Coffee House

Leaving the EU isn’t an ‘unknown’; it’s a return to the known

11 February 2016

3:28 PM

11 February 2016

3:28 PM

I see that Hilary Benn has been doing his bit for ‘Project Fear‘. According to Mr Benn one of the best reasons for staying in the EU is that ‘President Putin would shed no tears if Britain left the European Union.’ So what? Caliph al-Baghdadi may laugh like a drain if we stay in.  Anyone can play that game.

According to Mr Benn, ‘the weakness of European solidarity’ caused by Brexit would be particularly damaging at this time, ‘just when strength needs to be shown in the continent.’ To which one might ask, how did that ‘solidarity’ and ‘strength’ go vis-a-vis Crimea and Ukraine? It is true that the EU was ‘united’ – it united in doing nothing.


Of course Mr Benn’s use of Vladimir Putin as a big scary monster to terrify us all into staying in the EU would be more convincing were the leadership of the Labour party these days not such wholesale lackeys and lickspittle admirers of Mr Putin.

However, if there is one thing to really object to in Mr Benn’s speech it is his warning of the untold risks of Britain leaving the EU.  According to his ominous, risk-filled warning, ‘Stepping into the unknown is very, very unwise.’  Except that we wouldn’t be stepping into the unknown.  We would be stepping into the situation we have been in for most of our history, when we have been an independent, stable and successful country, governed by our own laws.  I’ve no doubt that having breathed the asylum air of the post-Maastricht House of Commons for so much of his life, Hilary may well be utterly terrified of life outside those walls.  But the rest of us will cope with living in an independent nation very nicely, I’m sure.

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Show comments
  • Leon Wolfeson

    So you believe in time travel? I see.

  • WTF

    Most definitely not PC in Flanders !

    I was warned many years ago in Florida, “DO NOT FEED THE SEAGULLS” and I’ve seen first hand the result if you do, you get mobbed and attacked.

    Now this Belgian governor Carl Decaluwé, the governor of West Flanders, told Belgians: “Don’t feed refugees, otherwise more will come.” Well, he’s just telling it as it is and a pity more politicians can’t say the same thing.

  • Kieron Russell

    The EU is not a place of stability it’s dysfunctional family and it’s damaging to everyone in it – we have to get out to survive. You watch the rest do the same when we do.

  • Joey Edgecombe

    Hilary’s dad would be turning in his grave, what a disappointment he must be.

  • sebastian2

    “It is true that the EU was ‘united’ – it united in doing nothing.”

    As with Ukraine, so with mass migration.

    An absolute shower.

  • rosebery

    No-one knows for certain what will happen as a result of the vote being ‘in’ or ‘out’. However, the likelihood is a vote for ‘in’ simply because there are more and more people in the voting group who know of no other arrangement involving the UK. There can’t be many people under the age of 60 who have any serious memories of life outside the ‘Common Market’. I think that this will be a bigger determinant than any of the economic or political arguments.

  • kentgeordie

    If ‘in’ gets 51%, the triumphalism of the €urocracy doesn’t bear thinking about. Play safe, vote ‘out’.

  • JP Janson De Couët

    “would be more convincing were the leadership of the Labour party these days not such wholesale lackeys and lickspittle admirers of Mr Putin”?
    That’s about as reasonable as saying “Douglas Murray would be more convincing were he not such a wholesale lackey and lickspittle admirer of M. Le Pen.”

    • Pioneer

      I think FN may be a bit socialist for Douglas taste.Lot of it about in France.

  • SeeYouAnon

    I am amazed at Hilary Benn’s stance.

    The words of his father alerted me to the nature of the EU: and are a driving reason I hold the views I have today.

  • Peter Hirsch

    Very nicely put, Mr Murray!

  • Rob

    It is impossible to build a democratic state if the majority of the people do not wish to be a part of it. It really is that simple.

    • Pioneer

      In what sense is the EU democratic?

      • Rob

        Do you vote? If the answer is yes then you have taken part in a democratic process. You will also likely get the chance to vote on our membership of the EU this year. If a simple majority choose to vote out, then we will leave.

        Therefore it is impossible to build a democratic state if the majority of the people do not wish to participate.

        At the end of the day the EU can choose its leaders and policies as it wishes, but it will always ultimately be the people who decide if the EU exists or not.

  • Bill Sutton

    We had two world wars in Europe last century, both heavily invoved the UK. If you cannot learn from the lesons of history then you are more stupid than I ever imagined and will get exactly what you deserve.

  • Brimstone52

    In an attempt to justify the UK remaining in the EU Hilary Benn claims:-

    The EU gave us paid holidays. Not so, they came in with the Holidays with Pay Act 1938.

    The EU gave us protection for agency and temporary workers. The consequence of that protection has been the introduction of zero hour contracts (during the Labour government).

    The EU gave us maternity and paternity leave. Before the first Labour government we had the National Insurance Act 1911 which included a universal maternal health benefit.

    The financial difficulties in Greece and other countries have seen the removal of workers rights, the erosion of benefits and a significant increase in unemployment.
    That is evidence that the EU’s first priority lies with the banks, not with the people.

    Staying in the EU is increasingly removing our right to make our own laws and improve rights and benefits for everyone.

  • boingy

    What would be “particularly damaging at this time” would be to stay attached to an organisation that is becoming more Dictatorial by the minute and undermining the security of Europe with some of the most idiotic decisions of all time.

  • JJD

    Solidarity does not have to mean being in the EU. The EU has nothing to do with solidarity. Indeed, what has caused all the tensions around Europe? Schengen and the Euro. Go figure, Hilary.

  • milford

    The late great Tony Benn must be spinning in his grave!

  • WTF

    The exit group should use Douglas headline as its the perfect counterpoint to the IN group and perhaps with this prefix –

    “Back to the Future, leaving the EU isn’t an ‘unknown’; it’s a return to the known”