15 Jan 2016

Just how utterly pointless is the Vote Leave group?

An answer to that question can be found by giving up precious minutes of your life that you will never get back, and surfing through 50 pages of unmitigated waffle from Vote Leave's intellectual powerhouse (/sarc) Dr Lee Rotherham. It doesn't outline what question(s) it sets out to answer, is loaded with self citation, and it doesn't even contain a conclusion.

Dubbed 'The National Interest', Rotherham, a major contributor to Business for Britain's 1,000 page 'Change or Go' tome, writes for the sake of doing so, leads the reader into a desert where he then abandons them without any explanation of what they are doing there, and disappears. He excuses this in his introduction where he says:

So there it is, the Vote Leave line. The verbiage they use to explain away the absence of any plan of what the future would look like for Britain outside the EU. The absence of any idea voters could use as a rallying point to enthuse them to vote to leave.

Interestingly, without naming the Flexcit plan, Rotherham outlines it in his piece:

Yet despite describing it as a 'transition spot' - which means it would not be the destination and that negotiation of a more suitable agreement would follow - and despite conceding the high degree of certainty that Britain rejoining the EEA would be acceptable to EU member states and EFTA ones too, he rejects the idea on the spurious grounds of uncertainty.

So what does Rotherham see as preferable to the phased withdrawal set out in Flexcit?

 'An entirely different arrangement'. And pray tell, how do we get to this 'entirely different arrangement'? If not through a safe and credible transition through the EEA after Brexit, then how? Is it something that could be agreed within initial two year Article 50 negotiation window? How could we know if any EU member state might object and veto whatever pick 'n mix agreement is sought, impacting continuity of trade after Britain's EU membership ends? Does it even involve leaving the EU, after all Rotherham already says there is no black or white, no straight in or out?

It makes no logical sense for anyone committed to leaving the EU to reject a transitional stage they accept is achievable, on the basis of it being 'uncertain', only to plump for an undefined and theoretical 'entirely different arrangement' where there is no way of knowing if it is achievable. Nothing could be more uncertain than that and no amount of bar charts, formulae or curves hide that fact. This is the kind of unmitigated rubbish churned out by Vote Leave and their team.

Vote Leave is out in the weeds. So engaged in matters of EU membership and how to leave the EU was its campaign director, Dominic Cummings, that just six months ago he hadn't even heard of Article 50. But then he isn't interested in Article 50, the only legal route for an EU member state to leave the EU, as bound in the treaty of Lisbon. In fact yesterday he even rejected it being used if voters vote to leave the EU. Today he has gone even further with the utterly false claim that:

We know his game though.

The Vote Leave and Cummings plan is to use a leave vote as leverage for further talks with the EU, the outcome of which after a second referendum they are calling for, would be Britain remaining in the EU. This is what Business for Britain, the entity that spawned Vote Leave, has always wanted... EU reform and Britain to remain firmly in. This explains why Vote Leave never call for Brexit, have no plan for Brexit and dismiss without reasonable explanation, as Lee Rotherham has above, the only researched plan that exists to deliver Brexit.