At the end of April, the European court of justice (ECJ) kicked back a court challenge by the British government to halt the introduction of the EU's financial transaction tax (FTT) which would have a disproportionate levy on the UK in a way which cuts across national tax sovereignty. The financial interests of the British people were kicked in the teeth by the ECJ and yet still, UK prime minister David Cameron wants to keep us in for more EU rough treatment. Is this wise?
Even in European terms, the FTT is a bad idea because it will help to drive money and expertise offshore to Switzerland and Hong Kong. The FTT is a legislative club (in both the cudgel and group sense) with which the 11 EU states involved and the European commission wish to beat the City of London over the head. It is estimated that it will cost the City £4.4bn (€5.3bn).
In January, the EU court also rejected a UK attempt to prevent Brussels banning short selling. Just how many times does the British financial industry have to be beaten-up by the ECJ before David Cameron will shout à la Ukip that 'enough is enough'? This FTT judgment shows that the British government cannot act to protect the UK's biggest interest. It is impotent and at the mercy of an antagonistic and federalist court - the ECJ.
"The only way to protect the UK financial interest is to withdraw from the tax-hungry EU and stop giving Brussels power over us"
It demonstrates Cameron's argument that the UK government can negotiate a better deal for British business from within the EU as a fraud and a farce. The only way to protect the UK financial interest is to withdraw from the tax-hungry EU and stop giving Brussels power over us.
Then on the matter of immigration, European employment, social affairs and inclusion commissioner László Andor said he plans to take legal action against the UK for trying to halt the abuse of its welfare system by non-British nationals. These threats of EU legal action show that Britain can do nothing to change its immigration regime while it is in the EU and has an open door to eastern Europe. The UK cannot change the EU law on freedom of movement without leaving the EU. That is why Cameron must call an in/out referendum. Contrary to what Cameron says today, an EU exit is the only solution to our problem of EU immigration.
Then onto the realm of business - a poll in December 2013, conducted by Opinium research, questioned senior executives from 274 British businesses of varying sizes. It found that 54 per cent of executives thought EU membership had a negative impact on immigration to the UK. While more businesses were positive than negative about the benefits of EU membership as a whole, 38 per cent said that the British economy would be better if the UK quit the EU, compared to 31 per cent who believed it would be worse after a British exit. More than two-thirds - some 68 per cent - of businesses said they would support different levels of EU membership.
I welcome the fact that business leaders have begun to say in public what they have been saying in private among themselves for some time. They are now sticking their heads above the parapet. It shall be the positive views of business on an EU exit which shall decide the outcome of an EU referendum. On the issues of immigration and making a case for a global trading vision for Britain, Ukip is winning the argument on both fronts.
Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner, recently said that, "We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can't sacrifice Europe's industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide." It is quite clear that policies imposed by Brussels in pursuit of their climate obsession are driving up costs and undermining competitiveness, at a time when our major global competitors - the US, China and India - are all switching to low-cost fossil fuels, shale gas and coal. What the US experience of shale gas shows is that the UK's commitment to expensive renewable energy policies may leave it at a substantial competitive disadvantage while other countries exploit much cheaper sources of energy. To get cheaper energy prices in order to help fuel-dependent industry and also help pensioners out of fuel poverty we must leave the EU.
After a Brexit we would then have the freedom to democratically change our own country for the good and act in the best interests of those who live here. The UK could become a democratic beacon of light in an EU in which democracy is being crushed and poverty is engendered for millions as bureaucrats of the EU institutions pursue their mistaken Euro dream. Britain will be better off out of the EU.