Britain and the EU: A Solution

Reforming Britain’s relationship with the EU could boost trade, reveals Dan Hannan MEP in a new report Britain and the EU: A Solution, published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Friday 12 December.

Pointing to Switzerland the MEP explains that despite the country not being a member, Swiss exports to the EU in 2013 were 450 per cent per capita what Britain’s were.

Dan Hannan explains:

“There is no reason that the British couldn’t do even better than the Swiss. Britain is 63 million people to Norway’s 5 million and Switzerland’s 8 million. Britain runs a massive trade deficit with the EU (but a surplus with the rest of the world). On the day Britain left, the country would become the EU’s single biggest market, accounting for 21 per cent of its exports – more than its second and third largest markets (the US and Japan) combined.”

With UK opinion polls increasingly favouring a free trade relationship with the EU that does not involve political amalgamation, the author sets out nine objectives for the Government:

1) Fiscal freedom from the EU

No financial transactions taxes, no green levies, no EU airport duties and no harmonisation of VAT.

2) UK citizenship

Britain should disapply the EU Citizenship that was created by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. There should be no automatic assumption of mutual voting entitlements, residence rights or social security claims.

3) No Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

Britain is penalised both positively and negatively by the CAP, paying more into it and getting less out.

4) No Common Fisheries Policy

Around 60 per cent of North Sea fish are in British territorial waters. But, under the CFP, Britain’s quota is equivalent to 25 per cent by volume or 15 per cent by value.

5) Independent diplomacy

Britain should pull out of the European External Action Service – the EU’s diplomatic corps. Close intergovernmental links with European neighbours should of course be retained, as well as the military obligations that go with NATO membership.

6) Common law, not EU law

Britain should withdraw from the EU’s Area of Freedom Security and Justice – that is, the common judicial space created in 1998, within which a shared legal code is enforced by a European magistracy (Eurojust) and police force (Europol).

7) British social policy

All employment laws and social policies from the European Union should be returned.

8) Supremacy of Parliament

Sections 2 and 3 of the 1972 European Communities Act should be repealed or amended so that EU law no longer has automatic precedence over UK law on UK territory.

9) Reform of Immigration Policy

New European immigrants should not receive unemployment benefit until they have been in the UK for a minimum of one year.

Daniel Hannan MEP - Friday, 12th December, 2014