> EXIT & SURVIVAL
'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible
will make violent revolution inevitable.'
'To achieve One World Government it is necessary
to remove from the minds of men their individualism
their loyalty to family traditions and national identification.'
Brock Chisholm, when Director of the UN WHO
The following essay by Ian Milne may well prove a good point at which to start considering how we go about The Exit & Survival Strategy.
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It is June 2011. In a referendum, the British electorate has rejected the Lisbon Treaty. On 23rd June 2011, in a second referendum, the British electorate votes to leave the EU. The next day, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition send the following joint letter to the President of the EU Council, the President of the Commission and the heads of state and government of the other twenty-six EU member states, as well as Turkey (a member of the EU Customs Union), Switzerland, with which the EU has sectoral free trade agreements and the three European Free Trade Association (“EFTA”) member states which, with EU-27, form the European Economic Area (“EEA”):-
Dear José-Manuel, Angela, Nicolas, Silvio etc etc……….,
UK Resumption of Sovereignty
Yesterday, in a referendum, the British electorate voted decisively to leave the European Union. The purpose of this letter is to let you know how the implementation of the electorate’s decision by Her Majesty’s Government will affect the principal strands of the relationship between the EU and the UK.
Although the British people have now chosen to pursue a different path from that of the other member states of the EU, we wish to emphasise that the centuries-old objective of our policy, of constructive friendship and cooperation with our European neighbours, remains unchanged. A strong, prosperous and peaceful Europe will continue to be a central aim of British policy, and from today onwards we look forward to developing with our European friends and allies a modus operandi which will further that objective.
The United Kingdom will become an independent sovereign state and cease to be a member of the EU and its institutions and agencies exactly two years from now, on 24th June 2013, referred to hereinafter as I-Day.
2. EU Law, British Law & Legal Certainty
The UK will cease to be subject to EU law, regulation and case law on I-Day. As from tomorrow, 25th June 2009, only British courts, including the House of Lords and the new UK Supreme Court as the highest courts in the United Kingdom, will interpret and apply EU law, without reference to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”). Accordingly, from tomorrow, judgements of the ECJ concerning British individuals, corporate bodies and HM Government will not be applied in the UK, but referred to the House of Lords and/or the Supreme Court for determination. EU Directives and Regulations agreed but not yet transposed into British Law will not be so implemented.
Conflicting rulings of the ECJ and British courts arising during the next twenty-four months will be determined by the usual international dispute settlement procedures, including arbitration, for resolving legal inconsistencies between jurisdictions of independent sovereign states.
From tomorrow until I-Day, and from I-Day onwards, EU Directives and Regulations already transposed into British law will continue to be valid (and enforced solely by British courts without reference to the ECJ) unless and until repealed by the British Parliament.
3. Managing the Transition
A new British ministry, the Ministry of EU Transitional Arrangements, “META”, headed by a senior Cabinet minister, will be charged, as from tomorrow, with the responsibility for managing and negotiating the transition process. META’s second-in-command will be a senior Opposition shadow minister. The creation of META will facilitate negotiations by giving our allies and friends in EU-26, the EEA, EFTA and outside Europe a “single telephone number” for all matters concerned with British disengagement from the EU.
Other ministries (HM Treasury, the FCO, Business, Agriculture & Fisheries, Defence etc etc) will report to META on all transition matters. META will be staffed by senior executives from the British private sector, from business, transport, energy, City, farming, fishing, military and legal circles. The latest project-management techniques will be bought-in from the private sector to ensure that the transition process runs smoothly and completes on time. META may invite other ministries to second civil servants to it on temporary contracts. META will complete the bulk of its work by I-Day, but remain in existence for a further two years, to help resolve any “left-over issues”. By statute, it will be dissolved exactly four years from today.
4. European Parliament
British MEPs will continue to represent their constituents in the European Parliament until I-Day, but will not participate or vote in any new legislation brought before the parliament in the next twenty-four months. Their salaries and allowances will be progressively reduced over this period to reflect their reduced workload. They will resign their seats on I-Day and thereafter take no further part in the parliament’s activities.
5. Commission & Council
British officials and employees of the Commission will negotiate the timing and terms of their departure with the relevant Directorates. British representation at COREPER and in other EU institutions & agencies will be progressively reduced over the next twenty-four months, in co-operation with the relevant EU bodies and the other 26 member states.
6. EU Budget
The UK’s monthly gross contributions to and receipts from the EU Budget will be reduced by 1/24th on a straight-line basis in each of the 24 months between now and I-Day, to reflect the progressive disengagement of the UK from the EU over that period.
On I-Day, the UK will withdraw from the EU Customs Union & UK trade will cease to be regulated by the EU. At the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) the UK will resume its own seat and vote in its own right. Free trade between the UK and EU-26 continuing to be in the interests of both parties, the UK proposes that arrangements to that end be formalised immediately. Trade between the UK & EU-26 & between the UK & the rest of the world will be conducted as provided for in the WTO, EEA, UN, NATO, OECD and other multilateral treaties, & relevant declarations of the Commonwealth.
On I-Day the UK will cease to participate in EU defence planning, activities and operations, including its arms-procurement agencies. From I-Day onwards, the deployment of British armed forces in the defence of the European continent will be conducted through NATO.
9. Foreign Policy
On I-Day the UK will withdraw from all direct EU foreign policy involvement. Thereafter, the UK will conduct its own foreign policy, through the United Nations and in cooperation with regional bodies and individual states, including the EU and its 26 member states.
10. Economic & Monetary Union (“EMU”)
The UK will cease all involvement in EMU, including the European Central Bank, on I-Day.
11. Common Agricultural Policy & Common Fisheries Policy
The UK will cease all involvement in the CAP and the CFP on I-Day.
12. Borders, Immigration & Asylum
The UK will cease all involvement in EU immigration and asylum matters and resume full and absolute control of its borders on I-Day.
13. International Aid
The UK will cease all involvement in EU aid programmes worldwide on I-Day. From I-Day onwards, UK government aid will be provided directly to recipient countries or through multilateral agencies such as the UN.
14. Enabling Legislation in the UK
A Bill to give effect to the measures set out above will be laid before the House of Commons next week.
Her Majesty the Queen, in her capacity as Head of State of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and as Head of the Commonwealth, has graciously consented to her Government’s decision to implement the democratically-expressed choice of the British people.
Her Majesty’s Government looks forward to working with the institutions and agencies of the EU and its 26 member states to ensure that transition takes place with minimal disruption.
A copy of this letter is being sent to the Heads of Government (and where appropriate the Heads of State) of the UK’s Commonwealth partners; to the President of the United States; to the Heads of State and Government of other countries; and to the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank (etc etc). A copy of this letter is also being released to the media and posted on META’s web-site, www.withdrawal.gov.uk.
The Prime Minister The Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition
London, 24th June 2011
1377 words/Ian Milne/16th October
The Shadow Ministry for EU Transitional Arrangements
How to Reverse-Engineer Disengagement from the EU
• We know WHY the UK should disengage from the EU. This note sets out HOW.
• First, we visualise in detail the situation we want the UK to be in following disengagement (vis-à-vis both the remaining EU & - much more important - the rest of the world). Second, we work backwards from that vision to the present – “reverse-engineer” in the current jargon – to devise the policies & processes that will make disengagement (i) electorally popular (see below) & (ii) a practical reality.
• It is assumed that the immediate trigger for disengagement will be a vote in a referendum of the British people, followed by the repeal at Westminster of the European Communities Act 1972. In the run-up to the referendum the electorate would need to be persuaded and reassured that disengagement had been properly thought-through; that the benefits and costs had been properly evaluated; and that fully worked-out policies and processes were ready to be injected into the official structure of British government when the time came.
• This note proposes the creation of a new non-governmental body – in effect a Shadow Ministry - called “CETA” - The Centre for European Union Transitional Arrangements. Its job would be to devise the detailed policies & processes referred to above. They would be summarised in a government White Paper distributed to every household in the land a few weeks before the referendum. On disengagement CETA would provide the blueprint or template (perhaps the core staff as well) for a new British Ministry, “META”, the Ministry of EU Transitional Arrangements.
• CETA would not itself be a campaigning organisation (though a “come-out” campaign would use its material). It would have no formal structure, at least to start with. Members would be drawn from the worlds of politics, business, the armed forces, trade associations, think-tanks, academia and other sectors. They would be organised in working-groups mirroring British ministries: Trade & Industry, the Home Office, DEFRA, the Treasury etc etc. People (perhaps retired) with experience of the Civil Service and “Brussels”, sympathetic to a radical re-shaping of the UK-EU relationship, would be particularly valuable.
372 words/Ian Milne/16th October 2009