Saturday, 29 December 2012

Openingly Lying Europe

I've noted before on this blog, just over a week ago in fact, that Mats Perssen of Open Europe was deliberately, or at least appearing to confuse the EU, EFTA and the EEA to get in his favourite argument of 'government by fax'.

Witterings from Witney has picked up on another example, and it truly is mind boggling in its inaccuracy. Writing in the Guardian, Mats Perssen assesses the options if we left the EU, naturally he disagrees with all of them primarily because of the so-called government by fax, however following the Switzerland model he writes:
It could potentially work, but because the Swiss option is so complicated – subject to a cobweb of bilateral agreements – it would be extremely tricky. In that two-year framework Britain has under the Lisbon treaty's leaving clause, Britain would basically have no influence over EU laws but would be subject to all of them.
What on earth has the final sentence regarding the Lisbon Treaty exit clause got to do with following the Swiss model thereafter? It is true under Article 50 (4) we are suspended from participation in EU institutions during the 2 year hiatus and we are still subject to EU laws (which we can ignore because by the time any breach reached the ECJ we would be long gone. We've managed to drag Prisoners' votes out for 7 years at least). But this has no bearing whatsoever on how we trade with the EU once we leave. So either the Director of a European Think Tank is really that stupid or the sentence was added deliberately to confuse.

What is clear is our relationship with the European Union is set to change dramatically in the next decade, likely in the form of a referendum and the Europhile movement are already marshalling their forces. One of those is going to be Open Europe, held up as the token Eurosceptic voice, its purpose is to be anything but. Witterings quite rightly says:
It is important to make the point and in this instance to repeat it, namely that were a referendum to be called, the ‘No’ campaign cannot – and must not – be left in the control of people like Mats Persson and Open Europe
They come pretending to be our friends. To quote the film Goodfellas; "Murderers come with smiles".


  1. Persson is unbelievable, is he not?

    Nice article and well said.

    Thanks for the mensch, link and quote.

  2. @WfW No worries, a pleasure. That Persson has now done it more than once it must be deliberate.

    If lies is all he has to fall back on then we shouldn't have to worry about

  3. There's obviously a coordinated campaign with FUD stories coming from several sources at once.

    I wonder why. It seems too early because we're apparently a long way off from any decision.

    Surely they haven't got the wind up over UKIP?

  4. @cosmic, that's a good point, maybe it's a dry run in order to rehearse and tweak their arguments in preparation for the real thing.

    I'm not sure about the UKIP factor, it might be so, but I think the general mood music is that a clash is coming largely because a new treaty seems to be on its way. Take the last paragraph here in the Guardian quoting Guy Verhofstadt of the EU Parliament:

    "Before Cameron is able to repatriate powers, there will be a new EU convention leading to a new treaty. Every country will have a choice: join that or stay outside. A moment will come around 2016 when every country will have to decide whether it is in or out."

  5. Oops missed out the link

  6. An interesting article.

    I'd say the target is the Conservatives' fence sitting strategy, "In Europe but not ruled by Europe" which they've had to do to placate a large section of their membership. The Colleagues don't see the world that way and don't have much sympathy for Cameron's domestic problems, when they've got a state to construct and no time to waste. It's curious that continental europhiles are in complete agreement with what people like Richard North have been saying for years - there isn't any half-way house solution, it's a fantasy.

    The immediate prompt is Cameron's coming speech which will no doubt be a masterpiece of sitting on a rapidly disintegrating fence.