Theo's Blog: I’m Out…because I want to stay in!

EU Referendum barometer 26 05 2016

EU Referendum barometer 26 05 2016

As we come into the last 4 weeks of campaigning, I have come to a decision and it alludes to the “third option” I mentioned in my blog a few weeks back.  As I used to say, on a certain TV show, I’m OUT…but this time I would like to say ‘I’m OUT….because I want to stay IN.”  Let me explain.   I, personally, prefer that we stay in the EU, but not at any cost and certainly not as we know it today.  So what do I mean? Well, my head tells me I should vote out but my heart says it wants to stay in.  Can I really have my cake and eat it? Well maybe I can.  Because I believe that if we vote to leave the EU there’s a very high chance that our friends in the EU will stop and smell the coffee and propose the sort of reforms that many would like to see and would make them comfortable to remain…

This was not my original tactic.  It should have just been a clear-cut in or out, but looking at what we’ve seen so far and the facts, or lack of, and the way this whole campaign has been run, including the negotiations that were done or not done before this referendum started, then I feel that the best way to leverage change and achieve our aim would be to vote out.  At that point I am confident there’s a high chance that there will be another renegotiation and then we’re in.  On the other hand, if there is no logical renegotiation and the EU is prepared to cut off their nose to spite their face, it clearly tells me that we’re better off out.

One of the frustrating things about this whole campaign is ironically both sides.  They both lack credibility in what they’re saying. It’s not going to be fire and brimstone, house prices and wages collapsing…it’s all absolute nonsense, but at the same time it will not be sweetness and light if we leave.  There will definitely be a shock to the system.  However, in my opinion, we’ll be back to some sense of normality within 12 months. It’s just  common sense.  Common sense says that what the PM and Chancellor are saying is not logical.  It can’t be.  One thing I learnt in business is “Common sense is King”.

Again, today we hear of another forecast missed by the government, to the tune of £3.8 billion.  Why would anybody believe the unsubstantiated claims being thrown out there? Brexiters need to step up to the plate though and be a lot more concise and believable than the Remain camp…which wouldn’t take a lot.  One of the arguments often made by the Stronger In side is that we can only influence the EU if we stay in.  Err, there has been no evidence of this in the past.  Whilst my view is that we should remain within the EU trading bloc, the EU itself needs radical re-organisation away from its present direction of federalism and dictatorship.  My heart undoubtedly says stay in, but my head keeps reminding me of the failing significant parts of the EU which brings to mind an early lesson in life.  “Love with your heart and for everything else use your head.”

It was only a matter of time before Brexit: The Movie came out, and what an excellent job Martin Durkin has done with it.  Clear, concise and shockingly revealing in places about just how far the tentacles that are the EU regulations reach in everyday life.  Did you know that your pillowcase has 50 laws created by the EU, and that the actual pillow has 109!  I can’t get my head around that, let alone find a comfy one!  There are 91 laws for showers, 454 for towels, 47 laws for toothpaste and a whopping 12,563 for milk.  The list goes on, but you get the point.  We are over regulated in areas that don’t require this.  Brexit: The Movie, also pointed out to me the levels upon levels of EU bureaucracy; it’s like a political Vienetta ice cream.  There is the Council of the EU, the European Council, the Council of Europe…I suspect Monty Python’s Peoples’ Front of Judea and the Judean Peoples’ Front are in there somewhere too.  But wait for it, 50,000 bureaucrats are working in Brussels, the huge majority of which are un-elected, and 10,000 of those  earn more than our Prime Minister.  Elected MEPs are unable to propose a law and get it passed, whilst the law makers themselves sit in private, unaccountable and acting as if they’re in some form of Priesthood.

Turkey has been top of the list this week too, and it’s not even Christmas.  The notion of the ‘veto’ was much-debated and created a bit of an embarrassing public disagreement, as to veto or not to veto became the game between David Cameron and his Armed Forces Minister, Penny Mordaunt.  Lord Owen made some excellent points this week, reminding viewers that Cameron had committed the UK, at the European Council on 18 March 2016 (only 9 weeks ago) “to re-energise the accession process” of Turkey into the EU.  Also, that “preparatory work for the opening of other Chapters will continue at an accelerating pace…All these elements will be taken forward in parallel.”  Bit different to what we’re hearing now from Cameron about Turkey joining in the Year 3000.   It makes the PM look rather disingenuous and calls into question all his other warnings.

The final point that sends me towards Leave is the fact that the Prime Minister is unwilling to have a civilised debate with anybody from the Vote Leave side and is happy just to throw bombs from afar without having to substantiate anything he says.  Running scared comes to mind, but more importantly just like the politician who shakes your hand and says “Trust Me” but will not look you in the eye.  Not a good position to adopt on something so important.

The big news this week, of course, is also the shock (or not) announcement of Manchester United dispensing with the services of their manager Louis Van Gaal, which has been playing out in public for the last six months, like some kind of celebrity divorce, ever since Mourinho left Chelsea.  It must have felt like death by 1000 cuts for Van Gaal.  Who would want to be a football Chairman or Manager?  Jose Mourinho has got much to prove after his disastrous second tenure at Chelsea and, as has been experienced by David Moyes and Van Gaal, the bosses at Manchester United are not the patient kind.  I must say though, the thought of Mourinho at United and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City will make most football supporters’ mouths salivate with excitement for the forth-coming premier league season.  Football spotlight on Manchester please!

Thursday 26th May