Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Focal Point: Critical Thinking

In the previous blog the article Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain was mentioned. This blog will dissect it. Apparently the author is one Dennis Novy (Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick and Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics). Thus valuing on "academic authority" we would appear to be in "Safe Hounds" with such a guide.

Main Argument: Value of Freedom and Independence vs EU Membership

I've provided a statement to synthesize his main argument in the article. He decides that Brexit is advocated as a means towards "Freedom and Independence". Which he waves away very quickly:-
"Who doesn’t like the idea of freedom and independence?"
Interestingly most of the world's nations are not in political union in a Supranational organization built on signing Treaties amongst the members. So it would help to establish how and why the UK entered the EU in the first place rather than erasing that useful context from memory as globally it's the exception rather than the rule.

 A mountain of confusion-making

But because we are EU Members we have to take that as the question: "What is the EU?" I argued what the EU essentially is in Brexit For Beginners: It is the Political Institutions and their functions which we have political representation within via our politicians with other European politicians under the rules and laws of the signed Treaties.

Therefore by deduction: Brexit means withdrawing from those - only. Now does that fit the concept of Freedom and Independence? Before answering that question, another of the statements by the author:-

"In fact, Britain needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain. Isolation is costly."

 This is really what the author is doing: He knows that selling EU Membership is not possible in a positive light for political reasons if we're rigorous in setting out our definitions of EU Membership and hence by deduction what Brexit means (even without looking at the historic context from The Great Deception). There's 3 lies in this statement:-
  1. Setting up an antagonism; a false dichotomy of choices to Leave or Remain: You can have one side of the main argument but not both. And indeed embroiling the question of Membership of the EU as contentious and fractious should the UK be selfish and self-isolating. Namely a bad relationship. But this depends on conflating The Single Market (EEA) with the Political Union (EU)!
  2. Framing Brexit as a little individual vs a large group. Socially ostracized. Namely not a social relationship. Again the EU is far from being "the only game in town"!
  3. Brexit as an economic reality: An economic relationship. NO! The EU is a Political Relationship!!
We've barely begun and look at how the argument has become so distorted and confusing barely 2 sentences into this article: How disturbing is this implication for multiplication of confusion into the millions and how simple too. And here we see as "Brexiteers" that in real problem-solving not establishing the real problem and thus starting with the first problem-solving step is likely to finish with an unsolved problem by the last step where ever and how many ever steps later that may be (sooner than later no doubt!).

This little lesson is what both Vote Leave and Leave.EU and so many "eurosceptics" seem to fail to understand.
Brexit = Withdrawal from EU Treaties, Institutions and Representation: "Not A Penny More And Not A Penny Less."

Before coming back to "Freedom and Independence", which are actually defined as "Withdrawal from EU Treaties" via Article 50 TEU Lisbon Treaty as per the EU Treaties themselves, let's outline the supporting arguments to the main argument FOR EU MEMBERSHIP in the article:-

  1. International Trade

  •  45% of imports/exports to EU
  • UK = 10% of EU Trade
  • Regulations: acquis communautaire for Single Market
  • EU Influence on those regulations
  • Financial contribution to Single Market/EU Membership
  1. Foreign Investment

    • FDI dependent on Single Market access
    • EEA Migration is part of Single Market and economically reasonable
    • FTA's are not realistic within the current parameters politically and indeed practically (I've paraphrased the correct problems here)
    • TTIP is an erroneous argument by the author part of the "GROUP" fallacy I've determined above and can be ignored. 
    • Administrative expertise: Indeed we'll come back to this.
  2. Market Confidence

  • Argument from emotion is again the "Bad relationship" fallacy I determined above and terrible tendentious; albeit in any new deal equal partners must be established again inviting eurosceptics to argue along the lines of fractious superiority.
  • FUD is fuelled by confusing details and a hydra of unanswerable questions:-
"We have to ask: what would the world look like if Britain were on its own? How exactly would Britain’s international trade be affected? Would foreign direct investment into Britain decline? How can the British government match the policy expertise concentrated in Brussels? And how would other countries perceive a Britain that has lost its crucial influence in Europe?"

This is the perfect conclusion to the main argument: Freedom and Independence from the EU Treaties is the "norm" globally; secondly it was a great deception historically and thirdly and finally the future globalization is very positive WITH these very values!!

 "QQ": How to kill Brexit before it's already begun.

But what the author has done is tempt "eurosceptics" and other people with the cheese of "bartering and haggling" and ensuring the whole process is not one of PRINCIPLE but one of DETAIL. Which is death for Brexit.

Remember at the beginning of the article: Freedom and Independence were the prize of Brexit and the author like the clever politician firstly distracts the audience:-

"Well, that is an exceedingly excellent question... and I will tell you why... [LAUNCHES INTO STORY MODE...] *several minutes later*: And so you see there's so many questions that arise from these sorts of ideas, but the world is a frighteningly complex place - and fragile too."
Which if I may say so myself: IS precisely the sort of trick our magician author has just conducted.

Let's get back finally to Freedom and Independence: They are from those EU Treaties and the litmus test of successful Brexit is invoking Article 50 and removing ALL OUR POLITICIANS OUT OF THE EU POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS.

Why should that be so important? Because it's a sign of true withdrawal: An honest result that is indisputable. But to achieve this result we must retain access to the single market: Of the bullet points above the number that relate to the Single Market by my count are approximately give or take 1: 10/12.

Namely the proponents of the EU the "Pro-EU"'s own arguments are dramatically reduced back to where we want the question to be over EU Treaties/Institutions and Representation when we ensure the Single Market access is removed from the question by asserting future continuation of it. And when that is promoted the arguments look far more positive:-

 "GG": EFTA/EEA + UK Scorecard > Present EU Scorecard

But this scorecard is not to win the argument, it's to remove the old stale arguments and deceptions so that more people can more clearly see what the EU Referendum Question is really asking us:-
  • What is EU Membership?
  • What is the Positive Alternative?
By sticking to the main argument we can start making real progress on education and informing on these twin questions for Remain vs Leave. That process itself is as much the dividends of holding a Popular Referendum on x7 Major EU Treaties spanning >40 years without public participation as much as the Positive Vision of life outside the EU.

 Brexiteers: Brexit Focal Point is argument from principle = Clear Vision

Our politicians have left us the people with the pieces to pick up and little time to put them together: Who should we trust? Them or Ourselves more?