“Thoughts on Brexit” presented by William Legge, 10th Earl of Dartmouth


– Good evening. Welcome. My name is Hank Clark, and on behalf of the
Political Economy Project as well as the MALS program, that’s Masters in Liberal Studies, and its director, Professor Don Pease, it is a great pleasure to
welcome you here this evening. Just one brief word about
an upcoming PEP event that some of you in this audience may actually find interesting. On Friday of this week the
Political Economy Project, in association with the college Sesterentennial Planning Committee, is hosting an academic conference entitled Dartmouth and the World: Religion and Political Economy Circa 1769. It explores the life and times of the founding of Dartmouth College. It begins on Friday at four
p.m. in Dartmouth Hall, that’s four p.m. in Dartmouth Hall 105, and it is free and open to the public. Do consult the announcements in Vox, on the 250 Dartmouth website, on our website, pep.dartmouth.edu, or in the Valley News for
more specific details. And now to tonight’s special event. Brexit is, of course, on
everyone’s mind these days, and so it is a rare privilege
to have with us someone who, as a ranking member of the
Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament in Brussels, has quite literally written
the book on the subject. Moreover, some of those who
helped him research that book are his past Dartmouth
College interns in Brussels. It is no ordinary member of Parliament who has that kind of
association with the college, and so he is deserving of more than an ordinary introduction. Fortunately, we have with us just the
right person to deliver it. That would be Katherine Rines. Katherine Rines is part of
a generation of pioneers in women’s education at Dartmouth. A graduate of the Smith
College class of ’71, Kathy was an exchange
student here for a year on a program for women students just before the college went coed in 1972. It’s been a great joy to
get to know her a little bit in the preparation for this
visit and for this event, and so, without further ado, won’t you please join me
in welcoming Kathy Rines. (audience applauding) – I’d like to thank all of
you for joining all of us in welcoming William back to Dartmouth. It’s really wonderful that many of you are at the Tuck School because it was at, okay,
a lesser business school, Harvard Business School, that William and I met, and we were in the oldest 10
percent at the business school since we were around 30, and as a side note William celebrated his seventieth birthday last
night at Hopkins Center. Welcome. (audience applauding) And I would say to William,
when we’d be having dinner, now, you know, William,
I went to Dartmouth when there were 75 women
there and 3000 men.” We were part of a social experiment to see if women could ruin Dartmouth, (audience laughs) and Meryl Streep was here my year, and we had a wonderful, invigorating time, and then, of course,
the college went coed. William and I kept a bit
in contact with each other. We’d see each other every
five years at reunions. Sometimes we’d see each other in New York, and so I kept track, and that William I knew
became Lord Dartmouth in 1997 when his father passed away, and he had two years, I
believe, in the House of Lords until that seat was disbanded, but William still wanted
to do public service, so he has been elected
for two five-year terms to the European Parliament
representing Southwest England, and he distinguished himself on the Committee of International Trade, and so I would like to
say, for all of you, celebrate those relationships you have at Tuck and at Dartmouth, and try to maintain them through the years because it’s fascinating to watch everyone’s
growth and development, and I also want to say
never give up on bugging. I bugged William for 40 years (laughing) to come back up to Dartmouth, and he arrived on Sunday
after our HBS reunion, and he has been joined by
receptions, and dinners, and friends for the last three days, and so it’s been magnificent. Welcome back, and we’re really excited about
hearing your singular voice. He’s always had a singular
voice on the subject of Brexit. Welcome, welcome back. (audience applauding) – Well, Kathy, that was a absolutely
magnificent introduction and thank you. Of course, lots and lots of thanks, but I must first of all pick
out Professor Hank Clark, who’s here. There’s been endless e-mail
exchanges between me and him, and somehow we’re all here. I’ve also got a special
thank you to Don Pease, who has not only arranged for
this to be filmed and taped, but also it’s out of his budget, too. It’s coming out of his budget. (audience laughing) Now Kathy thought I just
should just share with you one little kind of personal vignette, which is that I represent
the southwest of England, and I live about 15 miles
from the town of Dartmouth in England, from which I take my name, but the college takes its name
after the Dartmouth family, and incidentally it has
the same pronunciation. You pronounce it Dartmouth
as opposed to Dart Mouth, which is the more phonetic version. Anyway, the town of
Dartmouth in South Devon has got a population of about 5500 according to Wikipedia, ’cause I just looked it up yesterday, and in consequence you
only see the word Dartmouth on the road signs when you
are in about a six-mile radius of the town of Dartmouth. By contrast, here you see Dartmouth,
Dartmouth, Dartmouth everywhere, and Kathy couldn’t quite
understand when my eyes misted over when I saw Dartmouth Coach at the South Station in Boston, actually. (audience laughing) Anyway, just to clarify, I should also say that in my life I’ve made lots of speeches, but I’ve never, ever
made a lecture before, so this is billed as being a lecture. So, I didn’t intend to lecture
you, but it is a lecture, so it’s something slightly different. Now, my credentials, I
think, just to clarify, is that I was reelected, I was elected, and then reelected to
the European Parliament, two consecutive five-year terms, and after 10 years I decided to step down, not least ’cause of my advancing age, and also I have a youngish,
I have a teenage son at home I wanted to spend more time with. Now, I was elected and reelected on what is normally described
as being a populist ticket. Now, my speech will not address populism, but I would be delighted
to answer questions on European populism. I don’t want to answer
questions about populism in other places ’cause I don’t know anything about it and I think it’s inappropriate. (audience chuckles) Now, I also, just to
pick up what Kathy said, I had the privilege of having
about nine or 10 interns in the 10 years from Dartmouth College, most of whom stayed for
six months, actually, and the last two were Leo and Lynette. I don’t think Lynette is here. I think she said she was going to come, and maybe she’s not after all. Leo can’t be here, but he
can’t be here to hear me speak, but he is in Rome, so I think that’s actually
quite a good thing. Now, the question I’m going to seek to… So let me now get into the
meat of what I’ve got to say. Now, the question is why did the UK electors vote
for Brexit in June 2016? Now, it’s easy to forget now, three years later, just how completely
unexpected that result was. The then-Prime Minister David
Cameron’s favorite pollster told him, on the eve of poll, that the remain would win by
a full 10 percentage points. Moreover, and more telling, Nigel Farage, who was one of the leaders
of the Brexit movement, conceded three times on
the night of the referendum after the polls had closed. So the question which
I’m seeking to answer in this very brief presentation was, was the leave vote entirely based on fake
news and fake facts. Was leave, was voting leave irrational, or was voting leave just as rational as any other vote in an
election or referendum? Now, I’ve actually
written a book about this, which is called “Everything You Always
Wanted to Know About Brexit But Never Dared Ask.” This is available free
on a website called Lulu. I think you’ll be unamazed to hear that Amazon does not carry books for free. They just won’t do it. (audience laughs) But let’s, first of all, let me first of all address the context. The first question is, should there have been
a referendum at all? Now, the consensus view
of the great and the good, and the political and
business establishments is that there never should
have been a referendum. And poor old, the ex Prime Minister, poor old David Cameron, not that by my standards
he’s particularly poor, nor particularly old, hasn’t been able to get a job. He hasn’t been able to get a job. Because, see, he’s not forgiven
for calling the referendum. Now, I would argue. Sorry, I’m not arguing, I’m
just giving some basic facts. The fact is, there had
been a referendum before, about whether we should
remain on this matter. But that referendum was in 1975. Now, I’m old enough to have
voted in that referendum. And, incidentally, I voted in
favor of the European thing, actually. But, most of the electorate, were not old enough to have
voted in the 1975 referendum, by the time you got to 2016
or 2015 general election. But, more to the point, what we voted for, had completely and utterly
transformed itself. What I voted for, and I’ve always tried
to avoid using the word, was I voted for something
called the common market, which was a free trade book. Should we be in that or shouldn’t we. Now, subsequent to 1975,
in a series of treaties, which I will avoid reading off, but one of them, perhaps the most famous one, was the Maastricht Treaty. It became more and more a state. That is why the European
Union, as of today, has a lot of appertainative of a state. It has a flag. It has an anthem. It has a Supreme Court, which is called European Court of Justice. And it would like to have a European army. Now, that is a very different proposition, from the original common market, which is what the British
people had actually voted for. And, also, it’s a bit pedantic, but it doesn’t make it untrue, David Cameron in 2015, the center piece, or one
of the center pieces, of his election manifesto
was to have a referendum. So, now, for people to say you
shouldn’t have a referendum, because you should never
have held a referendum, because it hasn’t turned out
the way we actually wanted, seems to me, to be a
little bit inappropriate. Anyway, poor old chap, he can’t get a job. He can’t get a job. His Sancho Panza, George
Osborne has got about six jobs. But he hasn’t got any. But I owe a lot to David Cameron. And if somebody feels like asking me, I’ll tell you what it is. Now, let’s also look at the
context of the European Union. There are currently, because
the UK’s still there, there are 28 member states. Which sounds very impressive. And in fact, it is rather impressive. However, a lot of these are very small. Now, if you take the GDP of those states with the smallest GDPs, you add them together, and you compare them with the
GDP of the United Kingdom, you will find that the
GDP of the United Kingdom is equivalent to the 18
smallest states put together. So, in fact, the economy, the union of 28 countries, has in fact become a union, will become a union of nine. And the fact of the matter is, it was completely and utterly mishandled, by the Juncker commission. Now, I see, there are
some people, I think, from the Tucks School, aren’t there? Somebody said.
Maybe there aren’t. But everyone is interested in business. It’s very simple. They lost their second biggest client. They lost their second biggest client. Now, their answer to that, is just, instead of saying, maybe
we’ve done something wrong, maybe we should just
look at what we’re doing and maybe do it a different way, which is what people would
do in most organizations. They simply carried on guarders, with more and more and more integration. Which is indeed, an
entire seminar in itself. But, I’m not going to touch on that today. Now, when I talk about the UK, there are, of course,
some strengths of the UK. First of all, we are the fifth
largest economy in the world. The second largest economy in the EU. The second largest exporter
of services in the world. And the world’s number one
international financial center. And, also, as I have the privilege of
speaking in a university, it’s worth pointing out that the UK has significant strengths
in higher education. Specifically, we have three
of the top 10 universities in the world. Sometimes it’s really the top four. It depends what they think
about University College London. Sometimes it makes it to the
top 10, sometimes it doesn’t. And we have, according to this thing, which is the world
university rankings of 2019, 29 universities in the
top 200 of the world. Further to that, which
is as commonly known or commented on, the common law, English common law, and it is English, Scotland is actually a different system. English common law, there
are 80 other countries, whose legal systems are
based on English common law. Including, not only the United States, but also India. Now, the countries of the European Union have a completely different legal system, based, legal system or systems, based on the Napoleonic Code. And, moreover, we, who brought
common law to the world, there is a supremacy, the Courts of the European Union, specifically European Court of Justice, are supreme over the British courts. The Supreme Court is actually a misnomer. It’s not certainly true. And, of course, another strength we have, which is very obvious, but
it’s still worth stating, is that, of course, English is
the world’s second language. I’ve got a calculation here, that according to a publication called Ethnologic Languages
of the World, 2017, they have calculated that 753 million, 359 thousand and 540 people use English as their second language. I’m not so sure about the
540, but you get the idea. (audience laughing) The second one, oddly
enough, being French, which is 202 million. However, by being in the European Union, we in the UK, with all these strengths, and all this history, and all this size, we give away, very significant paths, to the European Union, and
to the Brussels Commission. Now, again, that would be a
subject for an entire lecture, so I’m going to spare you that. But it has been said,
that in some respects, the UK has less autonomy in relation to the European Commission. For the sake of New Hampshire has to the federal government
in the United States. And there’s a constant stream of job destroying legislation, which we in Britain adhere to
and other EU countries do not. I mean, a Romanian supermarket is just simply not going to
follow the food hygiene laws. I’m not saying this cause
I’m in any way anti-Romanian. I’m just saying this is a basic fact. It’s just an observable fact. We are obliged to have open
borders in relation to the EU. Now, there’s a supremacy
of EU law over English law. To give you a flavor of
some of the directives. There’s the Working Time Directive, which this tells people
that they can no longer work the hours that they want. They’re restricted to 48 hours. Now I, in my life, have been,
privileged is the wrong word. I happen to have met a lot
of very successful people. And, doubtless you have,
and you will, and you will. You ask one of them, or two
of them, or three of them, sometime, if they would’ve
been as successful, if their working week had
been restricted to 48 hours. That’s what the EU has actually imposed. It also, as a practical matter, as a practical matter, medical services. The National Health Service. The Working Time Directive
makes it much, much more difficult, and much more expensive. Well, not only expensive,
but much more difficult, to run a national health service with a 24 hour casualty system. It just does. Now, the whole of this paraphernalia, is normally justified
by the establishment, on the basis of trade. Now, as Professor Clark mentioned, in my 10 years in European Parliament, I spent 10 years on the
International Trade Committee of European Parliament. And, for almost all that time, except for the last three months, when I was made to step down. Perhaps somebody will ask me why. I was the ranking member
for the political grouping, of which I was a part, which was a sort of mini
transnational EU party. Now, the way in which it works, is that… Actually, not everybody knows this. I know this backwards,
forwards, and sideways. I forget that you probably don’t. Most people in the UK
didn’t actually know this. Trade agreements are what is called an exclusive competence
of the European Union. The consequence of that is, that a nation state within the EU, cannot make it’s own trade agreements. That power is default to
the EU Trade Commission. Not default, because that goes down. It goes up the EU Trade Commission. So, there you have, the absurd position, and also the seats of the countries of the World Trade Organization are in abeyance, they
have a kind of world, they kind of have an observers status. So, therefore, we as a country,
are in obviously absurd, but a decidedly bizarre situation, that for instance,
Lichtenstein has a full seat on the World Trade Organization, and the former British colony
of Hong Kong, oddly enough, has a full seat on the
World Trade Organization, but we don’t. Our seat is like a non-voting seat, and simply has an observers status. So, the effect is that the trade, trade agreements are
conducted by the commission, and since the Lisbon Treaty, they had to be ratified by the Parliament. If you’re going to spend
some time in your life as a legislator, slightly shouting in the back of the room, saying that you don’t
agree with what’s going on. It was actually very productive,
and very constructive, and very interesting for me, because all the trade agreements went through the Trade Committee, and have to be endorsed
by the Trade Committee, before going to the floor
of the Europe Parliament. So, you had some real power. I think power’s slightly void. Real influence. And, also, it meant that
the distinguished Dartmouth, Dartmouth students, or
undergraduates, I should say, were pretty much working on that. So, in other words, although
I was elected and re-elected on a pro-Brexit ticket, and we were pretty much
against everything, the one thing we were
in favor of was trade. So, that was a reconstruct of time. Now, we’re going to have a slide show. Where we’re going to have a look at trade, and the trade arguments. Is it worth being in
the EU because of trade. The proposition that is
normally put forward in the UK is that a country has to
have a trade agreement in order to be able to trade. That is, actually, complete rubbish. Just see, it’s just not true. Here we have, a lot of these things
are not fully up to date, but they haven’t changed
very much since 2017, you can see the amount of trade going on between the UK and the United States. Similarly, you will see in the next thing, the value of trade between
China and the United States. And similarly with Japan. And what this has in common is none of these countries have got trade agreements with the United States. They still do all that business. Now, it’s a topic for
another lecture, or seminar, or series of seminars. I’m just mentioning this in passing. That if you look at part two, China is, interesting question, is
it really sustainable, or really, how long is
that degree of deficit actually sustainable. I don’t know the answer to that question. It’s rather stumped me, put it there. Now, the other idea, for the
sake of the European Union, which is constantly put forward, is, and I was asked this in
a rather sort of narying way, because it sounds credible, by a series of BBC journalists, which is a country, the proposition, that a country needs to be
in a large trading block in order to be able to
negotiate trade agreements. So, let’s just have a
look at the countries with which the United States currently has free trade agreements. If you note them, with the exception of, the sultanate of Oman is in there. It’s one of my favorites. But, with the exception of Australia, and perhaps Colombia and Canada, these are all really
quite small countries. And also, if you look at
the bottom, Singapore, the interesting thing is that
the city state of Singapore has got a trade agreement. Not only with the United States, but also with the European Union. So, the proposition, which
is constantly put forward, that you need to be in
a large trading block in order to be able to negotiate trading, is just totally, totally untrue. It’s just not true. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because it’s much
more difficult to encompass the needs and aspirations
of 28 different countries, with different economies, than it is with just one. That’s why. That’s what the reason is. But this argument is
constantly put forward, and is never, never rebutted. Now, the other argument,
which is put forward, is to say, because the UK exports in
large quantities to the EU, a significant part of our trade, because of that we must, we have to be in a political union. In fact, at the Harvard Gala dinner, for the 40’s reunion of
Harvard Business School, I was actually 28. I graduated when I was
29, just for the record. On Saturday, I was sitting
down with a classmate, and this chap came up and
got in a conversation, who was a Belgian. And he said, I spent
37 years with McKenzie. And he said, it’s madness
to leave the trading block. I said, well look,
you’re a McKenzie match, couldn’t you, perhaps, be
a little more analytical. (audience laughing) Anyway, let us have a look at here. The UK’s percentage of it’s
exports to EU countries, on the first line, is 43 percent. And that proportion,
incidentally, has been going down, is going down, and continues to go down. Partly because large chunks of the EU are in semi-permanent recession. Which is something we’ll come
to in a small amount of time. By contrast, in 2015, I’m aware that NAFTA is
called something else, but the facts haven’t changed very much. Mexico is 83 percent. Canada is 78 percent. But nobody says whether in
Mexico, or the United States, or in Canada, that because
this high proportion of exports going to other countries in NAFTA, that Mexico, Canada, and the United States should be in a political union. But that’s the conclusion that
people come to. in Europe. And because of that, now the reference to no free
movement of people in NAFTA, you certainly know there’s
no free movement of people, is because the other side of being in the EU political union, is that the UK is obliged
to have open borders with the other 27 member states. Now, there’s not really enough time now, but I could also talk at some length, which I’m delighted I’m not going to, on regulation recognition
versus regulatory harmonization. But the fact is that NAFTA has
the better way of doing it. Now these slides, unfortunately,
are in a certain order. It was just too
complicated to change them. So, we’re now going to
go back to another point. We’re going back to a point
we looked at earlier on. New Zealand’s trade agreements. It’s the same thing. Small country, no problem
with making trade agreements. In particular, they have a
trade agreement with China, which the European Union doesn’t have, and the United States doesn’t have, and I think it’s quite unlikely to have. Now, we now come to the next side, the fall of global tariffs since 1990. Now, the UK, joined the
then common market in 1975. This shows the fall of
global tariffs since 1990. The point of this is that
it makes it less valuable, the decline of tariffs, the fact that the world
has less protection as it did in 1975, makes it less valuable to be a member of a large trading block. So, is that really enough to
be part of the European Union, which is a political unit,
calls itself a political union. I’m not calling it a political union. That’s what it calls itself. Now, the next slides… I’m trying to go reasonably quickly, otherwise it gets a bit repetitive. The proposition that is
put forward, endlessly, is that by leaving the EU, UK EU trade would either stop completely, hence the endless repeated assertion we’ll lost three million jobs, or that you will be
tremendously inhibited. Now, if you look at the top
20 non-EU trading partners of the EU 2015, you can see the sheer volume, this is imports plus exports, you can see the sheer volume of trade. And if you look at the top 20, you see there’s this
gigantic total figure. Well, that is more than the
entire economy of France. And it’s more, even, the
entire economy of the EU, the trade that takes place between the non-EU trading
partners of the EU in 2015. Between the EU, and
companies outside the EU. Even more to the point here, let’s just take a quick
look at Switzerland. Now, Switzerland is not a
member of the European Union. Nevertheless, per capita, it sells more to the European Union by a margin of four point eight times. If you look at the, than we do in the UK, and that’s without being a
member of the European Union. Although it does have
multiple agreements with them. I’d also make the point that in the UK’s trade
with the European Union we have a 97 billion pound
deficit in goods with the EU. Now, that is roughly the equivalent to twice the entire
economy of New Hampshire. And that’s just the deficit. That’s just the deficit. These slides sort of make the same points, the same point again. But, more dramatically. China. China is not a member
of the European Union. I think most people know that. But, China also does not
have a trade agreement with the European Union. Nevertheless, it outsells the UK, and the figures haven’t
really changed very much, by these margins here. And it’s approximately
one and a half times. And that’s without being a
member of the European Union. And without even having a trade agreement with the European Union. Now, somebody will have doubtless say, or is thinking, if
they’re really informed, well, what about services. But, first of all, services
aren’t really covered, in the single market. The single market is incomplete. In the EU single market, I’ve got a figure that it’s five percent. But service exports, now the UK is the world’s second
largest exporter of services, so you might think that
would export more services to the other EU countries than anybody. Sadly, not the case. Have a look here. There’s the United States. If you leave the EU, again I’m hammering home the same point, if you leave the EU, the experience of other countries shows, that the trade will
continue, and will not cease. And then, the next one here, these two slides are very, very similar, these show the top 10
exporters to the EU in 2017. And China, the United
States, Russia, Japan, India, and Vietnam, i.e., that is to say, six of the top 10, did not then have trade agreements. Japan now does have a trade agreement, but it was not in force in 2017. So, there’s an obsession in UK dialogue, about deal or no deal,
which you may have heard. Well, deal means having a trade agreement. It’s arguable, from these figures that you don’t really need
to have a trade agreement. Again, this makes the same
point, in a different way. Next slide, says the same thing, which is three of the top
five exporters to the EU, actually three of the top
three, three of the top five, six of the top 10, and 12 of the top 20 exporters to the European Union, do not have trade agreements
with the European Union. So, you slightly ask yourself, where is this obsession
with deal or no deal. So sorry. That sounds like a TV program. But no deal. No deal. The obsession of the people
in the House of Commons. Where’s it come from? Aren’t they aware of these basic facts. The answer is no. What they are aware of, I think
some of them probably are, this is simply a proxy, to prevent Brexit happening altogether. That’s what the figure’s about. And then, finally, in this segment, no, not segment, this
paragraph is more like it, I’m going to have a look at, these are the number of trade, this very useful slide, shows the trade agreements which the European Union does have. Now, the fact of the
matter is it’s over 100. I made a count once, made it to 141. It’s certainly over 100. But, if these people are
such friends of ours, why aren’t they giving
us a trade agreement. They’re perfectly well prepared to give trade agreements to
El Salvador and Costa Rica, but they’re not prepared to
give one to the United Kingdom. Or so it would seem. Without these drastic, drastic, coersive, coersive measures, which
includes losing Ulster. Anyway, I’m now coming to
the next, very brief segment. Which is simply, to say,
well, how is the EU doing. Is this such a dynamic union? Are the economies so
dynamic, so fast growing, that you really, really,
really want to be a part of it. So, let’s just see what
the experience is being. This is, superseded by these pie charts. They are much, much easier to see. So there we are. World economy in 1980,
percentage of world output. 30 point nine percent. Rather impressive, actually. Good idea to be a part of that. However, let’s go forward to 2014. And it’s actually gone right down. And that includes the Eastern
European countries coming in. Now let’s go in fast forward, now, again, to the world economy in 2039. And that’s what it is. Now, I’ll also say one thing, that pie chart’s wrong. And I’ll tell you why it’s wrong. Because the nine point nine percent includes the United Kingdom. If you take the United Kingdom out, it’s seven point six five percent. So, you’re part of a trading block. In order to be part of a trading block you have to give up your sovereignty, you have to give up your laws, you have to obey the laws
of an unelected commission, and the rest. Is that a good idea or not? Well, that’s for others to decide. This is rather a rare one, EU prosperity. You see lots and lots of statistics, showing unemployment. But, my friend and former
colleague, Professor Tim Congdon, had a look at employment. And the conclusion he came to,
which was quite an easy one, is that prosperous countries tend to have a higher
proportion of people employed than not so prosperous countries. And I will particularly
draw your attention, to the Eurozone at the bottom. 66 percent, only two-thirds
of the workforce, are employed in the Eurozone countries. For people like myself,
who have had to sit, staring at this forever, you may not be aware that there’s only 19 countries out of the 28, are actually in the Eurozone. Nine are not in the Eurozone. And then more tellingly, still, because there are some
young, good people here, who I thank you very much for coming, let’s go to the next one. It’s constantly saying that
not being in the European Union is against the interest
of the young people. Let’s have a look at this chart. I think this is much more telling. The red line is youth unemployment, youth unemployment in the UK, 15 percent. Much too high. Couldn’t agree more. Greece, youth unemployment, 45 percent. Spain, 35. Portugal, 20. Italy, 35. The effect of this is actually, that if you’re a young person coming out, you can’t get a job in these countries. This is a dysfunctional system, because the Euro is a sort
of economic doomsday machine, because, basically, the
economy of these countries, specifically Greece, and
we think Italy as well, simply cannot function in
exactly the same monetary zone as Germany. The Euro is ubervided for them,
and undivided for Germany. And it basically has that consequence. It’s the single market
I’m going to gloss over. And now, we are going
to talk about influence. Very briefly. Then, the other argument
which is produced, in favor of the European Union for the UK, is to say, but you’ve
got so much influence, and you can see people
writing impassioned essays, saying when we leave the EU we will have no influence in the world. Well, let’s have a look at the influence we’ve actually got at the moment. Now, MEP’s are not particularly important, although I was one for 10 years. But we did have nearly 20 percent of them. Now, it’s up to nine point seven percent. It’s less than 10 percent. And the effect of that is,
you can’t block anything. And let’s have a look at
European Commissioners. Now, the 28 European Commissioners are not the most capable people in Europe. (audience laughing) They are chosen on two criteria. In the first instance, nationality. And in the second instance, gender. And, you will see here, that
we used to have in the UK, 1973, actually, that should
be 1975, but never mind, I think I’m the only person
who’s noticed that, actually. Go to 1975, we had two
out of 30 commissioners. Rather impressive. You’re going to slightly
calling the shots there. Not quite calling the shots, but people listen to what you say. We now have, that was
15 point four percent, we now have one out of 28, and for the percentage minded people, that’s three point six percent. To give you yet more percentages, our total vote at the council administers, is now eight point two eight percent. We don’t have an influence. At for this, which I think I’ll actually
go through quite quickly, is here is the current commission. It’s still there til
October the thirty first, so I don’t have to quite
change the slide yet. There’s a president, Mr. Juncker, who is actually now in New York, being a grand frommage. (audience laughing) A grand frommage, a big cheese, at the… That’s actually Juncker. And then there’s this
layer of people below him. Now, we must see, we just said
that the economy of the UK is equivalent to that between 18 and 19 of the smallest member states altogether. So, where’s the EU Commissioner? Sorry, sorry, the UK
Commissioner to the EU. No, he’s not there. Anyway, let’s have a
look at the next slide. This is what we call
the business classroom. These are the report to
first vice presidents. Crikey! This looks a bit like Citicorp to me. (audience laughing) There must be a British
Commissioner in there. Surely. Oh, there’s not. That man’s Finnish, Katainen. And then we go to the
last round of people. And there he is, it’s a he. There is the British Commissioner. There you are. Full of influence. Influencing the world. Influencing the EU. So, in conclusion, therefore, as I hope I’ve demonstrated, the European Union, the
aim of the European Union, is to be a state, a super state, in which countries would count
for very little or nothing. A country can still trade, and trade profitably, and in large volume and value, irrespective of the fact of
whether it’s an EU member, or even whether it has a trade agreement. The EU is essentially a protectionist, undemocratic construct, with middling to poor economic prospects. Which also, incidentally,
happens to be anti-American. These are the basic facts. These are facts which you will never hear and almost never read. And to quote, the great
Dartmouth College motto, Vox clamantis in deserto. Thank you sir. For the last 10 years I
feel I’ve been a voice, crying in the wilderness, a voice, unheard, an
unheard voice at that, crying in the wilderness. But rather, I will end up with this quote from Winston Churchill. If Britain must choose between
Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea. That’s the one political aspect of it, the rest was a lecture. Thank you very much, indeed. (applause) Now, I very much hope there
are going to be some questions. Shall I, let me have the furthest one. – Hi, thank you so much
for coming, first of all. I think this was really enlightening, especially over on this
side of the Atlantic. We don’t really get a
lot of media coverage that’s, like, pro Brexit. I was curious, what your thoughts were on it’s impact on London
as like, a financial hub, globally. And whether you thought that
was a material negative. – That’s a great question. First of all, London is
primarily a wholesale market. So, they need that, I mean, they actually need the
wholesale market as well. As a financial center, it’s
also got major businesses in foreign exchange trading. Which you don’t hear very much about. And, of course, insurance. So, there’s every reason to
suppose that that will go on. Now, that hasn’t stopped
Jamie Dimon of Morgan, making the same announcement
about cutting jobs, about eight times that I’ve read in the last three years
in the Financial Times. So, the answer is, it
may go back a little bit, but the expertise is there. It’s in the time zone. It has the English language. And it’s got other businesses which aren’t affected by the EU at all. But I’ll make one other point, which is actually much,
much more important. Since, I’m not a specialist in this area, but in the 10 years that I was
in the European Parliament, there was this stream of anti
city of London legislation, that was put through,
systematically, by the commission. So, we really had a choice,
in my opinion, in my view, of either getting out, or
suffering the deaths of 1000 cuts. I have to go, I think, to
the gentleman who told me what the Dartmouth motto was earlier. – Hey. Thank you very much for coming. This is great. I guess my question relates
to European Parliament. You mentioned that over
the last 40 to 50 years, the percentage of UK representatives to the European Parliament has gone down. Another phenomenon
which I’m familiar with, is since 1979 you’ve seen voter turnout for European Parliament decrease from 63 percent in 1979, down, down, down, all the
way down to all time low of 43 percent in 2009. However, this year, a couple months ago, we saw voter turnout
increase for the first time to 50 percent. For the first time since 1979. So, I guess my question is, what do you contribute that
slight, but significant rise in voter turnout, that we saw in the European Parliament. – Right, thank you. I attribute it to what was called the spitzenkandidat process. The spitzenkandidat process, is there any German speaker here. Please don’t translate it. Anyway, it’s a German word. And, I think it’s true to say, that German vocabulary,
they tack on words, to come up with their longer words. Very simply, a spitzenkandidat process said that whichever party, and either transnational European parties, the classic one being the
European People’s Party, and the European Socialist party. Whichever party had the
largest number of MEP’s, their nominated candidate became the president of the commission. And that was on that basis that Juncker became president of the
commission, five years ago. This was even though, the EVP
had actually lost 45 seats, they were still the biggest party. Now, what happened was,
that there was a process of people going round the
EU having public debates, and all the rest of it. And even at my, sort of inclined level, in the last three months, I was asked twice to speak on a program called Raw Politics, on a
channel called EuroNews, to comment on with others, about… I was, what’s called a talking head. Are you familiar with that? I was a talking head on TV to discuss how this spitzenkandidat
debate was going on. And it all went on, and
then a great and good guy, who’s called Jan Zahradil, who was the candidate for another group. He actually got elected,
when he didn’t expect to, cause he had this
exposure, blind by right. So, all that was what happened. So, that was the process. And that pushed up the turnout. But what actually happened afterwards, was that France and Germany got together, and they said, we don’t care
who the candidates were, we don’t care who the
candidates were in this process. There were about eight of them actually. Not quite as many as
the democratic primary, but there was still eight, standing electants making
speeches, the whole shtick. And having people like me, saying that they didn’t perform very well. But, I mean, you get the idea. And, so, they actually got together. And they had somebody appoint
president of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who
was never a candidate. Who was never a candidate. So, the one democratic fig leaf, where there was a certain one, I think, just doesn’t exist anywhere anymore. It’s profoundly anti democratic, and undemocratic construction. Sir. – So, I wanted to just go back to what you were talking about before. The trade agreements, or
the lack of a need for one, in the Brexit negotiations. So, I understand that your
point is, effectively, the UK can trade with the EU
without a trade agreement, but you have, this is probably
an obvious question for you, but not for me, this
question about Ireland, where there’s political and
sort of social realities that, sort of, accompany a
hard versus a soft border. How do you see working out… I mean, in other words, do you
need a free trade agreement with Ireland in order to
prevent significant political and social fallout? Or, can you kind of have a no deal Brexit, without those consequences in
the UK Ireland relationship? Is that clear? – Great question. And people are scratching there heads about exactly that question now. But let me have a go at
it, myself, if I may. First of all, you can’t have just a trade agreement with Ireland. You have to have a trade
agreement with the entire EU. I mean, that’s slightly the point. In my rants, I didn’t really
say, which I should have done, is that you don’t need
to have trade agreement, but, of course, it’s desirable. It’s desirable. It’s a bit like having
an aisle seat on a plane. I don’t know. It’s desirable. You still get from A
to B, but it’s better. Actually, I don’t know if
that’s a very good analogy, because, I mean, it’s better
to have a trade agreement. Now, let’s talk about
Ireland, and the Irish border. And more nonsense has been
talking about this than ever. Now, in my view, Mr.
Barnier, who I know slightly, who is the EU negotiator, he’s
an absolutely brilliant man, and he does rings around our totally inadequate Prime Minister, and our even more inadequate civil service in the negotiations. Because the Irish border
is never, never an issue. And the reason it wasn’t an
issue, is very simply this, no Irish government can possibly put up a hard border in Ireland. And what they should’ve said, the British government should’ve said, and my understanding is
it’s on a press state, that Boris Johnson has said. He should’ve said to the Irish, we don’t want to put up a border. We’re not going to put up a border. If you want to put it up, you do it. So, actually, it’s a slight nonissue. Now, in terms of the
Good Friday agreement, which is endlessly quoted. I don’t know if you ever read
the Good Friday agreement, but unlike most of these agreements, it’s only 10 pages long. I was never going to read it, but somebody who had
read, pointed this out, and said you really ought to read it. It doesn’t mention the border once. The border’s not even mentioned once. Moreover, the EU were never
party to that agreement. There’s been the British government, the government of the Republic of Ireland, and the United States. The EU were not a party to
the Good Friday agreement. And it doesn’t mention the border. It’s not mentioned once. By the way, the reason
it’s not mentioned once, is because it was a very
thorny subject even then. So, you don’t want to
talk about it too much. If you want everyone to be friends, there’s certain things
you don’t talk about. And then, finally, but, I mean, what you are right about,
is that if there is a so-called hard border,
which there shouldn’t be, the big loser will be
the Republic of Ireland, because most of their
trade goes through the UK. Big, big loser. And Mr. Veranka is playing
a very, very dangerous game. Very dangerous game. It’s quite fun, at some level, to sort of stick it to the
former colonial masters, but there’s a limit to how far you can go, in the interest of the
people which you represent. – My question to you is
about looking to the future of the EU a bit more. So, do you think if UK
does leave on October 31 with no deal, and the effects, the negative
consequence are minimal, do you see, in the future,
some more anti EU movements developing in other big EU nations? And then, eventually, really long term, the eventual splitting up,
and downfall of the EU? If Britain were to leave and
the consequences were minimal, the negative consequences you used, then see that have a little
ripple effect, later on. – Well, that’s a great question, and could be the subject of,
minimum, a doctoral thesis, and certainly the subject of a book. But, anyway, let me have a
quick go in about 90 seconds. The basic effect will be, is that we, along with the Dutch, were huge speakers, people standing up for
the independence of, we were standing up against more and more
European integration. Which is a jargon term
for more and more people becoming a super state, a state. Now, we’re not there, we go. So, therefore, you then got Macron, who is a European Federalist. I’m not saying this in a pejorative way, I’m just saying that’s
what he believes in. He thinks that’s a solution. And Merkel, who pretty
much thinks the same thing. So, they all go further
and further and further and further in that direction. Irrespective of any popular consent. And irrespective of how that
works for the economic reality. So that will engender, more and more, not to leave the EU so much, but a Euro skeptic feeling, which is really a request
for more devolved power, for more decision making to be made at the nation state level. Now, there’s a chapter in my book, which I could practically kill myself turning it into a pamphlet, which spells out that even since 2016, the time of the Brexit referendum, there’s been further and further
and further EU integration, of which the most the dramatic level is the so-called EU Army, which, of course, resulted
in the destruction of NATO. And, of course, no less a
person than President Macron, himself, President Macron of France, wasn’t just some sub European bureaucrat. He was the president of France said we need to have a European army to protect us against China, Russia, and even the United States. So, it’s going further and further. Now, what I must emphasize, is that you asked what’s
happening in the future, but I have to say, in the present there’s been a European wide revolt against the European establishment. What might be called the nemen coutoral. And before spelling this out, one very important point is that this has not been entirely
on the center right and the right, it’s also been on the left, and the center left. So, far example, the Syriza
government in Greece, is the most left-wing government that’s ever been elected. As opposed to taken apart by coup d’e-tat. Elected… Certainly the most for about 25 years. And that was Euro skeptic. Similarly, in Spain, you have Podemos, which, again, is left-wing, Euro skeptic. And, similarly, there’s
another grouping in Spain, which is called… Does anyone speak Spanish here? CIDUA, it’s like city, C-I-D-U-A, the citizen’s party, which actually is a center part, which is actually a center part. Meantime, Euro skeptics are, The Law and Justice Party in Poland is a Euro skeptic party. The Danish People’s Party is Euro skeptic, to the point of being
government in Denmark. Used to be really soft, actually. There’s the Dutch Freedom Party, which is sort of plodding
along at various levels. 25 percent or something,
which is quite a lot. Which is a Euro skeptic party. In Italy there was a
Euro skeptic government. The Five Star movement to
the left of center party, in coalition with the labor,
to the center right party. So, there’s a nation wide, sorry, there’s a European
wide insurrection. Democratic insurrection. Orban is a government in Hungary. I’m not justifying Orban,
I’m just explaining it. If they simply ignore all popular consent, in fact, there was a rather good example with my explanation of the
spitzenkandi