Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Slip of the Tongue: Influence

Below the level of volitional, conscious control

A Slip Of The Tongue I noticed on BBC's Newsnight, a number of times, comes up during the subject of "Europe". People can't help slipping into:-
"When I Go To Europe..." or "On the Continent."
Both Pro-EU and Pro-Brexit speakers make these slips of the tongue before being corrected by David Dimblebee: "We are in Europe." And there's nothing exceptional about this common mental model of our place in the world: Britain is a geographical island in the North Atlantic, off the coast of "mainland Europe".

Once again there was clear rejection of The Norway Option,


Especially vigorously so from Caroline Flint MP (Labour), which was considered in a scorecard style of communication previously:-

One of the core concepts I've promulgated from the very start of this blog is "quality of argument" in particular arguing the central point where it can be established. Another approach is engaging the arguments of the "other side" and a strong way of showing this engagement is to "Speak Their Language" as well as offer the suggestion of alternative conceptual models of understanding.

A cursory inspection of the above scorecards suggests "tally the ticks vs crosses": EFTA/EEA aka Norway Option:-
  • Global Council: 6 v 4
  • British Influence: 5 v 3
Which is higher than all the other options, assuming equal weighting. So questioning the validity of those x's is perhaps a rational next check on which Brexit to choose:-
  • Influence over EU Regulations retained
  • Able to adopt own approach to regulation
  • Freedom to pursue trade deals independently (FTAs)
  • No Contribution to EU budget
  • Freedom to impose immigration controls 
We looked at a small sample of VIP politicians in The Columbo Method: Norway previously. But the Legacy News-Media:-

EFTA/EEA Influence on Regulations

In general this can be boiled down to at the most forceful negatives:-

  • 100% of the EU Rules with 0% say in how they are made
  • All the EU Rules with No Say in how they are made
Quoting Dr. RAE North who references EFTA official sources on the quantity of rules applied:-

"By contrast, the very latest count of the EU laws in force (today) stands at 23,076. As a percentage of that number, the EEA acquis of 4,957 acts currently stands at 21 percent. In effect, the EEA (and thus Norway) only has to adopt one in five of all EU laws – not the three-quarters that is claimed." 
This is hard evidence. As such in any popular debate there's no opinion: It's factual and quantitatively asserted. Onto the actual regulations: Making and Shaping again this was somewhat covered previously.

1. Norway does not have a seat in the EU Institutions with representation to vote on legislative process. However the UK only has:-

  • 29/352 votes 8% in the Council of Ministers (requiring q.maj: 252, ~74%)
  • Of 73 MEPs in EU Parlliament (9.7%) they do not vote as a block to reach 376/751 for a majority
  • According to Dr. North: x30 more legislation by-passes the above normal legislation process in any case "delegated legislation".
  • More and more legislation has it's origins at "Global Level" via "international standards bodies"
As for the Acquis Communautaire itself, again as per Dr. RAE North EU law: definitive stupidity and it's origins:-

"A very substantial amount of that law originates with higher bodies, from UNECE to Codex and points south. Of the 6,000 or so laws in the Single Market acquis, potentially 80 percent are of international origin. The rest of the acquis also has international input, which means that a substantial proportion of the so-called "EU laws" would remain in force even if we left the EU."
  •  Indirect means of influence applicable to EFTA/EEA: Veto, contest of "EU acts marked as EEA relevant" by EFTA in various commitees (holding-pens as I conceptualize it), case studies include: Oil & Gas, Postal Services, Iceland disputing Bank Charges and Lichtenstein uses EEA provisions on Migration.
 Quoting FLEXCIT: 5.5 Influence in Perspective, p.100 in full now,
"Alongside Norway and other EFTA/EEA members, Britain resumes its place on global and regional "top-tables", and would be able to argue its own positions."

"When it comes to a vote, if the UK objects to a measure, it can either  veto proposed standards or opt out of them. A 27-member EU, once the UK left, would cast as many votes on international councils (see above diagram!), but would have only one veto - giving the UK an exact equivalence with the EU."

"[...] Only if proposals get past this filter, and then have a mutually accepted Single Market relevance, would Britain - as an EEA member - have to  consider adopting them. Even then, the States can also refuse to adopt EU law that they consider against their national interests."
Robert Oulds: Chapter 3: A Question Of Influence, p.60

The above also avoids the referal to the ECJ for resolution. Again another side of the coin is EU influence according to it's objectives of Ever Closer Union and increasing members requiring diluting of total percentage per member nation, and her Robert Oulds book helps when we consider that the British Government and in particular MEP's are often Pro-Integration measures and Pro-EU over National Self-Interest, a particular exemplar being the British Commissoner role's oaths to the EU.

I would argue that citizens influence is very low input too in the EU limited to EU Elections and rejected in Major New Treaties!

EFTA/EEA: Free Trade Deals

If we look at British Influence's score-card above it destroys 2 of the x's leaving only FTA's: Can Britain seal decent trade deals if it leaves the EU?

Norway has a  half-in, half-out relationship that gives it free trade with Europe but keeps it out of the EU‘s political institutions. Jonathan Lindsell in a Civitas report New study – the Norwegian model is a viable Brexit option looks at The Norway Option and EFTA/EEA rules on Trade Policy:-

Again the argument would seem to fall down if the UK joined the EFTA/EEA group this would as per FLEXCIT create the 4th largest trade group in the world which would seem to indicate that any talk of requiring to be in a "large club" apart from being highly contentious as per Lindsell's report highly likely to be a redundant argument!
FLEXCIT: 4.3 The "off-the-shelf" Market Solution ~ Dr. RAE North

What should be most satisfactory about the above status and relationship of the UK is that this is what was offered in 1975 as per the wording of the Referendum specifying "Common Market" membership in the EEC.

This has not only the virtue of delivering that which was requested, but also denying the opportunity for further Great Deception by politicians with the stipulation of "ZERO" Political Representation in the EU Political Institutions amounting to 100% TRUST in our Trade dealings with the EU and other equal partners.

Dr. North reveals the tortured history of the EU "what could have been..." discussing an alternative vision for the EU + EEA members in FLEXCIT: Background to the EEA, p.76 once again:-

"The President's vision, at the time, was a of a European village", in which he saw a house called the "European Community." [...] What is so relevant to the current debate is that, at this point, the Community (now EU) was seen by Delors as one "house" in a village, alongside the EFTA "house", with which decision-making could be shared."

EFTA/EEA Cost To Single Market

FLEXCIT: EEA cost and contributions p.82-84:-

"On the other hand, in 2014, the UK gross contributions to the EU were £19.2bn, less £4.9bn rebate. That gives an equivalent gross payment of £14.3bn. After rebates and other receipts, our net contribution was £9.8 bn. 

"With a population of 64 million, that puts our gross contribution (without rebate) at £300 per head, our equivalent gross payment at £223 per head, and our net per capita payment £153 per annum – more than twice the Norwegian payments"
Quoting FLEXCIT for the equivalent cost of Single Market for the UK in the EFTA/EEA arrangement:-

"Budgetary costs attributed to EFTA run to 22,360,000 Swiss Francs (about £16 million),  of which 55 percent is borne by Norway. This includes categories defined as EEA related activities, EFTA/EU   statistical co-operation and EU/EFTA cooperation programmes. That, strictly, is the cost of Single Market.

"Access  which, on a pro-rata basis, would cost the UK less than £200 million per annum."

 EFTA/EEA Migration (Immigration)

Again quoting Dr. RAE North: EU Referendum: the tedium of it all
"Funnily enough, this would be very similar to Articles 112-3 of the EEA Agreement, the so-called "Safeguard Measures" which permit EFTA states unilaterally to take "appropriate measures" if serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties of a sectoral or regional nature arise and are liable to persist."

 Further Reading:-

White Wednesday: Norway - Some Bookmarks

In the areas where apparently The Norway Option scores a "cross" it actually does BETTER than the EU! It might be time to create our own Brexit Score-Card?

 EFTA+ UK might start to become: EFTA++