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Friday 5 June 2015

EU - Montgomerie Clueless

When the Mail On Sunday told the world recently that Rupert Murdoch had changed his mind, and was now in favour of the UK remaining an EU member state, the Guardian was not so sure whether Simon Walters had the right story. Rupe promptly denied it and talked of a “Misunderstanding somewhere”. And yesterday’s empty-headed effort in the Times by the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie suggests Rupe was right to deny the story.
Monty was so proud of his efforts that he Tweeted out his musings beforehand, so we need have nothing to do with paywalls: you can see the results below. He begins his screed by talking of “our European masters”, suggesting that the UK does not govern itself. Thus he attempts to get readers to “look over there”, away from the Parliament we just elected, and away from the concept of pooled sovereignty.

This is crude and dishonest, but the idea of Britain “becoming a free nation again” is risible. Free to do what? Free to face tariffs and trade barriers, free to lose what influence we exercised from within the EU, free to spend time and money re-negotiating all those trade agreements that the EU made, with our full participation, and free to discover that the rest of the world has moved on since the UK was a Great World Power.
That much is bad enough, but then come the examples of what other countries would supposedly not tolerate that we have to. “Talk to an average American and ask if they would agree to open their borders so that every Mexican or Brazilian had the right to live and work in Kansas or Florida”. Two things here: one, free movement of people is a two-way street (Spain?). And two, Mexicans don’t ask for the right: they just migrate.

What is worse - the chaos of undocumented migrants (around 12 million in the USA), or the documented free movement of people? Ah, but Monty would rather we look at fishing: “Poll the people of Japan to check if they would be happy for the Government of South Korea to decide who fished in their territorial waters”. Two more things here: the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the EU does not stop the UK’s control of its territorial waters.

Hence the then Labour Government’s ability to banpair-trawling” in 2004. And two, the UK extended those territorial waters from three to 12 miles in 1987 - WHEN WE WERE AN EU MEMBER STATE. And it just gets worse for Montgomerie: “Go to Canberra and inquire if they would be content for judges from Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand to decide whether suspected terrorists could be deported from Australia”.

Two things, once again: one, Monty is confusing the ECHR and EU (the UK acceded to the ECHR twenty years before joining the then EEC), and two, if he’s trying to suggest Australia would apply different standards of human rights to ECHR signatories, he should remember that this is a country that assisted in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And we did, let’s not forget, deport Abu Qatada to Jordan.

So that’s more clueless and low-grade EU bashing filleted. There will be much more.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Of course, he could ask someone from Kansas or Florida how they'd feel about not being able to go and live and work in another state of the US (or an Australian how they'd feel about the same in their states etc) and get quite a different answer.