Is this what Pro-EU advocates believe the UK's position in the EU actually looks like?
In the previous blog post Arguments: In The Deadly Grip of Confabulation. We looked at examples of empty concepts or containers that dominate the EU Referendum arguments in place of i(e due to a lack of) a cooperatively shared and developed and disseminated "intellectual architecture" to advance our arguments quality with. Dr. RAE North provided a description of this previously in EU Referendum: back to basics, using the metaphor of building the foundations of a building before the actual useful components of the building that are functional for people to use can be developed; and indeed people who use these spaces are often unaware of what they are "literally" built upon.
EU Parliament percentage of MEP's representing each national member
If we compare the above: What is yet another confabulation of our membership of the EU to the actual foundations, or "details" using merely one example that's more than illustrative and fairly representative: We see that in effect our leaders our telling the people that:-
"All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others." ~ Animal Farm, George OrwellIf we look further at the effect of the Supranational EU:-
Supranationalism: Effectively all UK MEP's could vote "no" but be overruled Supranationally in the EU Parliament (political institution)
FLEXCIT: 5.5 "Influence" in perspective, p.97 _ Dr. RAE North:-
"As to Britain's voting power within the EU, most often agreements are reached by consensus. Where a vote is called, qualified majority voting (QMV) applies to the Council of the European Union (formerly the Council of Ministers). There, Britain has 29 out of 352 votes, representing eight percent of the vote. A qualified majority is 252 votes (73.9 percent).Worse the smaller nations have even fewer votes than the "major" nations such as Germany and the UK as dint of their population sizes. Even worse this is the proverbial "tip of the ice-berg" due to how the various streams of legislations are filtered down to the EU Parliament or either by-pass it completely or are already in their final form and require a "box-ticking" symbolic vote on them to be passed on Nationally (read on from p.97 in FLEXCIT above for more).
In the European Parliament, the situation is little better. There are 73 UK MEPs, and these represent a mere 9.7 percent of the 751 elected MEPs (post-2014 election). Given the party splits, this level of representation is notional. UK MEPs rarely vote together as a single bloc. Even if they did, they could never muster the 376 votes needed for a majority.
Furthermore, the powers of the Parliament and the Council are limited in important but poorly recognised ways."
And here's the problem with this system:-
Europe's inherent diversity and complexity of network of actors and interests
Europe can be divided into distinct regions with distinct cultural, historic and geographic and political attributes that are VARIABLE per region and indeed per member nation! The above suggests the barest representation of this reality.
Now combining all this variation into one QMV system is simply suffocating this variation under a system that merges and mixes "political" and "technical" issues. This is of course the deliberate function of the EU as a Supranational Construct: To erode National Sovereignty and merge National Institutions under one EU Supranational Institution.
This is indeed seen in the way the EU Parliament actually works via groups:-
As you can see these groups work as "clusters" of alliances of MEP's. Predominantly the groups that are Pro-EU the institutions "club" together. So far from the UK "having a seat at the top table as a big player on the world stage in the EU club playing by the clubs rules", the UK is split up between these groups and it's national interest further diluted down. In fact these are politicians and their privilege and priority is to the EU and their careers. The amalgamation of different regional and national concerns of politics along with technical legislation is perhaps not a happy recipe?
An alternative model:-
FLEXCIT: 11.2 Potential regional structures, p.222 ~ Dr. RAE North:-
"Working within the aegis of the WTO's TBT Agreement, UNECE could thus be equipped to coordinate the production of single market instruments for the whole of continental Europe, then administering the functioning of the market. It would replace the EU as the dominant body, thereby involving all European countries in the decision-making process, not just EU Member States.
This is perhaps an improvement on that offered by Lord Leach of Fairford, who has advocated attempting "to redefine the EU as the Single Market" rather than as "a vague aspiration to political union". Such a scenario would conform with the Foreign Affairs Committee's idea of "radical institutional change" to give decision-making rights in the Single Market to all its participating states, on an equal footing. By this means, the EU-centric "Europe of concentric circles" would be avoided, and with it any idea of first class and second class members. Each body, such as EFTA and the EU, has equal standing, creating a community of equals."
ASEAN and the European Union: Lessons in Integration
With this caveat, there are three main lessons worth considering for regional integration experiences in ASEAN and the EU.
1. Integration processes are not really comparable, though their fundamentals are similar
"Many like benchmarking ASEAN’s progress to that of the EU’s. There is a tendency to project the EU as a model for ASEAN and to propose the European way of integration as applicable to ASEAN as well. The EU’s commitment to pooling sovereignty for common gains has been cited as key to an integrated community. On the other hand, ASEAN pursues integration without yielding individual sovereignty of member states. This has created the impression that the EU is a supra-national body in a way that ASEAN cannot or does not aspire to be. The principles of inter-state relations enshrined in the ASEAN Charter reiterate respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and national identity. Yet, the two organisations are more similar in their decision-making processes than is generally acknowledged.2. Institutions (and mechanisms) do not always work
The EU depends on unanimity – not just consensus – for its major decisions. The image of the EU’s supra-national authority has also been recently shattered as the Eurozone crisis evolves. Individual members have made their (national) preferences prevail at the regional table. Regional consensus cannot be forged without taking into consideration the national interests of individual members."
"Recent experiences in both ASEAN and the EU have shown that institutions notwithstanding, no regional organisation can accomplish its goals of regional peace and security nor economic integration without national commitment to regional priorities. Regional institutions can certainly play a role in community-building. However, if regional decisions are not supported – and implemented – at national levels, the institutions by themselves cannot do much, even with well-meaning attempts to fine-tune or reform them."3. Regional disparities can hamper integration
"While the EU faced less of a problem of regional disparities in pursuing economic and monetary integration (with “strong” political will carrying the day) in the past, the EU today is confronting the problem of relatively weak and unstable economies. The financial crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of the EU economies, especially those in its periphery. Greece’s budget deficits have considerably weakened the EU’s economic position and standing, as have those of Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain."
What we're seeing is that political integration is introducing it's own set of stresses. What is needed for the EUROZONE is increase in Global Trade to increase it's chances of recovery. Effectively in conjunction with the wider global processes happening (see below) there's fundamental need in the EU Political Project for boosts to prosperity to "salvage" it's future. ASEAN shows that "Supranationalism" is not the only nor necessarily the best option for regional cooperation.
This is very important part of the Globalization of Regulations to which a full blog of links and references will be needed to cover the full details. As we can see above it's in the UK's ultimate interests to split the Single Market from Political Union. It might be argued from the opposite position, if argued honestly, that the Political Union needs to be split from the Single Market also for those goals and objectives; namely the future of the EUROZONE which we've already looked at referencing the top EU thinkers and their plans for this Political Union.
Pete North has written some excellent blogs on this globalization process. Which will be listed in another blog. But to try to show a summary of the concept (perhaps failing and falling far short, in the attempt):-
Metcalfe's Law: Two computers can make only one connection, five can make 10 connections, and twelve can make 66 connections.
Metcalfe's law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).
Metcalfe's Law is related to the fact that the number of unique connections in a network of a number of nodes (n) can be expressed mathematically as the triangular number n(n − 1)/2.
The law has often been illustrated using the example of fax machines: a single fax machine is useless, but the value of every fax machine increases with the total number of fax machines in the network, because the total number of people with whom each user may send and receive documents increases. Likewise, in social networks, the greater number of users with the service, the more valuable the service becomes to the community."The irony of raising fax machines into the discussion...
Above Eg: 16(16-1)/2=120 ; EEA-31: 31(31-1)/2=465 ; UNECE-56: 56(56-1)/2=1540
As said the full globalization process is staggeringly complicated. But the above at least gives an illustration of the virtue of a larger network at GLOBAL - REGIONAL - NATIONAL connectivity level and as Dr. RAE North points out in:-
FLEXCIT: 19.0 Trading with the rest of the world p.350 ~ Dr. RAE North
"The global economy is being re-shaped at breakneck speed. In the past decades, political systems have changed, new players have emerged on the markets, as well as new materials, new technologies and workers who are better skilled than ever. To compete in this fast-changing economy requires regulation that promotes growth, better access to markets and the availability of new sources of energy. Cut EU Red Tape: Report from the Business Taskforce February 2014
By this penultimate stage of our six-stage programme, all the structural issues have been addressed, leaving the way clear to look at Britain as a global trader. As we have seen earlier, organising trade in continental Europe, adopting formal structures around UNECE, would not replicate European Union arrangements, in that there would be no external trade policy. Britain would thus be free to act on its own account in relations with the rest of the world. Alternatively, it could act with EFTA, or take collective action through ad hoc alliances."
FLEXCIT: 21.4 Conclusion, p.402 ~ Dr. RAE North
"But it is this idea of a six-stage plan, integrating disparate points, which makes The Market solution what it is. We start with stage one – the process of leaving the EU. We then move on to stage two – sorting out immigration and asylum. Stage three has us launching a genuine European single market, breaking free from the EU-centricity of Brussels and building a European village where every "house" is equal. In stage four, we address the task of rebuilding independent policies, and stage five has us reinvigorating global trade, with the adoption and implementation of an eight-point programme."
Conclusions:When we started this blog post we had this horrible confabulation of "Leading in EUrope!" that means nothing except false and broken promises to people and the abrogation of democracy itself.
I've tried to summary a vastness and of course failed in the attempt. But at least a glimpse may have been provided for the rational, the "intellectual framework", the foundations that are invisible and underpin the First Stage Of The Market Solution:-
The Sceptic Isle has a full summary here:-
- I -The Market Solution: A soft landing
- II – The Market Solution: EFTA/EEA
- III – The Market Solution: Negotiating Brexit
- IV – The Market Solution: Exerting influence in Europe and beyond
- V – The Market Solution: The realistic option