Friday, 17 May 2013

The Step by Step Guide to Leaving Europe - by David Bannerman MEP

Previous posts on my blog have seen me post comments on Europe myths and truths as expressed by Bannerman MEP in his book The Ultimate Plan B.

I met David a couple of years ago when he presented this discussion, in Ipswich, and also chatted more to him when I gave him a lift to Ipswich station. He is a credible, intelligent guy and had been speaking to us about the virtues of leaving Europe, which by definition will mean him losing his job! He was party chairman for UKIP for 7 years before returning to the conservatives in 2011 (he had previously served for 20 years with the Conservatives including as a special advisor on the Northern Ireland peace process)

Now if I'm going to fall down any side of an argument, when I am still undecided, it will be down the same side as those who are willing to speak the truth, even if it cuts off their own nose to spite their face. David is on the inside and knows a lot more then most people in this country or in Westminster.

David sent me an up to date version of his book recently and so I wanted to expand my posts to complement the previous ones and to share what he says about the practicalities of leaving, should we decide to in the referendum.

I will update my previous posts but in the meantime, I would like to summarise his chapter 3 - Why leaving is Easy.

I have spent many years undecided about Europe, going backwards and forwards depending on whose points of view I was listening to. It is not a decision to take lightly but I have finally made up my mind, mainly through an intuitive reason built on all the pieces of information I have gathered (& also some forgotten on a conscious level)over the years.. I am willing to see what David Cameron can do in Europe to allow us to take back our power and introduce caps on  immigration of European members, because it's only fair and honest that we should all have as many choices as possible in the debate leading up to the referendum. However if I am not happy with their concessions, I will be voting OUT.

So here are the steps:

1) The government to announce an immediate halt to implementation of new EU directives or enforcing new EU Regulations. Open negotiations for a UK/EU Free Trade Agreement with the EU and start the drafting of an ECA Repeal Bill

2) Repeal Bill introduced and passed by both houses to become the Repeal Act.
Continue to honour certain regional grants and other payments until the Special Independence Budget is announced. A draft EU/UK Free Trade Agreement would be produced and Deregulation committees established

3) The Trade Agreement would be presented for approval to UK Parliament and ratified. Withdraw representatives from the European Parliament and all financial contributions ceased.
Once free of EU, measures to be introduced to reassert control.

4) Establish key areas of co-operation in the new Trade Agreement with EU such as sea navigation, telecommunications, air safety, respect for property, intellectual rights, transition time-scales.
Following public consultation, the Deregulation committees would present ongoing legislation to Parliament which allows time for UK citizens to plan for the changes and this would be supported by Transition committees in each govt department. Funds normally dedicated to EU membership could be re-allocated to individuals and companies to aid the transition.

and I quote fully the last paragraph:
'Once this procedure is complete, Britain will have restored full sovereignty and total control over British laws to the British people and their representatives in Westminster. Moreover, the relationship with the EU would now be mutually beneficial as it will be based on friendly trade, not political control by remote, unaccountable EU bureaucracy.

Next time I will update previous posts and share with you some of teh EU regulation burden that we will be free of, if when we leave.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Post Suffolk County Election Reflection

I've learnt in the last few years to reflect on situations and events, especially in politics before making comment. A week is a long time in this arena and often something that seemed detrimental is forgotten quite quickly. So I have given myself time to rest up from the campaign and to think about my special ward Stoke Park and my important work within it.

First of all I would like to show gratitude to all those that voted for me - Thankyou.

The Chantry result was no surprise to any of us. We fully expected Labour to regain the seat that Paul West won at SCC elections 2009. Chantry includes Gipping which is a very safe borough seat for Labour.

What I think surprised all of us is how well UKIP did, especially the fact that they gained a seat in Ipswich.

So I tried to put myself in the shoes of the electorate to work out why they would pick a candidate that:

Had not delivered a leaflet - certainly not to the people I spoke to anyway.
Had not done any work for the community, past or present
Did not knock on doors to show his character or explain beliefs and values
Had so little interest that he didn't even turn up at he Count!

Let me start with the last point. When I first started out in politics, about 10 years ago, I stood in what's known as a straw seat, (not winnable) in Gipping. This was to give me experience before I stood in my own ward where I lived and still do - Stoke Park. My first count was one of the most exciting things I had done for years and I still love it! So who was this candidate that he couldn't even get to the most important part of the election campaign? I'll leave you to think about that.

To the residents who voted for an invisible UKIP candidate (either Labour or Tory residents, because in fact more labour supporters voted for him than Tory as the analysis at the count proved itself to my helpers) I would ask - Why? This is not an accusatory Why but a really curious Why? These are local elections that bring people in to represent you on local issues, not national policy.

Why would people mix up national policies with local policies just to show how displeased they are with EU and immigration? To the people in north Ipswich who gave a seat to UKIP - Why risk a really good proven councillor who worked hard for you to replace them with a one trick pony who might not do one single bit of hard work in your community? Surely at the very least, you would've wanted to see him at your door, telling you what he will do for the community, even if he hadn't been a councillor before that?

Now don't get me wrong - this is every person's prerogative - but then they have to understand that if they continue to vote someone in that does nothing, other than ride on the back of a national issue, it will only encourage more local politicians to just give you headlines, soundbites, scaremongering leaflets or empty promises.  In other words people will get what they deserve!

I will be watching the new UKIP councillors, in Suffolk, very closely to see if they even have a clue how to represent the people of Suffolk and do all the necessary hard work. Being a councillor takes up hours and hours of our time each week. It is not easy - have they really got the skills needed and have they entered local politics for the right reasons or is it just to build up traction for the General Election?

It's up to us to prove to you all how hard we work in our wards. I must admit, I've not been brilliant at communicating this in the written form because I put working for the residents to solve their problems as a priority, not the shouting about it afterwards. And not everyone is on twitter or follow my blog which is my preferred way of communicating. However, I will have to find more ways of regular contact.

I want Stoke Park residents to know how much I care about them, that they can rely on me for a thoughtful and prompt response, as many others can already testify to.

You tell me what you would like to see from me, tell us what we can do to enhance our communications. Do you like leaflets? More knocking on your door (which I try to do all year round and not just at election time)? Surgeries? or even 'No thankyou - I know where you are if I need you!'  Let me know please.

Communication is a two way thing and although I know people are fed up with politicians,  at a local level most councillors are genuinely interested in helping people and get pleasure in making a difference, whether its just as a sounding board, a person to use to kick someone into action or a champion who will make the right decisions for their areas.

So once again Thankyou to those who voted for me - I know that you know & understand! I continue to be your borough councillor and

You can follow me on twitter


for a reply on the same day (unless I'm away on holiday)

or e-mail me for a reply within 2 days

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

SCC elections

Quote from Ipswich Spy blog post posted today on Urban/Rural divide

'A final reminder to David Ellesmere. For all Mr Miliband’s talk of One Nation Labour, and for all his assertion that the Tories are so unpopular in Suffolk’s two largest urban areas, 

Labour didn’t win a single seat outside of Ipswich and Lowestoft. 

They didn’t retake the seats they lost in 2009. They were seven short. 

This could well be because, as has become clear, Labour lost more votes to UKIP than the Tories did

If Mr Ellesmere is relying on these results to hand him victory in 2015, he should think again.'

No need for me to add anything.