British Sovereignty and British Exit from the EU

Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, has a paper out claiming that Great Britain’s perceived need to go out from the EU in order to preserve its sovereignty is “misguided.”

It’s possible to see the misguided perception of Chatham House from the Executive Summary of its paper.

  • The question of sovereignty lies at the heart of the UK’s upcoming EU referendum. …
  • This ignores the fact that successive British governments have chosen to pool aspects of the country’s sovereign power in the EU in order to achieve national objectives that they could not have achieved on their own, such as creating the single market, enlarging the EU, constraining Iran’s nuclear programme, and helping to design an ambitious EU climate change strategy.

And yet creating a (European) single market or enlarging the EU have nothing at all to do with British sovereignty, even were these things on the whole useful to Great Britain.  In many respects the former would be, but it can be accomplished as well with the Brits outside.  And, of course, joining an extra-national organization and one that is granted authority over (some of) a nation’s domestic affairs can only come at the expense of the nation’s sovereignty.

Then, too, the EU has done nothing to constrain Iran’s nuclear program, weapons or peaceful.  The “agreement” that President Barack Obama (D) got with Iran—over France’s strong objections and over Great Britain’s tepid objections—has instead formalized Iran’s ability to develop and field nuclear weapons.

The EU’s climate change strategy, ambitious or not, can only work to the detriment of Great Britain, damaging as that strategy is to the national economies of the EU constituents, especially given that there is very little human involvement in climate change, for all the economic benefits accruing to climate change pseudo-scientists.

  • Apart from EU immigration, the British government still determines the vast majority of policy over every issue of greatest concern to British voters—including health, education, pensions, welfare, monetary policy, defence and border security. The arguments for leaving also ignore the fact that the UK controls more than 98 per cent of its public expenditure.

Apart from EU immigration….  No sovereignty question here.  Mm, mm.  Nor is that 2% of public expenditure dictated by that extra-national body.  Nossir.

  • The British economy has prospered in the EU. The UK boasts higher economic growth and lower unemployment than most major developed economies. …

Carefully elided in this is that Great Britain is not in the eurozone.  How much better could the Brits’ economy be were they completely gone from the EU?  Hopefully, we’ll find out.

  • [T]he UK would be excluded from the process of EU rule-writing, making it a less attractive location for foreign investment.

This doesn’t follow at all.  Great Britain also would be free to write its own rules, making it a far more attractive location, absent the EU’s heavily bureaucratized system, a system that’s also heavily anti-competitive.

And so on.  But RTWT.

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