It has been over three years since our simplistic (binary answer) referendum on the EU and the hasty invocation of Article 50. And we are now approaching the time at end of October when we will leave the EU without a deal.

We published the MY EUROPE anthology in March 2018 and many of the contributors are still involved in our ongoing discussions about the implications of leaving the EU. In fact, we will be having a further event at the Margate School of Art in November to continue our talks.

When I was compiling the anthology, I found it very difficult to find any pro-Brexit contributor, apart from Canon Giles Fraser. Since then, I have avidly read any articles by pro-Brexiteers (apart from those in the tabloid press). Needless to say, I don’t find any particularly convincing.

And then this morning, I read in the Guardian that Sir Rocco Forte held a celebration party for Boris Johnson when he won the leadership contest. I decided to look up Sir Rocco Forte about his pro-Brexit opinions and my debunking of them is here:

Rocco Forte with hotels all over the world and his rather cliched reasoning is really the PROJECT EU FEAR.
BUT WHY HAVE SOME THINGS THAT HE FEARS NOT ALREADY HAPPENED? HE DOESN’T GIVE ANY EXAMPLES AND EVERY EU COUNTRY IS INDEED DIFFERENT. UK HAS NOT BEEN AFFECTED BY WHAT HE FEARS. WE HAVE A DAMN GOOD DEAL WITH THE EU – BETTER THAN MANY OTHER COUNTRIES.
He says referendum was won by decisive margin!!!
4% from 37% OF THE POPULATION?
Britain is under the governance of Brussels.
A MYTH?
The brighter prospects for Britain lie in national freedom, whereas the retention of control by Brussels will mean the shackling of enterprise and global trade.
Why hasn’t this happened already then?
It is precisely his long experience in business that has left him so disillusioned with the EU.
The excessive regulations and bureaucratic intervention have created a hostile environment for enterprise.
In many EU countries, the burden of state levies can add an additional 45 to 55 per cent to labour costs, compared to about 12 per cent in Britain.
But we are in the EU, so it varies from country to country!
Moreover, trade unions are dominant, as are rigid demarcation rules about which employee is allowed to perform which task.
THEY AREN’T DOMINANT IN UK!
At times, the workplace culture in parts of continental Europe reminds me of sclerotic Britain before Margaret Thatcher’s revolution.
WHICH COUNTRIES? WHY SHOULD THIS AFFECT UK?
But that is why some global businesses like the EU.
Operating in favour of the corporate giants and trade unions, the heavy-handed Brussels regime can be a vehicle for shutting down competition and stifling innovation. EXAMPLES, PLEASE!
The same uncompetitive spirit would be forced on Britain if we had to remain in the customs union and single market. WHY HASN’T THIS HAPPENED ALREADY?
My family’s hotel chain hired staff from all over the world, including Europe, long before the EU was even created. We will continue to do so after Brexit, especially because so many young people from Europe want to come here to learn English.
BUT THEY ARE NOW BEING DETERRED BY OUR TOUGH IMMIGRATION RULES. PLEASE REFER TO PRITI PATEL, OUR EVER SO BRIGHT HOME SECRETARY.
Contrary to the hollow warnings from the pro-EU campaigners, migration controls will not mean an end to European migration. Just look at the U.S., which has tough border controls and visa requirements, yet has the highest level of legal immigration in the developed world.
DOES TRUMP KNOW THIS?
Big business representatives also frequently express their disquiet that Britain could ‘crash out’ of the EU without a deal, and therefore would be forced to operate on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. But the dangers of such a scenario have been wildly exaggerated.
PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY.
More than half of our total exports, made up of commerce outside the EU, are traded under WTO rules. There are no cries of anguish from those exporters, no long queues of lorries or great hold-ups at ports. The narrative of doom is misplaced.
YES! BUT IN FUTURE, EVEN IF THERE IS ONLY A TWO OR THREE SECOND DELAY, THIS WILL DOMINO-AFFECT THE EVER-INCREASING VOLUME OF LORRY TRAFFIC ENTERING THE PORTS . AIR CARGO DELAYS AT AIRPORTS ALSO HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED.
WTO rules will work in Britain’s favour post-Brexit, because they are based on legal requirements which ban arbitrary discrimination against a particular country’s goods, and also insist on seamless customs procedures.
Is the EU or the UK seriously going to ignore the WTO system and act in defiance of international law? Ah, cry the anti-Brexiteers, but traders may have to pay tariffs on goods if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement. But at worst, average customs duties will amount to just 3 to 4 per cent. That’s a figure dwarfed by the 15 per cent devaluation in sterling against the Euro since the referendum, a shift that’s provided a massive boost for exports.
In any case, it is within the remit of the British Government not to levy any tariffs on EU goods coming into this country: we could even adopt unilateral free trade.
SO WHY HASN’T THIS BEEN SUGGESTED?
Big businesses should be making those arguments rather than seeking to undermine the democratic verdict of the electorate. 37% of the electorate?
Britain’s position is far stronger than the pro-EU lobby pretends. There is no reason for any defeatism.
We are the sixth largest economy in the world, a global cultural force and a major military (?) power. Our huge financial contributions to Brussels, amounting to 11 per cent of the entire EU budget, should give us tremendous leverage in negotiations. So should the EU’s £100 billion trade surplus with us.
It is not in the interests of any European exporters – from Italian fashion houses to German car makers – to lessen that trade. The business imperative on all sides is for a sensible deal.
BUT WE HAVEN’T ACHIEVED THIS.
The business lobbying groups, particularly the Confederation of British Industry, are wrong about Brexit, just as they have been hopelessly wrong on so many other policies in the past.
In the 1970s, they were in favour of state control of industrial strategy and appeasement of the unions. In the early 1980s, they were strongly opposed to Margaret Thatcher, but she was trying to free businesses.
In the same vein, they have been wrong about us joining the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the single currency (WE DIDN’T JOIN) and Project Fear. Confounding their grim recent forecasts about a recession in the event of a Leave vote, the economy has boomed, manufacturing is at a record high, and unemployment at a record low.
Not now – and employment figures are distorted as they include part-time, short term and and zero contract hours.
They keep getting it wrong on European policy because they are not the authentic voice of British business.
BUT YOU ARE?
Swayed too often by the global conglomerates, they ignore the small and medium-sized companies that are the backbone of the domestic economy.
For all the noise about the EU, it should be recognised that businesses representing 88 per cent of Britain’s GDP are not involved in trade with Europe at all, even though they have to follow Brussels’ rules and regulations.
THIS FIGURE NEEDS TO BE BACKED UP. I THOUGHT IT WAS MORE LIKE 40-50%.
One recent survey by the accountancy firm Grant Thornton showed that a large proportion of British businesses are totally unconcerned about the effects of Brexit and have made no special preparations to deal with them.
SILLY THEM!
In their demand for continued alignment with the EU, what the Europhile lobbyists ignore is Brussels’ obsession with achieving full political integration.
The whole purpose of the European Project is to create a federal entity through the abolition of national identities. The single market, free movement and the Euro are all political, not economic, instruments to achieve the goal of ‘ever-closer union’.
NOT TRUE. WE HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO REMAIN OUTSIDE THE EURO. THIS COULD BE OUR BARGAINING PLOY. INDEED, A CONDITION.
That’s why if Britain remains tied to Brussels, British sovereignty will continue to be dramatically eroded. RUBBISH! OUR SOVEREIGNTY HAS BEEN ERODED FROM WITHIN. WE ARE RULED BY A PUBLIC-SCHOOLBOY ELITE, HEDGE FUND OWNERS, PROPERTY DEVELOPERS PROFITING BY RELAXATION OF PLANNING PERMISSION RULES, PRIVATE EQUITY AND ASSET MANAGEMENT FIRMS not forgetting the outdated and expensive to run royal family.
The pro-EU advocates like to speak of ‘our national interest’, but that is a delusion. In the long term, there will be no British nation at all if we remain in the EU’s bureaucratic empire. And what if UK breaks up because of NO DEAL – and no mention of the Northern Ireland sticky problem?
Alternatively, national freedom beckons if the Government seizes the moment and truly liberates us from the bureaucratic and undemocratic monster of the EU.
Implementing the decision of the British –
The non-legally binding referendum was binary. We need another – remain or leave with no deal.
Would appreciate your thoughts about this – but please remain polite and not too aggressive!