European Union

EU Referendum: Welby asks the fairest questions of all


The froth masks the urgency of the substance; the heat deflects from the dominant paradigms of light. The EU Referendum debate is being reduced to a Tory pantomime of whether the nation trusts Dave more than Boris; and whether our democracy and liberty are worth sacrificing for nebulous notions of EU ‘influence’, even though we appear not to be influencing very much at all. “There’s nothing more important than protecting people’s financial security,” says the Prime Minister. What? Nothing? Really?

Why Dave, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for financial security?

The interview given by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the House Magazine has been reduced in tabloid headlines essentially to a single issue: immigration, and the fear of immigrants, which, Justin Welby says, is a perfectly reasonable concern and a rational anxiety. “There is a tendency to say ‘those people are racist’, which is just outrageous, absolutely outrageous,” he says. “Fear is a valid emotion at a time of such colossal crisis. This is one of the greatest movements of people in human history. Just enormous. And to be anxious about that is very reasonable.” Quite so.

But his comments on the EU Referendum have been largely ignored. And those that didn’t ignore them, such as Politics Home, decided to spin them for the Remain camp, which was rather foolish, not say dishonest. Here’s what the Archbishop said on the matter:

“My hope and prayer is that we have a really visionary debate about what our country looks like. From those who want to leave; what would it look like? What would Britain look like, having left? What would be its attitude internationally? What would be its values? What are the points of excitement, of contributing to human flourishing? How does that liberate the best that is within us?

“And from those who want to stay, how would we change the European Union? How would we make it more effective if we remained in it? What’s our vision?”

Are these not the most incisive and germane of questions? Are they not wholly legitimate concerns and the fairest of considerations? There is no “hint” here of an Archbishop who wants to remain in the EU, though he may, of course, and most probably does. But you’d be straining at a gnat to derive any such “hint” from these words. They blow away the froth and demand the conversion of dissipated heat to laser beams of light. What would Britain look like if we left? Where is the plan? What is the strategy? How will we function differently on the world stage?

There is, of course, a plan, but it has been largely ignored. The Institute of Economic Affairs held a drum-and-trumpet Brexit competition a few years ago, the objective of which was to find the definitive model and exemplary strategy for extricating the UK from 40 years of “ever closer union”. The winner was Iain Mansfield, with A Blueprint for Britain – Openness not Isolation. But it appears to have sunk without a trace. Nobody seems to know about it. Even fewer are talking about it. Why? What was the point of awarding €100,000 to the winner and then not proclaiming that we have found the answers to all questions about our post-EU existence, including a thorough examination of the implications for employment law, agriculture, the environment, financial services and the crucial business of trade in goods and services? Why doesn’t the Archbishop of Canterbury know about this? Is the blueprint somehow deficient? Is it lacking economic rigour and political credibility? Did the wrong plan win?

If you read Justin Welby’s interview carefully – very carefully – it is impossible to detect a “hint” that he supports the Remain camp (though he may and most probably does). But even if he earnestly desires ‘Europe’, it is manifestly not the one we’ve got: “And from those who want to stay, how would we change the European Union?” he asks, a little too directly for most Remain-ers. The candid response is quite simply that we can’t. We’ve tried, and failed, and tried and failed again and again. The EU is, in the final analysis, un-reformable. “How would we make it more effective if we remained in it?” he further probes. Again, we can’t. We’ve tried, and failed, and tried and failed again. The EU is mired in bureaucratic obfuscation and darkened by political opacity. It was designed to be that way.

And the most important question – “What’s our vision?” – the Archbishop answers himself:

“..This country has this extraordinary history, going back hundreds of years, of outward-looking, confident, often wonderful work around the world.

“At the moment we’re one of the most effective people on international development, we’re one of the most effective people on international trade, we lead the world on tackling modern slavery, and we have huge skills and gifts to bring.

..Britain is “leading the world,” he says, when it comes to offering humanitarian support in the region. “But it’s got to be both, not either/or. What the government is doing in the refugee camps and at the origin of the issue is really excellent. We’re taking an extraordinary lead there. It shows what we can do. Can we not show the same capacity and strength here, as we do there?”

..But in order to be fully successful, he says, the struggle against religious violence and extremism must involve a domestic component too. He offers a staunch defence of the UK’s own “Judeo-Christian tradition”, and warns against attempts to dilute those values out of a misplaced fear of causing offence.

“I think you’ve got to be very clear about rights and wrongs,” he says. “You can’t turn a blind eye, in any way at all.”

This is where secularism, Welby says, too often goes wrong: a successful multi-faith society, he believes, should not view faith as a threat to be pushed to the margins, nor identity as a zero-sum game of exchange, where different groups deny their values to avoid alienating others. Instead he says society must make room for people of different faiths to take pride in their traditions, and regard diversity as a blessing and an opportunity for hospitality.

“We need to be confident about our own heritage, our Judeo-Christian heritage, whether we’re believers or not,” he says. “That is what has shaped our own values, and we need to be confident in that.

“But within that confidence there needs to be a hospitality, a clear sense of what we believe to be right or wrong, not based on temporary values of one kind of another that come and go, but on the eternal values that spring from the very roots of our culture.”

..”I think the idea that you can separate secular life from religious life like separating from potatoes from peas on your plate, is just cloud cuckoo land. It’s not how human beings work. It denies the genuine inner sense of what a human being is.

“If someone is genuinely committed to a faith tradition, whether you agree with it or not, that faith will guide and inspire everything they do. Everything. You can’t separate it. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

“We’ve seen that in parts of Europe where they’ve tried to introduce very clear secularism, and it really doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked there, it won’t work here.”

And there’s the stark choice. It is between a sovereign, independent, prosperous, free, organic, diverse, democratic and confident United Kingdom based soundly upon historic Judaeo-Christian values; or an unaccountable, anti-democratic, sclerotic, bureaucratic, inefficient European Union superstate based on dogmatic Enlightenment secularism and coercive political uniformity. If you want to detect a “hint” of anything, it is there – for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

  • Inspector General

    Where are the continuing flow of migrants going to live. You know the ones, still at school in Eastern Europe looking forward to following older brothers and cousins to England. Rather like the Calais lot. Even if we wanted to concrete the country side over, we couldn’t do it quick enough, we are told.

    Cranmer’s excellent insight is one thing, and it would appeal to the purists. But the argument of whether to stay or leave will inevitably be decided on the simpler points of having a low income economy delivering an increasingly fragile necessary growth to keep the extra mouths fed in their crowded accommodation in a country that will no longer be English.

    • dannybhoy

      And what happens if the economy nosedives?
      We are already borrowing money to stay afloat and support everyone, what happens when suddenly there are no jobs for all these economic migrants, no more benefits for all our immigrants who are uneducated, untrained and don’t want to be a part of us?

  • IanCad

    “There’s nothing more important than protecting people’s financial security,”

    What do you expect YG, from a man who, claiming to be conservative, has made a career of extolling equality as being the substance of all things good?

    We are sunk! I won’t say “I told you so” again; but,what else could be expected when a referendum offering chains and economic security or liberty of action, is proffered before a witless, shallow and ignorant people?

    By agreeing to an ever closer union the shackles of bondage will only eventually be released by means of the threat of force.
    We are still a powerful land. Not by our actions but, by the efforts of those who have gone before. Those who knew our right little, tight little island is protected by a moatte from the quarrelsome continent of Europe. Which, in combination with a ready military has served us well.

    Now the “Wee Lass” up north is demanding our union be severed. This is the immediate problem. Cameron must send a troop of horse to Holyrood tout suite and make it abundantly clear that the safety and security of our nation will not be put in jeopardy by some uptious nationalist who has dreams of being Queen of Scotland.
    Yes!! I like Welby.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector is about to embark on his Sunday Constitutional. He knows what he’ll find in the centre of Gloucester. Migrants. They’re all over the place. Singularly on their phones or in groups. Hanging around one spot or ambling aimlessly. Getting away from where they’re staying, you see. Perhaps someone else needs their room, even their bed having come off nights. Sad really. One cannot see any improvement in their lot. Too much labour about. Their worth, in economic terms, is actually somewhat little. They are a commodity…

    • IanCad

      The young people of Gloucester are quite capable of doing the jobs that the migrants do. Problem is they aspire to gain useless degrees and are thus out of the workforce.
      The education industry is a clear and present danger to the welfare of this land.

    • Andre´Kristian

      Dear sir, wouldn´t it be a capital idea to send those forbidding, useless rotters off to some kind of work camp?! Forced labour, indeed, as a temporary solution to keep them under superintendence, until the blessed moment we are able to kick them back to their primitive environment! They arrived with malicious intent, so why the devil are we supposed to accept it? Time to stand up and protest, methinks! I am truly sorry to read about Your previous home town, my unsurpassed Inspector, but believe me, things are just as devilishly bad in Uppsala. Oh, greatest grief, forsooth!

      • Inspector General

        Patience is running extremely thin these days, Andre. Lord knows how the Inspector will take a Yes vote in the coming ref. Explode probably…

        • Andre´Kristian

          Parlous pendragon,
          a detonation would be completely unavoidable. It would be our damned duty to explode! No time for saintly forbearance, should this great attempt go down the drain.
          Alas, there is a multitude of irksome touchstones for a tormented aesthete to navigate amongst. Not only are we forced to combat intrusive Koranderthals, ludicrous leftists and their fatal progressive ideologies. We must also fight against the deplorable credulity which dominates parts of the population. (Riff-raff!)
          I am ALL aflame for the BREXIT brethren to be greeted as victorious and triumphant after this vitally important referendum.
          Thereafter we will gradually be able to project an efficient way to protect our boarders, as it befits any responsible nation. This bloody influx of ill-natured imbeciles must be stopped.
          That will be the first step to take. Regarding impending deportations, I would applaud the idea of some wholesome assistance from the home-guard, in jolly patriotic co-operation with National Socialist squadrons of young infuriated warriors! They should be more than willing to make themselves useful. A blessed deed!
          Heartily Yours, Andreas 😉

  • CliveM

    The questions that Welby asks and YG highlights are the pertinent ones. They are also the ones that each side seems to be the most reluctant to answer.

  • Uncle Brian

    There are some other interesting bits in the Welby interview that Your Grace didn’t find room for in today’s sermon, evidently because they have nothing to do with the In/Out referendum. Here’s one of them:

    “That will mean places like Saudi Arabia tackling extremist thinking within their own tradition. Much support has come from within those countries, and they need to be challenged on that. They need to stamp out the support for the extremist views from within their own societies. That’s really important.”

    It’s not often you hear a prominent public figure daring to put his finger on the Islamic evil so explicitly. Congratulations to His Grace the (present) Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • Stig

    Yes, the so-called absence of an exit plan, when several such plans are known to exist makes me think the leavers aren’t serious. Another one is “Flexcit”, which was created by Dr Richard North of the EU Referendum blog website, and some friends. This goes into great detail about a possible process for Brexit, but again it has been totally ignored by both sides in the debate.
    I have a real problem with the arguments being put forward anyway. The beauty contest between Dave and Boris, is bad enough, but even when they try to discuss it seriously they talk about the what “might” happen to the economy on the remain side, and immigration on the leave side. Both of these are issues that will be dealt with, and it probably makes little difference to them whether ot not we are in the EU. The policy on assylum seekers is part of the Geneva Convention, and trade is the remit of the European Economic Area, which is not the same thing as the EU. The EU is a political contruct. They don’t talk about how we might reform the EU (forget Cameron’s negotiated concessions, they are a joke and are not binding anyway). They don’t talk about the restoration of British sovereignty and having control of our own laws and destiny in the world. They don’t talk about restoring democracy. They don’t talk about the conflicts between EU law and our own constitutional statutes like the Magna Carta and English Bill of Rights. By joining the EU we kicked our friends in the world in the teeth, in order to be ruled by the Fourth Reich. All those who gave their lives to prevent this country being ruled by foreigners must be turning in their graves.
    The leave campaign needs to be a lot more convincing.

    • IanCad

      Better yet if somehow the referendum could be postponed – and again – and again. Once the wretched thing is settled we’re in for a struggle.

    • IanCad

      Apart from the democracy nonsense, a first-rate comment.

  • dannybhoy

    Good thinking from the Archbishop.
    The way I see it the EU is a European political creation designed to keep the peace rather than to build a dynamic trading bloc.
    That is why the emphasis is on bureaucracy, and no political accountability.
    The only economy which is really flourishing belongs to the Germans.
    The United Kingdom hasn’t got a cat in Hell’s chance of changing the EU.
    We are a net contributor with no real say where it counts.
    The EU is on the verge of welcoming in Turkey, a Muslim nation that stifles all the freedoms which we in the West have fought and argued for.
    We have given up our fishing rights.
    We have given up our border controls.,
    Our laws are made in Brussels and presented to us by political puppets.
    I just can’t accept that this nation with its long history of involvement with the rest of the world would submissively shuffle off to the geriatric care home that is the EU and allow itself to sink beneath the waves of history.

    • IanCad

      “a European political creation designed to keep the peace “
      Very true Danny, from the horrors of war which must be the definitive act of disunion comes the notion that unification is the cure for all conflicts. Such though is not the case. Close union and active trading tend to result in wars.
      Can’t see us going to war with Mongolia. I don’t remember where I stumbled upon it, but I seem to recall an economic analysis of Europe just before WW1.
      I be

      • Dreadnaught

        That’s why we have NATO not the EU.

        • IanCad

          NATO served its purpose very well. Things are different now and all sorts of two bit states currently belong to it. All pledged to attack any country that may assault any other member of the club.
          Just as in WW1 it could result in another war of treaties.

          • Dreadnaught

            We joined the Common Market of 6 countries. The EU as it exists was never on offer. A National Defence alliance of Nations is sufficient. If Cameron thinks getting into bed with Turkey is the future – include me out.

          • carl jacobs

            A National Defence [sic ;-)] alliance of Nations is sufficient.

            As currently constructed, NATO depends entirely upon the participation of the US to give it purpose and direction. The sad tale of the EU Battle Groups gives indication of what happens when Europe tries to fashion a defense alliance on its own. A committee of nations cannot replace a Union.

            Whether the EU is the correct form of Union is a separate question from the necessity of finding some form of workable European union.

          • IanCad

            Now, on this defence/defense question.
            I’m in the UK and Disqus corrects my defence to defense which is the US spelling. Dreadnaught has no excuse.

          • Dreadnaught

            Yeah – as if I should take notice of a spell checker that transmutes discuss to disqus – truly appalling liberty with the language of Shakespeare and Johnny Rotten.

          • Dreadnaught

            I totally agree that without the presence of the US NATO would be a sideshow as much as it would be without the UK and its consistent nuclear centred defence policy.

          • dannybhoy

            That you Americans have shouldered Europe’s defence with minimal support but heapings of criticism from ungrateful politicians is a shameful reflection on us.
            That’s how I see it anyway.

      • carl jacobs

        The causes of hostility among nations are innumerable. There are some which have a general and almost constant operation upon the collective bodies of society. Of this description are the love of power or the desire of pre-eminence and dominion–the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety. There are others which have a more circumscribed though an equally operative influence within their spheres. Such are the rivalships and competitions of commerce between commercial nations. And there are others, not less numerous than either of the former, which take their origin entirely in private passions; in the attachments, enmities, interests, hopes, and fears of leading individuals in the communities of which they are members. Men of this class, whether the favorites of a king or of a people, have in too many instances abused the confidence they possessed; and assuming the pretext of some public motive, have not scrupled to sacrifice the national tranquillity to personal advantage or personal gratification.

        Federalist 6, Alexander Hamilton

        The general topic of Federalist 6-9 is this very subject of the benefit of Union in mitigating the possibility of war. Long story short : “If the States don’t unite, they will end up facing each other like the states of Europe.”

        • IanCad

          As I have, several times, quoted him, I am somewhat loth to criticize him, but on this point I do not find him persuasive. America, prior to union was a homogeneous land and the frictions stemming from social, economic and cultural variety extant in Europe were not relevant to the North American colonies.

      • dannybhoy

        The world is so much smaller now, the weaponry so much more lethal. I find it hard to see the Europeans going to war with each other again, there would be no point, no real gain.
        I think it’s more likely that the greatest threat facing Europe now is internal social unrest caused by too much immigration and Islamic extremism.

        • IanCad

          “I find it hard to see the Europeans going to war with each other again, there would be no point, no real gain.”

          That makes a lot of sense Danny. Quite a reasonable and rational statement. Most readers would, I’m sure, concur.

          That’s why I’m thinking it may be time to head for the hills.

          • dannybhoy

            :0) Run for the hills, say hills won’t you hide me?

  • carl jacobs

    “We need to be confident about our own heritage, our Judeo-Christian heritage, whether we’re believers or not,”

    That “Judeo-Christian” heritage can’t be sustained over time unless a “Judeo-Christian” belief system undergirds it. At the center of that system is the assertion that man is a created being who exists within established created boundaries. You can’t reject that notion of being created and still maintain the boundaries. The extent to which the culture still manifests some aspect of its “Judeo-Christian” heritage is more down to cultural inertia than commitment. The farther they travel from Christianity, the more distance they open between themselves and that heritage. With greater distance comes easier rejection.

    Secular culture now travels as an object in open space – waiting to be captured by the gravitational attraction of a greater mass. It has escaped the orbit of Christianity and thinks itself free. But like any satellite it cannot avoid the laws of physics. And its new heritage will be shaped by the mass that has the strength to pull it in. Whatever that heritage will be, it will not reflect the Christian faith. Sever the root and the branch dies.

    • IanCad

      One of your best Carl.

    • William Lewis

      A great analogy, Carl.

    • Strangely metaphorical and even poetical for an American Calvinist. Your association with the British seems to be paying dividends.

      • carl jacobs

        Your association with the British seems to be paying dividends.

        Or perhaps it’s just a little elementary knowledge of Astrodynamics.

        I can’t overstate the quality of this book. Some textbooks are unreadable. This one flows like a gentle river. You should purchase it, Jack. Then you too could make cool Engineering metaphors. 😉

        • “Yeah, yeah. I put in a paragraph break for just that reason.

          So defensive.

          • carl jacobs

            Simply setting the record straight.

          • Image.

          • carl jacobs

            What image?

          • Exactly – why defend that which does not exist?

          • carl jacobs

            You realize that is a total non sequitur. Correct? You implied i was straightening out my image only to subsequently tell me i don’t have an image to straighten out. So … oh, that’s right. You’re a pretty typical RC apologist. I should be more understanding.

          • No, no. When we British say you have “no image” we mean you have a negative image.

          • carl jacobs

            Check it out, Jack.

          • Lol … is that the best you’ve got? Linus would be proud of you.

          • carl jacobs

            Huh? No, that wasn’t a comeback. My daughter showed this to me today, and I thought to share it with you. 🙂

          • Yes, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh, Jack. You know me better than that. If I had been responding, you would have ended up where you always end up – in a mass of bruised rind and grapefruit juice spread upon the ground.

            Just call me … Hitokiri Battousai.

        • William Lewis

          Good idea Carl. Might help with the perpetual gimbal lock that Jack seems to have.

          • carl jacobs

            I would try to educate Jack on Strapdown Navigation but I fear what he would infer about it just from the title …

          • Don’t encourage him, William.

        • Anton

          Looks pretty good. Came out before the new understanding about chaotic orbits though. And I believe that analytical dynamics is always best done using Clifford Algebra: see David Hestenes’ outstanding book New Foundations for Classical Mechanics. (Actually that’s misnomer: it is a new language for the subject.)

  • Dreadnaught

    Thank you for the link Blueprint for Britain, a most excellent resource; far too much to absorb in one reading or even two.
    Britain needs a visionary political force that will rebuild the economy to be less reliant on the 40% service sector and start with toughening the 20s generation to make their own future secure by standing on their own merits and less on the welfare state. This begins as always with an education that delivers more than box-ticking exercises and performance tables that are nothing but political footballs.
    The EU and the Euro is a failed concept. It will not make the radical changes it sorely needs because it is undemocratic and non representative of the majority 500,000,000 people it wishes to ‘standardise’. The future prospect of never accountable Brussels meddling bureaucracy and a landmass without borders is a death-wish for the indigenous people, cultures and nations alike. Its pure Alice in Wonderland Socialism.

  • len

    Cameron keeps stating that those who wish to leave the EU are ‘taking a leap in the dark’. We already did that when we abandoned our Christian heritage and its still getting darker and we are still falling….

    • dannybhoy

      Accepting Turkey into the EU will be a leap into the abyss..

      • chiefofsinners

        What if we accepted Abyssinia. Would that be a leap into the turkey?

        • dannybhoy

          You’re such a wag!

  • Inspector General

    Inspector back. Managed to read the Mail on Sunday at the ‘Mouse’. The payoff for Turkey being awfully nice about the migrants and stopping them going to Greece is ‘accelerated talks on joining the EU’…


  • Stig

    Oh, and for those who are prepared to read it, you can download Flexcit from her. It runs to well over 400 pages and is the most comprehensive document on how Britain could leave the EU I have seen.

    • Graham Wood

      Stig. Who in their right mind would read the 400 pages of Flexcit for a simple and straightforward route to Brexit.?

      In any event it is premised on the assumption that the UK would invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty first, and no government minister or MP even mentions such a possibility, and politically we are very far from doing so.
      In any event the question needs to be answered – why should the UK be bound by an EU Article 50 agenda which holds us hostage to fortune for 2 years? As a wise comment on the Constitution Unit puts it:

      “Article 50 is not really a process designed to facilitate the exit of a
      nation state from the EU – it is an attempt to build a process that is so
      risky, politically and economically, that no country would dare invoke
      it’.” …… While a deal can be struck by qualified majority under Article
      50, some of the content that the UK would want for such a deal –
      including aspects of a free trade agreement – would need to be ratified
      by all member states.” Do we really want that?

      • Stig

        Nonetheless Article 50 is the legal way to leave the EU. Leavers should not underestimate the difficulty of reversing 40 years of integration, which we hope to do in considerably less than 40 years. Article 50 gives us 2 years, and Flexcit suggests that may not be enough.

        • Graham Wood

          Stig. Are you really saying that a British government is bound by what the EU may deem to be a “legal” mechanism for Brexit? Who says?

          If a ‘leave’ vote is cast in the referendum then we simply leave and immediately repeal the 1972 EU Communities Act. That is the legal route and will be mandated by the will of the British people in that referendum.
          At that point of repeal all EU laws, directives etc become null and void. We are then free to negotiate independently any number of bi-lateral trade deals with whom we will, and then begin the longer process of uncoupling the UK from the
          ugly tentacles which have ensnared us for so long, but OUTSIDE the EU.

          The legal route is not within the jurisdiction of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, but through an elected UK parliament and the due process of British law – exclusively.

          Why bother with a six stage process over two years as suggested by Flexcit – an exercise in self-flagellation quite unnecessary.

          • Stig

            Well, we signed a treaty that has that provision. we could go back on our word I suppose. But not all EU legislation originates in the EU, some comes from higher global bodies like the UN and WTO. Those have wider application than the EU. And if we want to continue to trade with the rest of the world, we will have to keep them. Things have moved on in the global environment since 1972. WE cannot go back to where we were then, the rest of the world had moved on. So on the day we leave the EU, we keep all those laws and regulations in place, then remove the ones that we can do without bit by bit. That is the only safe way to do it. But we don’t adopt any new EU law unless there is good reason. We will be able to choose, that is the difference.

    • IanCad

      Anyone who needs 400 pages to explain how we could leave the EU is not fit for purpose.

      “We are Britain – Great Britain – No foreign prince shall trespass on our right to set our own laws.”

      There! Eighteen words. Quite enough.

      • Stig

        The reason for the complexity is that we have been on a path of further integration for more than 40 years. Unpicking that is not straightforward, and it is no use pretending that it is. There are literally thousands of EU laws that have become part of UK law to be re-examined Flexcit is an answer to those who claim that no thought has been given to how we could unravel all of that. It deserves to be better known, and would give the lie to the claim that Brexit is a leap in the dark.

        • IanCad

          Let’s cut to the chase! If indeed, there are so many laws that need re-examining because, perhaps, their provenance is from within the EU, then I would suggest that an application of Swan Vestas to the tainted documents would be the cheapest, easiest and most comprehensive way of ridding ourselves of any legislative inheritance from the EU.

          • Stig

            It isn’t as simple as that. Some of the legislation that has come to us through the EU originated from world bodies. If we binned it all, we would effectively be cut off from the rest of the world too. For example take food standards. Some of it we need to adopt to trade anywhere, some is EU only. Some coming from world bodies didn’t exist when we joined the EU, so we can’t simply go back to where we were. We have to be selective, if we are not we will simply not be able to trade with anywhere else, EU or not EU. There are literally thousand s of regulations that will need to be looked at, and you can’t do that in five minutes. Also, some EU legislation might be sensible anyway for its own sake. So we have to re-examine it all, to decide what we should keep and what we should not.

          • CliveM

            Also if you simply removed legislation what would organisations and individuals work to? As a solution it would create absolute pandemonium.

            It would clog up the Courts for years to come.

          • DP111

            It isn’t as simple as that. Some of the legislation that has come to us
            through the EU originated from world bodies. If we binned it all, we
            would effectively be cut off from the rest of the world too.

            Good. It will give our Whitehall civil servants some real work to do. In any case, international agreements on trade,m cars, aircraft safety etc, can be left as they are.

          • SimonToo

            EU originated legislation, UK gold plating of EU originated legislation and original UK legislation have been so woven together that no simple conflagration could distinguish between them. Unravelling them will be slow and laborious. I happen to believe that it will also be necessary. There is no point, though, in a fix which is short, simple and wrong.

        • There is no complexity about it Stig and nothing has to be unpicked. From the moment of the referendum result to Leave EU all the EU laws, dictates and paperwork can be shoved in a locked cupboard and never see the light of day again. They will be null and void and I would think letters would go out to all the other 27 member states informing them of this. It’s just like when a new boss takes over the running of a company they have their own plans and visions of where they want to take the company and how which they implement straight away.

          We need to be quietly planning and preparing our vision of how we want things and what is good for us for when the big day comes. But unfortunately our government is made up of cowards with no vision who want to stay in the EU. They’d rather stand around frothing at the mouth than be constructive.

          • jsampson45

            It is the “no complexity” notion that will frighten people into voting to stay in. The “Leave” campaign has to convince voters that it knows what it is doing rather than being a bunch of wreckers. It seems not to be aware of this need. There is no evidence of “quietly planning and preparing” going on. P
            eople need to know how we proceed after a ‘Leave’ vote. At present my dismay at the thought of a ‘remain’ vote is equalled only by my dismay at the thought of a ‘leave’ vote. If the latter transpires what will a Europhile government do? If it is thrown out (how?) what sort of crew will replace it?

          • I agree the Leave groups need to prepare a plan A with their vision and also a contingency plan B.

            I was also thinking the same. The Europhile government would have to have a cabinet reshuffle and leadership election immediately.

            Ideally it would be best if we had a general election and a fresh start.
            Vote Leave and the Europhile government I think will simply try to negotiate a better deal than Call me Dave did with the EU as they cling to power, but that’s NOT what we want at all.

          • jsampson45

            Plans A and B should have been shown to the public long ago. I believe the Flexcit plan will be unveiled today. There is a lot of opposition to it in the Leave camp which apparently sees no need for a plan. This will result in a win for Cast-Iron Dave as the public watches the infighting.

          • I’ve skimmed through Flexit’s Vision, if this version 4 is the final one it does over complicate things. They say it could take up to twenty years to break free!
            It doesn’t take into account the EU project is proceeding like a single direction ratchet wheel regardless of us trying to impose a six stage flexible process for us to leave the Germans wont tolerate that. It would be better if we jumped out of the way with a clean break quickly before it caught us up in it’s workings forever. Maybe if the Leave side came up with a less complicated plan for a clean break that would be good.

            From the Flexit Vision Introduction:
            “Pulling the threads together, we explain how leaving the EU becomes a flexible process requiring continuous development. That is our concluding message, a repetition and emphasis of our central point: leaving the EU is not a single event, but a multi-phasic process. It is one that will take many years to complete, as we arrange for a steady, measured divergence of policies rather
            than a “big bang” separation. The aim will be to keep the best of our agreements with the EU, while freeing the remaining Member States to follow their own path towards political integration, a route which we have no intention of following.

            In short, by leaving the EU, we are not ending a relationship with EU Member States. We are redefining it. This is not isolation but an agreement to travel alongside each other, choosing different paths where there are ways of doing things which better suit our different needs.”

            IMO this wont work as it’s not compatible with the single vision and direction the EU is travelling. The commission will scupper it and we’ll be negotiating for years to come and getting nowhere.


          • jsampson45

            You might want to share your criticisms with the authors. I gather that they have been working on this for many years so you will need to produce a convincing case for your criticisms. What do you suggest instead?

          • A simple contract for trade. something much shorter than 421 pages and less historical – in places the Flexcit Vision is like a history lesson. One can see a lot of work and love has gone into it, but it’s too meek and mild and misses the point. The Europeans wont appreciate it and let’s face it we need to be free within the two years not 10 or 20. Although it talks about breaking free, leaving etc.., It’s almost as though the authors don’t actually want to break free and have written a membership treaty according to how they want things to run. Well they can forget it, the long negotiations all this will take will only ensure our freedoms will never materialise. It also doesn’t take into consideration the speed with which the EU nightmare is progressing and the strength of the Commission, the Council. the European Court of Justice and the EU Harmonising Committee. Much rather a short sharp break now and get it over with. We have the whip hand now. Seize the day.

            We need to be out on the high seas visiting and signing trade deals with Russia, Brazil. India, and the Commonwealth ready for 24th June 2016.

          • jsampson45

            You may want to draw up a plan on those lines and present it. I don’t know what your qualifications are or how much work you have put into mastering the details. Flexcit may provide a background.

          • SimonToo

            The trouble with plans A and B is that no one making them now could be sure of having (expect to have, even) the authority to implement them should the referendum produce a vote to leave.

            It will not be possibly to make a detailed plan before there is a conclusive vote in favour of the principle.

            That said, Remain would find it even more difficult to produce any actual plan for the way forward within the EU. other than simple fatalism.

          • jsampson45

            I would have thought the point of a plan is to show that it is possible to leave the EU without bringing the sky down about our heads. The people making the plan are not necessarily the people who will implement it. The plan in question is called Flexcit presumably because it is flexible. We won’t be voting merely “in principle”. At present the Remains are saying the Leaves have no idea what they are doing, and they have a point. The voters have to decide whom to trust, and as far as I can see there is no answer to that.

          • SimonToo

            We are voting in principle, because (Remain or Leave) the vote only states that we must stay or must go; it does not mandate any details beyond that. Whichever way the country votes, we are taking a leap in the dark over how the decision will be implemented and how the EU will respond.

            If we vote to leave, the EU may be realistic or dog-in-the-manger about a free trade deal. If we vote to remain, the EU may embrace us, or give us a hard time for our impudence in holding a referendum at all. Until we have voted, and whichever way we vote, the future after the referendum is not certain.

            One can do preliminary planning, to identify matters which will or may arise, and propose the steps for addressing them, but no one can present a definitive plan to the electorate of exactly what will flow from the vote.

      • DP111

        The arguments on the EU are based on the assumption that man is homo-economicus. But man does not live by bread alone. In fact, far more powerful emotions govern man then bread.

        America left the British empire, a far more powerful and global empire then the EU empire, for it felt that it needed to make its own decisions, to have any self respect, rather then be a colony of Britain. So it is with us.

        For good or ill, we do not need to be a colony of the EU/Berlin.

    • Anton

      400 pages? One word suffices: Goodbye…

  • Stig
  • Graham Wood

    Cranny, for a succinct statement of the actualitie, your last paragraph could not be bettered. Excellent. I will file for future use as a hard hitting and accurate summary.

  • chiefofsinners

    It is refreshing to see a church leader being so careful to confine his comments and reasoning to the spiritual realms. Would that they were all so circumspect.

  • Mike Stallard

    “And from those who want to stay, how would we change the European Union? How would we make it more effective if we remained in it? What’s our vision?”
    Well, we want to see More Europe! Every effort is needed now to strengthen the Commissioners as they fight to preserve the economy of 500 million people, the biggest trading bloc in the world. The Parliament, too, has to be made more democratic and MEPs selected by their parties should be chosen by numbers of votes cast for their parties. A Hungarian,or a Croatian MEP, for example, could represent South East England. Nationalism, which caused two world wars, must be eradicated and all states within the union should rally to the EU flag, sing the EU anthem and support the EU in football and other sporting fixtures.
    Of course, the Euro shall be our currency and pre-Euro states shall support the Parliament as it discusses Euro matters.
    More regulations are needed to streamline the Single Market. Already we are preparing more international trading arrangements.
    The status quo is not an option. We need to realise that More Europe and Ever Closer Union are the means to creating a stronger, more forward looking Europe. One which faces squarely up to immigration, one which faces up squarely to unemployment.

  • The reason some believe that Welby supports the Remain position is that he posed tougher questions to the Leave group. In other words, if you leave, how will you tackle the unknown, possibly unpleasant consequences; his implication being that there will be some difficult times ahead. Those on the Remain side only have to worry about making positive contributions – changing the EU by being salt and light there – and not about being immediately worse off.

    These questions are important; stepping out will not be easy in the short term as countries that gained independence from colonial rule discovered. Britain will be coming out of the EU with less influence in the world than forty years ago. The world has changed, but your national identity was to some extent crushed by choices forced upon you and a loss of self-reliance which comes from having a welfare state. People will have to relearn forgotten virtues – frugality and living within your means. It will take time to find your feet, form new alliances and rebuild severed relationships. Meanwhile, the elites – bankers and others – will find new ways to maintain their advantages, with the full support of the politicians, whatever you do.

    In the long term, it will be worth it. At the very least you won’t be bossed around by Angela Merkel. More control over your economy and more freedom. And the ability to ward off a Muslim invasion, which is the inevitable consequence of Merkel’s policies and Turkey’s entry into the EU – when Muslims across the world start applying for Turkish passports. A more pernicious danger than the EU is, of course, the dependence on the Gulf States and Islamic finance; but better control over elected rulers presently clutching at EU’s apron strings could mitigate that danger.

    But will people who are so used to instant gratification be ready for the sacrifices and hardships needed to bring about a better future? This is the essence of Welby’s question.