Policy Area: EU Referendum                                                                                      Date of Discussion: 03.12.15

Introduction/Background


The subject for discussion was the changes needed to the EU for the UK to stay part, and the current negotiations. We discussed the EU in April 2013.  Opinions have changed little.

 It was felt that the current negotiations do not address the fundamental flaws in the EU, they concentrate on trivial matters without addressing the fundamental points. 

  • Restricting benefits is a trivial matter that makes little economic difference.  Success would be unimportant.
  • Declaring that there is no Plan B is to give away negotiating power.
  • We are not asking for nearly enough
  • We are in a strong negotiating position but are not negotiating strongly.
  • There is no point to negotiations unless we are to get fundamental changes.
  • We must spell out our Plan B for the actions if the vote in the referendum is to leave the EU.  Not to do so is to give away one of our main strengths.


Discussion Conclusions

  • The EU is unlikely to survive in its current form, without fundamental reform it will eventually break up.
  • The Eurozone will fall apart unless there is political and fiscal unification of the Eurozone states.
  • Our defence is based on NATO not the EU
  • We joined a trading bloc, not a political union
  • There are big cultural differences between the UK and the European Mainland states – we have common law instead of Roman Law (their law says what is allowed, our law says what is forbidden); the UK has not had armies crossing and re-crossing our land for centuries so we feel more secure.
  • Ever closer union is not for the UK
  • The external borders of the EU need to be strengthened, but no-one wanted to stop free internal movement
  • UK parliament must be able to make laws which cannot be over-ridden. 
  • Some of these problems are our own fault, for example European Court of Human Rights rulings are advisory but our courts always follow them, they should not.
  • There is little reciprocity within the union, e.g. France stops takeover of French companies but uses nationalised companies to takeover companies in other countries.


 The fundamental problems that need to be addressed are;

  • Financial accountability.  The EU accounts have never been signed off.  The EU Accounts to be audited and transparent.  Fiscal rectitude needed.
  • There is wastefulness everywhere.  Moving between Strasbourg and Brussels is disruptive and expensive, it should stop.
  • There is no democratic control of the bureaucracy which controls huge budgets.
  • Subsidiarity to become a reality.  The EU should only make rules when it can be proved that it is necessary and the matter is truly uniform over the community.
  • The UK Parliament to be supreme, it cannot be over-ridden.
  • The Eurozone and non-Eurozone states are treated separately with different rules.
  • Ever closer union is not an aim.


There was a general reluctance to leave the EU but without these fundamental changes we would be better to vote to leave the EU and to re-negotiate our relationship.

Political Discussions

At least twice a year members of The Tandridge Club meet to discuss a a wide range of topics. Following the discussion a paper is produced and sent to our MP so that he can take our recommendations forward to the relevant Government Department. You can read a summary of the EU Membership paper below. For a full copy please Contact Us.