beyond the miserly levels it is enjoying (if that is the word) currently.

The UK would also be free to restore its agricultural and fishing industries – based on two of our greatest natural assets – instead of being vulnerably dependent upon the EU for most of our basic foodstuffs.

The rest of the world is a much bigger market, and the UK is a truly global trading nation. Being in the EU prevents Britain from negotiating trade deals with other countries which would be far more beneficial to our interests, to say nothing of our balance of payments. It also deprives the second largest international trading nation of a seat at the WTO.

Out of the EU, Britain would be better placed to negotiate better terms for trade deals with EU countries.

We would be better placed to do trade deals with emerging economies like China, India and Brazil, and much better placed to do trade deals with the USA and the Commonwealth countries where they ALL speak English.

It is a striking fact, little understood by the bureaucrats in Brussels, that after Britain leaves the EU it will become the EU’s biggest export market, outranking both the USA and China.   The threat that the EU would haggle over a Free Trade Agreement with the UK is fanciful in the extreme.  The EU will be desperate for a trade deal with its largest net customer.

Now – and Then…

In a nutshell, the EU is a 1950’s solution to the problems of the 1930s. 

If we were starting again - trying to create a form of democratic government to legislate and lead in today's fast-moving global hi-tech economic environment - we would not invent the EU.  It is a cumbersome, profoundly undemocratic, endemically corrupt, unitary system of government by unelected bureaucrats.   

President Gorbachev was right.  The EU is the old Soviet Union dressed in western clothes.

So, assuming no foreseeable British government has either the courage or a mandate simply to walk away from the EU by repealing the European Communities Act 1972, how does it proceed?

i.  The government announces a ruthless cost:benefit analysis of British membership of the EU – not just currently, but cumulatively – to be conducted by an impeccable independent institution. 

ii.  It guarantees to publish the findings in full, to be followed be a short period for public debate.

iii.  The government then honours its pledge to hold a referendum on UK membership.

iv.  The government ensures a fully funded campaign.

v.  Assuming a win for the No vote, parliament is invited to repeal of ECA 1972, which guarantees that all secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) fall as well.

vi.  To avoid legal chaos, extensive government-funded publicity ensures that two key pieces of ancient legislation become better known and understood as providing immediate stability.  Contract law (since 1297) can and will protect existing contracts framed under EU ‘law’.  Further, the Indemnity Act 1766 is invoked to provide – say – a two year moratorium allowing time for willing parties to renegotiate freely their existing contracts.

vii.  Total or partial repeal of all UK primary law based on EU directives is scheduled into the parliamentary timetable.  Human Rights, Health and Safety, Data Protection, Race Relations, Extradition, and many others imposed by Brussels go under the microscope.

Lobbyists and special interest groups wishing to re-create EU ‘law’ either abolished or now under close scrutiny are thus obliged to make their case again in the context of the best interests of the British people.  These EU-inspired Acts of Parliament cannot be allowed to continue by default. 

viii.  Abolish all quangos involved in administering EU ‘legislation’ 

On the plus side, what better than the government turning the UK as a whole, and the City of London in particular, into the most substantial, safe and open tax haven on the planet?  Tax havens act as a discipline on profligate governments, our own included.  No wonder they regard the phrase as a stigma!

Therein lies the key to a thriving future – the lowest possible taxation for individuals and businesses, minimal legal interference, and the UK open to enterprise and initiatives from all over the world.

At home, the government’s immediate priorities should be to:

i. Restore the right of employers to employ the best candidate for any job.

ii. Restore Habeas Corpus and the protection of British law whenever a foreign country seeks extradition of a British national.  The prima facie case against him or her must be heard and decided by a British court.

iii. Restore British ownership of essential public services and protect our vital national interests using Mrs Thatcher’s famous golden share principle.  There can be no foreign majority ownership of essential British utilities.   

iv. Restore the right of British farmers to grow whatever they like.

v. Ban all foreign fishing vessels in a 200 miles area around UK coasts

vi. Restore spending on defence to at least five per cent of total public spending to ensure the armed forces have the capabilities and resources to defend this country and assist where needed in peace-keeping duties around the globe. 

vii. Re-establish clear difference between economic migration and genuine pleas for asylum.  Britain should accept its share of genuine refugees but without necessarily offering British nationality. 

* (References:  Speaker Betty Boothroyd, Hansard 21 July 1993, and a letter from the House of Lords Archives Office to author, September 2000.)

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