Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cameron's EU Deal (2016)

From the SPGB's Discussion Form

Came across an old pamphlet from the time of the last Common Market referendum in 1975. At that time the TUC and half the Labour Party were for coming out though the Wilson Labour government was in favour of staying in (as was the Tory party).

Here's Roy Hattersley, a junior minister,  for the REMAIN side dealing with the "loss of sovereignty" issue:
Mr. Hattersley accepted that sovereignty would become a major issue once the new terms were known.  He questioned, however, whether the British Parliament really did have the power any longer to influence world events that vitally affected the British economy.  'No matter how many resolutions we pass or laws we enact, Britain's domestic interest rate (which affects every aspect of our life from the control of inflation to the cost of school building) will be more affected by decisions taken in Zurich, Bonn and New York - and now in Teheran, Jeddah and Caracas as well - than by anything done by the House of Commons' . . . 'In or out of the EEC, our economy will be influenced, judgments made beyond these shores'.  The best protection was the economic power to withstand foreign pressures.  Close alignments, like membership of the EEC, clearly involved some pooling of sovereignty, Mr. Hattersley went on.  But if the Community gave each member State increased economic strength in return 'we become more free not less so'".  (Financial Times, 7-1-1975)
And Peter Shore, a Cabinet Minister allowed to put the case for LEAVE, dreaming of having his cake and eating it:
Peter Shore recognises the need for Britain to continue trading on a large scale with the EEC, but argues that this could be done by concluding a trade agreement with the EEC such as Sweden is trying for. The trade agreement would offer access to the EEC and nothing more.
I don't whether the current debate is plus ça change or history repeating itself a second time as farce.

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