The opinion piece in the Telegraph can be found here.
Few if any European leaders can any longer be under the illusion that Britain can be dragooned into a more centralised Union.
Hague is either lying or completely unaware of the paper-thin nature of this claim. The Prime Minister knows full well that the statement by the European Council of Ministers is only a statement of intent with regards to possible inclusion in the next treaty change.
The problem is that there is no treaty on the horizon. The French and Germans have both poured cold water on this idea.
The fact is that this statement of exemption from “ever closer union” without being included in the treaties is worthless. Every step towards “ever closer union” will involve and affect this country because the legal basis in located in the treaties, which have not been altered, nor will be altered.
The first of these is my strong belief that if the UK leaves the EU, Scotland is much more likely to leave the UK.
This statement is completely misleading. Hague is alluding to the threat by the Scots Nationalist leader, Nichola Sturgeon to call a snap referendum in the event of a Brexit vote.
The Scots would have no legal right to call such a referendum, any result would not be legally binding or valid and the Scots Nationalists would be guilty of sedition. The only way that the Scots could hold another referendum would be if they were granted on by act of Parliament.
Second, we need some kind of European Union to exist whether we are in it or not. Otherwise, Europe’s seething nationalisms and tensions will break loose again, as they did in the Balkans in the 1990s.
What happened in the Balkans was nothing to do with the European Union and everything to do with the suppression of religious and ethnic hatreds going back hundreds of years. This claim by the EU’s supporters for the EU to have been instrumental in securing peace is palpable nonsense. It could only apply to the former Yugoslavia, most of which is not even within the EU.
This is akin to the ludicrous claim that Russia fears the EU and desires its breakup. How many divisions does the EU have?
What Hague is claiming is that power has to be taken away from the populace into the hands of the enlightened pseudo-aristocracy of the EU in order to prevent the populace’s vile instincts from coming to the fore. His claim may even be attempting to refer to the silly argument that the EU is the reason why there has not been a militaristic Germany since 1945. Obviously nothing to do with NATO, the thorough-going reform of German culture and its constitution or the experience of two terrible wars which brought nothing but ruin to Germany. Obviously not.
If we leave the single market, the effect on business confidence and investment would be very damaging. But if we seek to stay in the single market, then that would certainly mean we would have to keep the rules, regulations, payments and freedom of movement of that market. The key difference would be we would no longer have any say over those things.
Here he is echoing his lying master. This is going to be the great refrain of the Europhiles – “in or out but take the consequences”. This sounds frightening until one realises that we’ve heard these lies for years.
Leaving the Single Market could be very foolish, even suicidal. That is why the sensible Eurosceptics have not advocated this “WTO”/”bi-lateral” route. The risks would be great. But even then, Britain would regain its position on the international bodies which draw up the regulatory agreements on trade and so forth. We would actually regain not just sovereignty but influence, contrary to the nostrum of being in a club of 28, where we have been outvoted 72 out of 72 times in twenty years.
What we should do is rejoin the European Free Trade Association, from which we can negotiate membership of the European Economic Area. An agreement similar to that of Norway (the so-called Norway Option) would leave us both with access to the Single Market in terms of tariff barriers and technical trade barriers and give a crucial voice in how internationally agreed regulations (on whose councils the UK will sit) shall be implemented throughout the EEA, which includes the Single Market. We would be on the true councils of influence alongside Norway, Iceland and Switzerland and the EU itself as represented by the European Commission.
Better yet – we would not be obliged to accept EU regulations. We would have a right to refuse without penalty. The EU would cease to have influence or authority over the UK. We would regain, even with the EEA freedom of movement agreements, the right to block or halt immigration from the EU in the event that such movement placed an undue strain on national resources.
In the EEA, the UK would be a true partner state instead of a servile, subject state.
William Hague, like his lying master would rather remain in hoc to an autocratic, sclerotic institution with dreams of becoming a full state.
Leave Europe to its fantasies of reunion. Britain has a separate destiny.